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Long sandy beach, rockpools and dunes with beautiful sunsets

One of the most popular beaches in the South Hams, the golden sands looks out over a bay of crystal clear waters framed by craggy rock formations including the iconic Thurlestone Rock.

Enjoy a relaxing family day on the beach exploring rock pools, beachcombing and taking a dip in the sea. The nearby wetland is home to many species and is an ideal place to spot rare migratory birds. For the more adventurous there are great wind surfing and kayaking opportunities in these sheltered waters.

The bay is also an ideal diving spot to witness the sunken wreck of the Louis Shied situated just off shore.

What can you do here?

What will you find on a rock pool ramble?

  • Sheltered and shallow waters are ideal for paddling in
  • Check out the amazing rockpools at low tide
  • Enjoy great swimming; the RNLI lifeguard service operates 6 July to 8 September
  • Have a go paddle boarding or windsurfing from the beach, with Surfing Sam (seasonal watersports hire)

Breakfast, lunch or dinner?

Enjoy a take-a-way from the beach house at South Milton Sands

Our National Trust tenant, the beachhouse café is getting fab reviews:

  • 'A jewel that I don't wish to tell anyone about in case they take our table on the next visit'
  • 'By far the best place to eat in Devon'

Check out Trip Advisor for more info

Join us for 'big night on the beach'

Join the National Trust rangers and the South Devon AONB team for an evening of activities on the beach on the 19 September from 4pm until 10pm.There will be watersport taster sessions, rockpooling, bird walks, stargazing, childrens activities and more!

Follow the coast path

A kite on the beach at Bantham

Follow the coast path east for 30 minutes and you'll reach the pretty village of Hope Cove with its snug cottages, local pub and family friendly beaches.

Turn west and walk further for the beaches of Bantham and Bigbury and watch the kite surfers or visit the island made famous by Agatha Christie - Burgh island


I spy

Keep your eyes out for the pretty pyramidal orchid

Keep your eyes out for the pretty pyramidal orchid

This wetland area behind the beach provides an important refuge for breeding and wintering waterbirds and also for migrating birds in the spring and autumn.

Today the site is managed by Devon Bird Watching and Preservation Society in partnership with the National Trust and local landowners and farmers. Grazing cows help maintain the traditional balance of meadow grasses and flowers.