Bigbury on Sea and Bantham
Bigbury on Sea is the more modern of the two villages but its obvious attractions are the stunning level sands and sheltered waters which lead to the enchanting Burgh Island (see the days route description for details of this stunning spot). If the tides work or you can catch a “sea tractor” this is a perfect evening adventure ending at The Pilchard, the islands ancient inn. The Burgh Island Hotel is also possible for upmarket dining in style, but you’ll need a black tie and a fair bit of money to eat there – the experience however has got to be unrivalled! Even if you don’t make it to the island you can gaze over its silhouette in the setting sun by heading inland on the short amble to Ringmore, another picture postcard Devon village, all thatched cottages with a central locals pub serving good fresh local food.
On the opposite side of the Avon River a ferry takes you to Banthan, a much older fishing settlement, one of the many that made its income from the Pilchard Shoals. The beach is one of South Devon’s best, rolling dunes on an undeveloped expanse of sand, free from mass tourism but livened up by the windsurfers, kite buggies and off shore surfing for which this is the South Devon Coasts surfing Mecca.
For those wanting to hire a board or grab a lesson, an excellent surf school operates here.
For the more usual end of walk activities, you have a gem to relax in at The Sloop Inn close to the ferry and at the start of a row of thatched and cobbled cottages. For many staying in Bantham you will be lodging at The Sloop anyway having already crossed the estuary in preparation for tomorrows walk to Salcombe.