Slapton Sands, Slapton, Kingsbridge, Devon

There are several beautiful beaches on the coast of South Devon; one is Slapton Sands, between Kingsbridge and Dartmouth. This is a popular spot for families who chose to come here and while away a day beside the sea, for anglers and people who enjoy watersports like paddleboarding, kayaking and windsurfing. The draw is the long stretch of pebble and shingle beach backed by a row of quaint cottages and beyond, the green hills of the South Hams. The clean waters are a bonus and the fact that it’s more or less on the South West Coast Path, making for good walks or a break for lunch on the beach.

Behind the beach there’s a National Nature Reserve, a unique area with a huge freshwater lake surrounded by reed beds, marshes and trees; it’s noted for having some of the rarest wildlife in the UK and has an incredible sense of tranquillity despite the walking and cycling trails. The reserve separates the beach from the peaceful village of Slapton, within easy walking distance from the beach and worth exploring because it’s so picturesque – you can’t help thinking how good it would be to live there, plus there are two good pubs, The Tower Inn and The Queens Arms, a good alternative to the beach café or a picnic.

Next to the car park at Slapton Sands a memorial stands to commemorate the people who had to leave their homes in 1943 so that the area could be used by the military to practice for the D-Day Landings. Further along the beach there’s another memorial – a Sherman tank recovered offshore when rehearsals for the Normandy landings in 1944 went disastrously wrong due to bad weather. The ill-fated Operation Tiger resulted in the loss of hundreds of American servicemen.

Dogs are allowed on the beach at Slapton Sands all year.

All information correct at the time of writing

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