Travelling corner: Wild swimming in South Devon


Gentle waves, golden sands, beautiful sea views and some great walking routes. Yes, that’s the Devon we re-discovered recently! It was magically beautiful: we felt so enchanted that it was difficult to leave this experience behind and return to Bristol. Fortunately, it’s only a 2-hour drive-away, so we know where we’ll be frequent visitors 🙂

Some time ago I came across the book Wild Swimming Walks by Sophie Pierce and Matt Newbury. It’s a practical guidebook into wild swimming in Dartmoor and South Devon, with 28 lake, river and beach days out to choose from and, as I was looking through its pages, I came across Thurlestone Beach / South Milton Sands / Leas Foot Sand which captured my imagination and became an inspiration for my family’s next travel destination. We needed some sun, sea and sand (!!!).

The beach is a long stretch of sand which goes from Leas Foot Sand (there is public parking as part of a golf club car park), then there are some rocks dividing Leas Foot from the other beaches, and then there is Thurlestone Beach (with a free car park just above the beach) which leads to South Milton Sands (with a NT car park). Each of the beaches is slightly different: Leas Foot Sand is a smaller beach which might be a good choice for families as there is a small stream where children can play (the sea is quite cold though), Thurlestone Beach has some hidden parts behind the rocks which might be perfect for everybody to enjoy some quieter time and South Milton Sands has beautiful views and the warmest sea (perfect for paddling). Amazing, huh?!

I once visited South Devon in winter, but I think I only briefly came to Thurleston Beach back then. Now, we’ve explored this beautiful sand stretch extensively and I’m so glad we did so! As a family, we had such an idyllic time – summery and lazy.

Have you been to South Devon? Do you have a favourite beach there? Please leave your comments down below.

Kinga Macalla

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