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Abtot Logo. Encounter Walking Holidays member number 5357


Arriving at Torcross from the cliffs, you enter a new walking dimension at a peaceful village, hemmed in on a spit of shingle between Devon’s largest freshwater lake at Slapton Ley and the open sea. A rather unique spot where a beautiful nature reserve and first class beach are separated by a narrow but seemingly endless mound of stones! 


The village itself is a restful overnight with a few rows of pretty cottages lining the shore, a store and post office, butchers, craft and art shop as well as a small pottery. In fact, the village has quite an artist colony and a choice of restaurants, cafes and pubs offering food and drink for the arriving coast path wanderer.  Like Hallsands, the lost village further west, Torcross has had its battles with the sea, most recently in 1979 after which the current sea wall was hastily put in place to try and keep this village out of the sea. 


Its most unusual feature is one you won’t find anywhere else on the 630 miles of coast path..... a Sherman Tank. Now standing as a solemn memorial, it was raised from the depths by a local man 40 years after it was sank by German E boats, and sited as a monument to the American GI soldiers who were stationed here to train for D-Day. Its tale is a tragic one. An incredible 749 US Serviceman were killed offshore here in the early hours of 28 April 1944. A convoy of eight American landing craft were carrying out a D-Day dress rehearsal when they were ambushed by German E-boats. Sitting ducks, two were sunk immediately in the attack off Slapton Sands, confusion then reigned with some landing ships being hit by friendly fire from other allied boats – the loss of life was horrendous, and it remains the worst training operation tragedy of World War 2 with a higher death toll than at the initial D-Day landings themselves which were to take place on Utah Beach, Normandy, two months later.


Elsewhere in Torcross you can wander to The Duckery, where the braver wildfowl from nearby Slapton Ley congregate, or just wander out onto the shingle to the popular swimming and water sports beach to watch the waves crash against the pebble bar that stretches away into the distance from the town.

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