Bigbury is one of our favourite spots in Devon. We have had some gorgeous days out here. Lucky for us it is only about 45 minutes from our house.
Bigbury is located near Kingsbridge in Devon. It’s official location is ‘The South Hams’ which is the part of Devon that everyone would love to live in but few of us can afford. The beach at Bigbury is gorgeous and has that perfect kind of sand that you always long for on a family seaside holiday. Perfect for making sand castles, digging holes, even for making sand sculptures.
The waters around Bigbury slope very slowly out to sea, so it is very safe for children. Head further out though and thrill seekers can often catch some good waves for surfing and other water sports. There are lots of opportunities for rock pooling here and caves that children can explore.
We don’t mind remote beaches that have no facilities but sometimes you just want to know that everything is on hand. I think this is especially important if you plan to stay all day. Bigbury does have EVERYTHING! They have ‘award winning’ toilets (there’s a handy plaque outside informing you of their credentials!), there is a car park right next to the beach and there is an amazing Venus Cafe. The Cafe serves very good, reasonably priced foods and (this is the exciting bit….) you can get ice creams with gluten-free cones and gluten-free chocolate brownies too. There is also a small shop selling beach goods.
Picnic on the beach or if you want to get away from it all take the little cliff path just before the beach and you can usually eat in solitude whilst enjoying the glorious views (Just watch out for the Adders that can be found here).
When you’ve had enough of sunbathing and making sand castles, there is a wonderful island to explore. Burgh Island can be accessed by foot during low tide or via sea tractor at high tide (current cost is £2 per person). The island is privately owned but you are allowed to walk around the western side of it and up to the summit. This is well worth doing as you can really escape the hustle and bustle of the beach and ‘get away from it all’. The path to the top is rugged and definitely not for the infirm. Do keep a close eye on children at all times as there is nothing to separate them from the cliff edge. Apart from the numerous butterflies and the sound of the waves crashing against the rocks below, you will find the island very peaceful and you can imagine some real ‘Enid Blyton’ adventures here! Lily and Thomas have renamed it ‘Kirrin Island’ for just this reason.
If you need some refreshment after your walk you have two options on the island. One is the expensive but ‘oh so tempting’ Burgh Island Hotel. A glamorous Art Deco Hotel with a very interesting history. Agatha Christie and Noel Coward are just two of the celebrities that stayed here pre-war and it now has its own helipad for visits from the rich and famous. Non-residents are welcome to Sunday lunch at £48 per person. All ingredients in the restaurant are carefully sourced from local producers. 80% of the ingredients come from within a 20 mile radius.
This photo of Burgh Island Hotel is courtesy of TripAdvisor
Right at the bottom of the island is The Pilchard Inn. A ‘proper olde worlde’ little pub with a roaring fire and slate floors. Well worth a visit, just remember to keep an eye on the tide whilst you enjoy your drink or you could be faced with paying for the tractor to take you back to the mainland – that would make it a pretty expensive pint!