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Things to do in Bigbury-on-Sea, Devon

Bigbury-on-Sea from Burgh Island © Louise E. Wright
Bigbury-on-Sea from Burgh Island © Louise E. Wright

The coastal village of Bigbury-on-Sea is in the South Hams district of South Devon, which is designated an "Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty".

It certainly deserves this moniker as it is filled with rolling green hills, scenic cliff top paths through copses of trees, babbling streams, banks of wild flowers and centuries-old farmhouses.

Bigbury-on-Sea looks down on the largest sandy beach in South Devon, the main attraction to this area.

The beach is popular with surfers, windsurfers and bathers and the soft sand is perfect for children to play on.

Just 250 yards offshore is Burgh Island, which is accessible across the causeway at low tide.

Historically, Bigbury-on-Sea was a small fishing community, with original fishermen's cottages along the roadside with fish cellars for their nets and lobster pots.

It has now grown in popularity and size with many holiday homes and has a couple of general stores, a Post office and several beach cafes.

Just up the hill from Bigbury-on-Sea is the larger village of Bigbury, with its 18-hole golf course, famous for its stunning views of the sea, the moors and the Avon Valley.

It has a quaint pub, the Royal Oak, a shop and a 14th century Church which is worth looking around.

A trip to tiny Burgh Island is a must. Walk across at low tide or take the big-wheeled tractor ride.

The island has a private hotel, which incidentally serves wonderful clotted cream teas in grand style!

It was built in 1929 by Archibald Nettlefold and has wonderful Art Deco features including a stained-glass cupola above the aptly named Peacock Bar.

The hotel was a favourite with Agatha Christie, who used it as the setting for two of her thrillers.

Visitors can enjoy the breathtaking seascapes, craggy coves, sandy bays and many birds before heading to the whitewashed Pilchard Inn for refreshments.

Although Bigbury-on-Sea is best known for its beautiful sandy beach, the area is a walkers paradise.

The South West Coast Path cuts right through the village, heading west towards Plymouth or east to Dartmouth and offers some of the best coastal and estuary walks in the UK.

The area is riddled with single-track Devonshire lanes; the grassy banks high on either side and covered with primroses, bluebells and foxgloves in season. Follow the River Avon upstream to delightful Aveton Gifford.

A local walk or drive will bring you to other tiny communities such as St Anns Chapel, Bantham, Wembury with its cliff top church and delightful Kingsbridge.

A stroll up Totnes High Street, a 12-mile trip from Bigbury-on-Sea, is a step back in time with its small shops, merchant houses and market.

Look for the historic Brutus Stone in Fore Street as you head towards Totnes Castle, and the Eastgate, which spans the street.

Visitors will discover many other local attractions as they explore the area - the Stancombe Cyder Barn and Press, The Blackdown Donkey Sanctuary and South Pool Church are just a few.

Historic Dartmouth makes an interesting day out, offering boat trips up and down the River Dart, museums, churches and a colourful history as the home of the Royal Naval College.

Whatever your interests, you will not have to travel far from Bigbury-on-Sea to find something to enjoy.

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Images of Bigbury-on-Sea

Burgh Island © Louise E. Wright
Burgh Island © Louise E. Wright
Sunset © Louise E. Wright
Sunset © Louise E. Wright
The beach© Louise E. Wright
The beach© Louise E. Wright
Burgh Island Hotel © Louise E. Wright
Burgh Island Hotel © Louise E. Wright

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