Westcombe Beach | South Devon Beach Bible

By Ross Purdy on November 17, 2016

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Thanks to its isolated location, Westcombe Beach is a true hidden gem, which makes a great spot to take a break for walkers who are exploring the South West Coast Path.

Quick links

Directions to Westcombe Beach

 

By car:

Sat nav users:

  • Use the postcode TQ7 4HZ for Challaborough Beach. This will involve a 1.25 mile walk along the South West Coast Path – a hike which involves some steep climbs.
  • Use the postcode TQ7 4HR for the National Trust Ayrmer Cove/Ringmore car park. Getting from this car park to the cove involves a relatively level 0.5 mile walk, followed by a more challenging 0.75 mile coastal hike.

Getting to Westcombe Beach via Challaborough Beach

Please see our ‘South Devon Beach Bible: Challaborough Beach’ article for directions.

Directions to Ringmore

From Salcombe:

Salcombe is 11 miles from Ringmore.

  1. Leave Salcombe on the A381 (Salcombe Road).
  2. Turn left, staying on the A381.
  3. Go straight on at the roundabout (A379), signposted for Aveton Gifford, Modbury and Plymouth.
  4. Take the first exit at the next roundabout. This will take you onto Tidal Road/Stakes Hill, which can sometimes be impassable at high tide.
  5. Continue on this road and you will come to a crossroads at St Ann’s Chapel. Go straight on.
  6. When you arrive at Ringmore, follow the road around to the left and stay on it as it winds through the village.
  7. The road will bend to the left and you’ll see two other tracks leading roughly straight on. The one on the right will take you to the National Trust Car Park. The turning is marked with a National Trust sign that reads ‘Ayrmer Cove.’

From Dartmouth

Dartmouth is around 19 miles from Ringmore.

  1. Leave Dartmouth on the A3122. After seven miles, you’ll arrive at a T-junction with the Totnes Cross Garage on your right. Turn left, joining the A381.
  2. Take right turns at the next two roundabouts, remaining on the A381.
  3. Pass through the village of Churchstow. Half a mile past the village you’ll reach a roundabout. Turn right (third exit).
  4. Take the first exit at the next roundabout. This will take you onto Tidal Road/Stakes Hill, which is sometimes impassable so keep an eye on the tide!
  5. Continue on this road and you will come to the hamlet of St Ann’s Chapel. Go straight on at the crossroads.
  6. When you arrive at Ringmore, follow the road around to the left and stay on it while it winds through the village.
  7. The road will bend to the left and you’ll see two other tracks leading roughly straight on. The one on the right will take you to the National Trust Car Park. The National Trust sign reads ‘Ayrmer Cove.’

On foot:

There’s no way to reach Westcombe Beach without a moderately strenuous walk, but if you’re a seasoned hiker you might wish to make your way here from farther afield than the National Trust car park or Challaborough Beach. Hope Cove is around six miles from Westcombe Beach, for example. This would make for a challenging walk, but it’s well worth it for the stunning scenery you encounter, including Hope Cove itself, Thurlestone Rock, beautiful Burgh Island and several other beauty spots.

Parking:

Parking at Challaborough Beach is £5 per day. Be aware that spaces are limited (there are approximately 20), so it’s best to avoid arriving at busy times.

Parking at the National Trust Ayrmer Cove car park (Ringmore) is £2 per day.

Facilities:

There are no facilities at Westcombe Beach. The nearest facilities are found at Challaborough Beach (1.25 miles) and in the village of Ringmore (1.25 miles).

Dog-friendly?

  • dogWestcombe Beach is dog-friendly all year round.

Activities:

No supervised activities.

Similar beaches

Nearby Ayrmer Cove is similarly rugged, secluded and unspoilt. Further afield, Lannacombe Beach and Mattiscombe beach are both beautiful and similarly isolated.

Here’s our article on three fantastic secluded Devon beaches.


Our guide to Westcombe Beach


One of the most isolated beaches of its size in South Devon, Westcombe Beach is ideal for those who like a combination of space, stunning scenery and seclusion.

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The approach down to the beach from the Coast Path from both sides is very steep. In fact, although it defies all logic you’ll also be convinced it’s even steeper on the way back up! But if you’ve made it as far as Ayrmer Cove, you’ll find it well worth walking the extra three-quarters of a mile to see South Devon at its most isolated and unspoilt.

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With green and pleasant farmland behind you, white sand beneath, jagged rock formations on both sides and the blue sea stretching out to the horizon, Westcombe Beach is a feast for the senses, which in some ways sums up what many people love about South Devon – so many contrasting types of scenery in such a small area.

Being a good 20 minutes from the nearest road, it’s no surprise that there are no facilities at the beach. So for most people it won’t be a place to spend an entire day, but rather a nice spot to take a break from their hike, enjoy a picnic for a couple of hours, or simply sit and take in the view.

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The terrain is uniformly rockier towards the water, so unlike nearby Challaborough, there is no clear sandy path beating its way to the waves. It’s not, therefore, as ideally suited to paddling or swimming as other beaches in the area, but Westcombe Beach makes up for this with its rugged charm and wonderful seclusion.


There’s so much to be discovered…

You’ll be amazed with the natural beauty just waiting to be discovered on South Devon’s section of the South West Coast Path. Why not make the most of the great outdoors on your next holiday, by booking a South Devon break with Coast & Country Cottages.

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Take a look at our stunning South Devon holiday homes now.