Skip to content

Unveiling South Devon’s Breathtaking Landscapes

south devon's breathtaking landscapes

Unveiling South Devon’s Breathtaking Landscapes: A Journey Through Rolling Hills and Rugged Coastlines

South Devon’s breathtaking landscapes form a tapestry woven with vibrant colours and diverse landscapes. From the dramatic cliffs of Start Point to the rolling hills of the South Hams, this region promises an unforgettable visual feast for every traveller. Whether you’re seeking the serenity of secluded coves or the grandeur of panoramic vistas, there is something for every soul. This guide will embark on a journey through this lovely region, highlighting the most stunning viewpoints that will leave you breathless and yearning to explore more. Brace yourself for a visual adventure as we unveil the hidden gems and iconic landmarks that define South Devon’s unique beauty.

Start Point: Where Land Meets Sky in a Dramatic Showcase

start point lighthouse from afar

Standing proudly at the southernmost tip of Devon, Start Point is a dramatic promontory that embodies the raw power and beauty of South Devon’s coastline. As you approach this natural wonder, the landscape transforms into a tapestry of rugged cliffs sculpted by relentless winds and crashing waves. The iconic Start Point Lighthouse, perched precariously on the cliff edge, stands sentinel, guiding ships through treacherous waters for centuries.

Embark on the South West Coast Path, a national trail that hugs the coastline, and witness the sheer drama of the cliffs plunging into the churning turquoise waters below. On a clear day, your gaze stretches across the seemingly endless expanse of the English Channel, offering a sense of vastness and tranquility. Look out for playful dolphins and majestic basking sharks breaching the surface, adding a touch of wildlife magic to the scene. Whether you choose to stand mesmerized by the power of the ocean or search for hidden coves nestled amidst the cliffs, Start Point promises an experience that will leave you feeling humbled and invigorated.

Slapton Sands: A Paradise of Golden Dunes and Azure Waters

slapton sands

Nestled along South Devon’s south coast, Slapton Sands is a haven for beach lovers and nature enthusiasts alike. This vast expanse of golden sand, stretching for over three miles, is backed by rolling sand dunes and offers breathtaking views of the English Channel. Imagine sinking your toes into the warm sand and feeling the gentle caress of the sea breeze while the rhythmic sound of waves lulls you into a state of relaxation.

Beyond the idyllic beach scene, Slapton Sands boasts a unique history. During World War II, the American forces used the beach as a rehearsal site for the D-Day landings, leaving behind remnants of training structures that are now shrouded in mystery and overgrown with vegetation. Explore the Slapton Line, a series of pillboxes and gun emplacements built to defend against a potential German invasion, offering a glimpse into the region’s wartime past.

Whether you’re seeking a day of sunbathing, building sandcastles with your family, or embarking on a historical exploration, Slapton Sands offers a unique blend of natural beauty and historical intrigue. Take a boat trip from the nearby village of Slapton and witness the dramatic coastline from a different perspective, or simply relax on the beach and let the breathtaking scenery wash over you.

Becky Falls: A Hidden Gem Cascading Through Lush Woodlands

becky falls in spring

Delve into the heart of South Devon and discover the enchanting Becky Falls, a hidden gem nestled amidst the lush green woodlands of the Dartmoor National Park. This cascading waterfall, tumbling down a series of moss-covered rocks, creates a picture-perfect scene that seems straight out of a fairytale. As you follow the winding path alongside the falls, the sound of rushing water and the dappled sunlight filtering through the leaves create a serene and calming atmosphere.

Explore the network of trails that weave through the surrounding woodland, encountering ancient trees, vibrant wildflowers, and diverse birdlife. Take a refreshing dip in the natural pool at the base of the falls on a warm summer day, or simply sit back and soak in the natural beauty that surrounds you. Becky Falls offers a welcome escape from the hustle and bustle, allowing you to reconnect with nature and experience the tranquility of the South Devon countryside.

Prawle Point: Where Land Meets Sea in a Picturesque Panorama

prawle point

South Devon’s breathtaking landscapes extend further westward to Prawle Point, a scenic headland marking the southernmost tip of mainland England. This picturesque location offers a unique perspective where the land dramatically meets the sea, creating a panoramic vista that will leave you spellbound.

Imagine standing atop the cliffs and witnessing the vast expanse of the English Channel stretching towards the horizon. The turquoise waters meet the rugged coastline, a canvas painted with shades of green, brown, and white by the rolling hills, rocky outcrops, and crashing waves. On a clear day, you might even spot the distinctive outline of the Eddystone Lighthouse, standing solitary amidst the rolling waves.

Explore the South West Coast Path, taking in the coastal scenery and discovering hidden coves like South Hallsands, a charming fishing village nestled in a secluded bay. Look out for playful seals basking on the rocks and keep an eye out for a variety of seabirds soaring along the cliffs, adding to the vibrant scene. Prawle Point offers a perfect escape for anyone seeking a tranquil retreat and a chance to witness the breathtaking beauty of South Devon’s coastline.

The Teign Estuary: A Haven for Wildlife and Scenic Delights

teign estuary

South Devon’s beauty extends beyond the dramatic coastlines and rugged moors. Nestled along the south coast lies the Teign Estuary, a haven for wildlife and a scenic delight for nature enthusiasts. This tidal estuary, formed by the River Teign, creates a tapestry of mudflats, saltmarshes, and reedbeds, providing a crucial habitat for a diverse range of birdlife.

Embark on a boat trip or take a walk along the estuary trail and witness the spectacle of migratory birds like egrets, herons, and oystercatchers gracefully gliding across the water. The reeds whisper secrets in the gentle breeze, while the mudflats teem with life, offering a glimpse into the delicate balance of the ecosystem.

