Enjoy a 360 virtual tour of South Milton Sands with its long sandy beach and calm water looking out over the iconic Thurlestone Rock
I’d been here a few times over the years and each time the scenery takes my breath away, this is one of the most beautiful parts of the South West Coastal Path. South Milton is one of those beaches that will appeal to everyone, It’s perfect for families being lifeguard patrolled (May to September) and all the facilities you could ask for. It also has easy access for those not so mobile and it’s dog friendly all year round. The beaches are large and sandy, even at high tide. Just be aware that the car park is accessed by narrow country lanes and during the busy summer periods the car park will fill up quickly.
What sets South Milton Sands (Thurlestone Beach) apart is the iconic arch-shaped Thurlestone Rock formation that sits just off the shore and there are many photos being taken of it everyday.
One way to get a closer view of some of the local sea life is to go snorkelling, the clear water and rocks at the end of the beach are ideal for this. For the youngsters there are a wealth of rockpools to explore at low tide.
Just across the road from South Milton Sands is the Ley which is something of a haven for wildlife. The wetlands have been designated an area of Special Scientific Interest and are home to rare butterflies as well as being a great place to spot visiting migratory birds.
For this visit I brought along my
girlfriend, sadly now the ex-girlfriend. No animosity though, so no need to be petty and remove all evidence of her. One day I hope we can meet face to face for a drink and hopefully rebuild the friendship. It’s only just that for now some time (a lot in my case) is needed to heal the shattered heart.
South Milton is a small seaside village in the District of South Hams on the south coast of Devon, UK. It is located on South Devon’s stunning west coast, between the beaches of Hope Cove and Thurlestone in the arc of Bigbury Bay and lies within the South Devon Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty about 2 miles south-west of Kingsbridge.
- South Milton Sands also known as Thurlestone South is in fact made up of two beaches, both of which are formed of coarse sand and shingle. The smaller cove to the north, is known as Leas Foot, and the larger southern beach situated slightly further along the coast is Thurlestone Sands, which merges into South Milton Sands.
- Strong undercurrents
- Tidal cut-off
- Large breaking waves
- Do Not use inflatables when windy
- In the 1700’s the beaches around Thurlestone were used for smuggling. More rum and brandy was smuggled into Devon and Cornwall in this era than arrived legally into the whole of the Port of London!
- The Louis Shied, on her way home to Antwerp in the early morning of 7 December 1939, came across the remains of the stricken freighter the Tajandoen, sinking off the south coast of Devon. The Louis Sheid, managed to pick up about forty survivors for transport back to Antwerp. Although a neutral ship, the Louis Shied was taking a considerable risk stopping in waters so much favoured by the Uboats. However, the visibility was very poor, and once all the survivors were safely on board, the Master of the Louis Shied decided to minimise the risk from any possible submarine attack by clinging close to the Devon shore. As the day turned to night, heavy rain squalls and the complete absence of any shore lights made conditions extremely difficult. The Louis Shied now unknowingly too close to the land for safety, sailed on into Thurlestone Bay, struck a rock and stranded on a reef directly under what was then the Links Hotel. To make matters worse, a southerly gale had started to blow, and huge waves were forcing the ship even further onto the rocks. In the end she defied all attempts to save her and was abandoned. Later she broke in two and was extensively cut up and salvaged piecemeal.
There are a few holiday cottages in the village, but you will find more in nearby Thurlestone.
- Airbnb, more than likely be in nearby Galmpton or South Huish expect to pay from £100.
- Camping, nearest is cool cow camping, there is also, Karrageen and Bolberry house.
- Hostel, No hostels in the area.
- Holiday Cottages Thornbrook, Milton Cottage.
Get up to £50 off your first Airbnb trip of £40 or more click here.
There are some spectacular coastal walks, plus stand up paddle boards, kayaks (one and two seaters), windsurfers and wetsuits all are available to hire.
The National Trust, which owns part of the beach, runs several events every year, such as ‘The Rock Water sports Festival’ which will take place on 8th and 9th of June 2019.
Easy access from the National Trust car park 50m away at South Milton Sands via a wooden ramp down to the beach with a handrail at the southern end, or two gravel slipways. Access at the northern part of the beach is via steps.
- Bus, 162 from Kingsbridge to Outer Hope in Hope Cove and then a 25 minute walk.
- Car, The car park is run by the national trust which cost £6 all day (members free) after 16:00pm the price drops. February – October. November – January inc £3.00 all day. You can also park at Thurlestone Beach car park, at the northern end, and walk down a narrow road for 50m, then 25 concrete steps.
- Walking, walk the coastal path with the stunning views on a sunny day. (Don’t forget the sunscreen). It’s a short walk from Thurlestone North Beach or from Hope Cove.
- Be aware there is a small car park accessed by narrow country lanes. At busy times the car park will fill up quickly.
- RNLI lifeguard service operates July to September.
- Dogs are allowed all year-round
- The Beachhouse café is open every day 9.30am-8pm (weather dependent)
- Beware of strong undercurrents.
- Keep your eyes peeled for seals and dolphins which are often seen here. Even the odd whale and basking shark have been spotted.
- Scuba diving is also popular here as the sunken wreck, Louis Sheid is an easy shore dive in less than 15m of water.
- Be aware of the seagulls if your outside with food.
- Look out for rare migratory birds in the nearby wetland.
- Beach Type: long beach, coarse sand/fine shingle
- Get £25 off your first Airbnb trip of £55 or more click here.
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