Bantham has got to be one of the most beautiful spots in the South Hams – that’s why we chose it as the banner image of the Cottages In South Devon website – and choosing Bantham cottages for your South Devon holiday not only puts you close to this fabulous beach but also opens up a broad stretch of coastal path with easy access to Bigbury, Thurlestone, South Milton and even Hope Cove.
Located within easy walking distance of the village and most Bantham cottages, the beach itself sits at the mouth of the river Avon so there’s a great combination of estuary, broad sands and warren-like dunes to explore. The bay itself is very shallow so its great for paddling and hunting through rock pools and at high tide the sea seems to recede to the horizon. Unlike neighbouring Bigbury, Bantham beach is big enough to cope with the crowds in summer and there always seems to be a little space you can call your own. I think it’s at its best on a crisp, bright winter day when it seems like you’ve got the whole beach to yourself.
Bantham is a brilliant jumping off point for some of the other beaches on this stretch of coast, which makes it a good base for a South Devon holiday. You can get the ferry across to Bigbury from the village or take the coastal path along to Thurlestone, South Milton and on to Hope Cove. It’s an easy one-hour walk to South Milton – and that’s with a five year old and an eight year old who stops to look on every gate post to look for lizards.
The Avon Estuary itself has a designated walk that stretches in a circuit from Bantham up to Aveton Gifford and then back down to Bigbury The whole thing is around 7 or 8 miles but lunch at the Oyster Shack could be a pleasant way to break the journey.
Bantham cottages: surfer’s paradise?
You can tell by the car park that Bantham is popular with surfers – VW Campers and Transporters everywhere even in the depths of winter. Although it can be crowded in summer, this is a great spot for surfing given the right conditions. No surprise then that there’s a surf school right on the beach. Bantham Surfing Academy has courses for all levels and all ages – you can even borrow all the gear if you haven’t got your own.
Is there more than just cottages in Bantham?
You’d be forgive for thinking that all there is to Bantham is cottages and beach – the village itself is tiny. Look out though for Bantham Stores for basic necessities plus a small coffee shop and the Sloop Inn, a 14th century pub with a particularly fine Sunday lunch – it’s massively popular so book ahead.