As the tide recedes, the mudflats are exposed, revealing a network of channels and creeks. Explore this ever-changing landscape by kayaking or paddleboarding, immersing yourself in the tranquility of the estuary and witnessing the abundance of wildlife up close. The Teign Estuary provides a unique opportunity to appreciate the diverse beauty of South Devon and the vital role it plays in the natural world.

Burgh Island: A Dramatic Island Retreat Bathed in History and Mystery

burgh island

Just off the coast of South Devon, nestled amidst the turquoise waters of the English Channel, lies Burgh Island. This dramatic tidal island, accessible only by footbridge at low tide, is a captivating blend of natural beauty, historical intrigue, and local legend. As you cross the bridge, the island unfolds before you, revealing a ruined chapel standing sentinel on the hilltop, remnants of a bygone era.

The island’s history stretches back centuries, with evidence of Iron Age settlements and a medieval chapel dedicated to St. Anne. Explore the ruins, imagining the lives of those who once called this island home. On a clear day, the views from the chapel extend across the coastline, offering a breathtaking panorama that showcases the rugged beauty of South Devon.

Burgh Island also boasts a unique Art Deco hotel, built in the 1930s and embodying the glamour and elegance of a bygone era. Take a step back in time and enjoy afternoon tea in the hotel’s opulent surroundings while soaking in the stunning island views. Whether you’re seeking a historical exploration, a touch of luxury, or simply a unique escape surrounded by breathtaking scenery, Burgh Island offers an unforgettable experience.

Dartmouth: Picturesque Harbour Town Nestled Between Rolling Hills

dartmouth castle

South Devon’s charm extends beyond its natural wonders, encompassing the picturesque harbor town of Dartmouth. Nestled amidst rolling green hills along the banks of the River Dart, this charming town boasts a rich maritime history and a captivating atmosphere.

Wander along the cobbled streets lined with colorful houses and independent shops. Explore the historic Dartmouth Castle, a 15th-century fortification overlooking the harbor, and imagine the bustling port activity of centuries past. Take a boat trip from the harbor and witness the dramatic coastline from a different perspective, or simply relax on the quayside and soak in the vibrant atmosphere.

Dartmouth offers the perfect blend of history, charm, and natural beauty. Explore the nearby Dartmouth Steam Railway, a delightful miniature railway that takes you on a nostalgic journey through the rolling hills, or visit the vibrant Dartmouth Royal Regatta held annually in August, showcasing a week of competitive sailing and lively celebrations.

Blackpool Sands: A Sun-Kissed Oasis and a Geological Wonder

blackpool snads

South Devon’s breathtaking landscapes extend beyond the rugged coastlines and hidden coves. Nestled along the South Devon Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty lies Blackpool Sands, a unique and captivating beach unlike any other. Imagine stepping onto a vast expanse of pristine golden sand, almost resembling crushed seashells, stretching for over a mile along the sheltered bay.

This unique beach is a geological marvel, formed from millions of years of erosion of the surrounding cliffs. The exposed minerals create a distinctive sparkle under the sunlight, making it a truly captivating sight. Take a refreshing dip in the crystal-clear turquoise waters, perfect for swimming, kayaking, or paddleboarding. Or simply relax on the warm sand, building sandcastles with your family and soaking in the idyllic beach atmosphere.

Blackpool Sands boasts an additional hidden gem – the sub-tropical Blackpool Gardens, situated above the beach. Explore this haven of vibrant plants and exotic flora, offering a surprising contrast to the rugged beauty of the surrounding coastline. Whether you seek a day of sunbathing, exploring geological wonders, or enjoying a touch of tropical paradise, Blackpool Sands offers a unique and unforgettable experience within South Devon’s breathtaking landscapes.

The River Dart: A Scenic Journey Through Rolling Hills and Picturesque Villages

river dart

South Devon’s beauty unfolds not only on land but also on its scenic waterways. The River Dart, meandering through the heart of the South Hams, offers a unique and captivating perspective on the region’s breathtaking landscapes. Embark on a boat trip on the River Dart and witness the rolling hills adorned with quaint villages gently sloping down towards the water’s edge.

The journey takes you past historic landmarks like Greenway, the former summer home of Agatha Christie, and the charming village of Dittisham, nestled in a secluded cove. Keep an eye out for a variety of wildlife, from majestic kingfishers diving into the water to playful otters frolicking along the riverbanks.

As you cruise downstream, the landscape opens up, revealing the dramatic coastline and the vast expanse of the English Channel in the distance. Upon reaching the historic town of Dartmouth, disembark and explore the bustling harbor, a testament to the region’s rich maritime history. A trip on the River Dart offers a unique and captivating way to experience the diverse beauty of South Devon’s landscapes, both hidden and iconic.

Come and see South Devon

South Devon isn’t just a geographical location; it’s a tapestry woven with vibrant landscapes and captivating experiences. From the dramatic cliffs of Start Point to the rolling hills of the Haldon Hills and the turquoise waters of the Teign Estuary, South Devon offers a feast for the senses for every traveller.

Whether you seek the thrill of hiking rugged coastlines, the tranquility of hidden coves, or the charm of picturesque villages, South Devon’s breathtaking landscapes promise an unforgettable adventure. So pack your bags, lace up your walking boots, or simply find a comfortable spot on a golden beach, and embark on a journey to discover the magic of South Devon.

Here is a great list of more of the best days out in the South Hams and you can find out some of the lovely South Devon villages here.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *