Crashing waves roll onto the beach with such force that the noise echoes up into the sand dunes above. I can taste salty sea air on my tongue and the beauty of the South Devon coastline stretches out before my eyes. South Milton Sands comes complete with a cute seaside café, endless coastal walks and a sandy beach. People often say that this area of the world is one of the most beautiful spaces the UK… And they’re definitely not wrong!
South Milton Sands Beach
By far, the most popular attraction at South Milton Sands (and the main reason to go), is its golden sandy beach, stretching right out into the distance. In the summertime, the beach is filled with families looking to enjoy a great day out and most likely hoping for a glimmer of sunshine. After all, there’s a reason that the Devonian landscape is so green. And that reason is the rain! In the winter, the beach is filled with the sounds of dogs splashing in the water and seagulls circling above.
Geography lovers (and photography enthusiasts) will jump for joy at the site of Thurlestone Rock, an impressive pillar jutting right out of the sea in the very middle of the beach. The magical view of the waves crashing through the hole in the rock will never cease to amaze, nor will the views of the rock as the setting sun hits the horizon…
Rockpooling at South Milton Sands
One of my fondest memories as a child was visiting my Grandma in Dorset. We’d pack sandy sandwiches and vast quantities of sunscreen into the car and drive the short distance to the beach. There, we’d go hunting for fossils, navigate the long stretches of pebbled beaches, and go rockpooling. That is to say, searching for small creatures and beach dwellers in the swirling pools along the edges of the sea.
If you head to South Milton Sands, then make sure to check out the dozens of crystal clear pools dotted along the seashore. Best visited in the hours just before low tide, if you’re lucky enough, you may even spot a starfish! However, while looking in the rockpools, please ensure that you follow the seashore code so as to preserve the wildlife. You can find the entire Seashore Code here and I highly recommend reading it before paying a visit to the rockpools.
The Beachhouse Café
Situated right behind rolling sand dunes, you’ll find the cute little café of the Beachhouse. Once the preserve of the summer months, today the Beachhouse Café serves good food and drinks all year ’round on a daily basis. Bear in mind that everything is a little on the pricier side of things owing to the secluded nature of the place!
That being said, the fries were fresh and my strong latté was brewed to perfection- the best way to warm up after a brisk winter’s walk along the beach. Sit inside the café to enjoy a cosy British seaside vibe. Alternatively, opt to eat outside, be brave enough to face the elements and be rewarded by beautiful panoramic views over the surrounding coastline. Nearby, you’ll find toilet facilities which are free for the public to use.
Address | The Beachhouse Café, Kingsbridge TQ7 3JY
South West Coastal Path
South Milton Sands is located along the South West Coastal Path, the longest (and one of the most popular) trail of the National Trails. Another iconic National Path is that of Hadrian’s Wall in the north of England. The South West coastal path loops from Dorset in the East, looping its ways along the entire stretch of Southern Devonian and Cornish coastline, before sweeping around and covering the entire stretch of North Cornish and North Devonian coast.
If you’re looking to visit South Milton with the sole intention of seeing the South West Coastal Path (and you’re not really that bothered about seeing Thurlestone rock or one of the most popular beaches in the South Hams), then I recommend heading to another part of the path. After all, the parking fee alone for South Milton (and the car park is literally the only place to park!) is £5- a fee which is a little steep!
Other attractions near South Milton Sands
The entire stretch of South Devon is filled with everything from adventurous activities to luxury retreats. Nearby, you’ll find the beautiful seaside resort town of Salcombe. A little further still, there’s Prawle Point, the most southerly point of Devon as well as Gara Rock Café, the beautiful and secluded beach of Elender Cove. On the other side of Thurlestone, head further down the coastline and you’ll find the inspiration for an Agatha Christie novel at the Tidal Island of Bigbury-on-Sea.