Deep in the South Hams you'll find Bantham beach, one of the best beaches in Devon and probably one of the best in the UK (the beach even has merch). Don't just take our word for it though - Bantham beach has previously been named as one of the best in Europe by Lonely Planet (number 6 out of 10) and was the only English beach included in their 2015 list. Within easy driving distance of Salcombe and Kingsbridge, and with amazing views across to Burgh Island and beyond, it's hard not to fall in love with Bantham Beach. We wanted to highlight everything that we think makes this beach so special, and also provide you with some information if you're visiting the beach in 2023. Let's get into the guide:
Where is Bantham Beach?
Walking at Bantham Beach
You can enjoy many walks to and from Bantham Beach via the South West Coast Path, our favourite being the walk from Bantham to Thurlestone (which we consider to be one of the best things to do during your time in Devon). This is a circular route which starts and ends at Bantham Beach Car Park and is around 3 miles in length. If you're feeling more adventurous then you can attempt the 5 mile Avon/Bantham route which follows the Avon Estuary Way and is another circular route starting and ending at the Bantham Sands Car Park. If all of this sounds like too much work, you can't really go wrong with a simple stroll across Bantham Beach. Learn more about these walks along South West Coast Path here - southwestcoastpath.org.uk
Surfing at Bantham Beach
If walking sounds a little too chilled out for you, then definitely consider catching some waves at Bantham Beach - it is generally considered to be one of the best surfing beaches in the whole of Devon. The waves are reliable and the Bantham Surfing Academy is a great school to learn with. It's generally accepted that the best time of year for surfing at Bantham is during Spring, usually in April. If you're looking for a surf report then check this website out, and if you want to learn more about the Bantham Surfing Academy then check their website out here - banthamsurfingacademy.co.uk
Parking at Bantham Beach
Parking at Bantham Beach is pretty straightforward, and you should expect to pay no more than £6 per day at any point of the year. More specifically, between February and May it'll be around £3.50 per day, from May until September it'll be about £6 per day. During the off season it's about a cheaper at about £2 per day, as generally the beach is much quieter.
Can you bring dogs?
Good news for those of you with a furry friend - dogs are allowed at Bantham almost all year round. However, restrictions do apply between May 1st and September 30th, which is the busiest period. During this time no dogs are allowed on the main beach. Dogs are allowed on the beach beside the estuary all year round, which at low tide can extend to many acres. You can still bring your dog to Bantham Beach Car Park, then from there head off on one of the South West Coast Path routes we mentioned earlier.
What happened to the ferry?
For many years there was a seasonal passenger ferry crossing the river Avon, running from Bantham slipway to Cockleridge Ham. This was a popular ferry and a great little trip. However, it seems that the ferry may have stopped running in 2019. There may be a new ferry coming soon but it won't be the same charming boat we had previously, which is better than nothing but is still a huge shame!
Things to be aware of before visiting Bantham Beach
Bantham Beach is pretty amazing to see during the summer months when the beach is packed and the waves are scattered with surfers, but we'd say visiting in the Spring is probably the best time to head there. It'll still be pretty busy but nothing like it'll be during the summer, plus you'll still get to see some surfers (or do some surfing yourself!).
Facilities at Bantham Beach
One of the great things about Bantham Beach is that you've got a number of useful facilities there and nearby, including toilets, a café, a shop and pub near to the beach and lifeguards on the beach between May and October.
Finding Bantham Beach
You shouldn't have too much trouble finding Bantham Beach but if you're using your sat nav you'll want to set the postcode as TQ7 3AN. You'll find Bantham Beach between Bigbury-On-Sea and Thurlestone.