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Beautiful Bigbury-on-Sea looks out to Burgh Island, a famous landmark linked to the mainland by a causeway at low tide.

Looking for specific information about Bigbury-on-Sea?

Bigbury-on-Sea - South Devon area guides

Location and access

By car:

Sat nav users, use the postcode TQ7 4AZ for the car park at Bigbury-on-Sea.

From Salcombe:

Bigbury-on-Sea is a little over 12 miles from Salcombe.

  1. Leave Salcombe on Salcombe Road/A381.
  2. Turn left to remain on the A381, signposted for Plymouth, Modbury, Totnes and Thurlestone. Go straight on at the roundabout (A379), signposted for Aveton Gifford, Modbury and Plymouth.
  3. Take the first exit at the next roundabout. This will take you onto Tidal Road/Stakes Hill.
  4. Continue on this road and you will come to St Ann’s Chapel. Turn left at the junction, following the sign to Bigbury-on-Sea (B392).
  5. Simply follow the road until the Bigbury Beach Car Park appears on your left.

From Kingsbridge:

Option 1:

  1. Drive to the outskirts of Dartmouth, go straight on at the first roundabout you reach, and then turn right at the second.
  2. From there, follow the above directions from (2).

Option 2:

This coastal option provides one of the most scenic drives in the South Hams.

  1. Leave Kingsbridge on the A379.
  2. Turn left at the first roundabout you come to, staying on the A379.
  3. Continue through Churchstow and and turn right at the next roundabout, staying on the A379.
  4. Cross the Aveton Gifford Bridge and then take the first left at the roundabout, which will take you onto Tidal Road/Stakes Hill. Please note that this dependent on the tidal estuary.
  5. Follow the directions above from (4).

By bus:

The 875 runs between Plymouth and Bigbury-on-Sea. Click here for times.

On foot:

Salcombe to Bigbury-on-Sea is a popular walk for sturdy hikers with the stamina to manage 13 miles of winding Coast Path – at times strenuous but well-worth it for some of the most spectacular views in South Devon. A shorter walk from Hope Cove (around 4 miles each way) is another excellent option. When you arrive at Bigbury-On-Sea, why not walk north to Challaborough Beach, a little further to Ayrmer Cove or onward to the remote and ruggedly beautiful Westcombe Beach?


There is a council-run car park at the edge of the beach. You can see details of the prices here.


  • First aid room
  • Seasonal lifeguards
  • Showers
  • Disabled access to the beach
  • Toilets (inc. Disabled toilets)
  • Parking
  • Kiosk
  • Café/restaurant


Dogs at Bigbury-on-Sea beach

Is Bigbury-On-Sea beach dog-friendly?

Bigbury-On-Sea operates a seasonal dog ban. Dogs are permitted on the main beach from October to April only.


Surfing in South Devon with Discovery Surf School at Bigbury-on-Sea

  • Discovery Surf School offers lessons in surfing and stand-up paddleboarding as well as providing equipment and lifeguards.
  • You can also pick up beach accessories including inflatables, buckets and spades, bodyboards and wetsuits, etc. from Bigbury Beach Shop.
  • The popular sea tractor can take you across the water to Burgh Island during high tide.

Similar beaches

Burgh Island - a similar beach to Bigbury-on-Sea

Bantham Beach is situated between Bigbury-on-Sea and Thurlestone Beach, and when standing on it’s golden shores you can clearly spot Burgh Island and Bigbury Beach across the water. This expansive beach boasts shallow waters and excellent surfing conditions, and you can usually spot people learning to ride a wave in the beautiful blue sea. Click here to read our Bantham Beach guide.

South Milton Sands, just over five miles from both Kingsbridge and Salcombe, is similarly popular with surfers and other watersports enthusiasts. The beach is well known for its pristine waters that attract regular visits from seals and even dolphins – and good facilities including the excellent Beachhouse Cafe. Click here to read our South Milton Sands beach guide.

Our guide to Bigbury Beach

Burgh Island, Bigbury-on-Sea sea tractor

Several factors combine to make Bigbury-on-Sea one of the most popular beach destinations in the South Hams. Its spacious sandy beach and shallow waters make it an ideal place for a family day out by the sea. Bigbury Beach’s facilities are also excellent, with a café, a surfing school and a well-equipped shop all close to hand. The beach is also dotted with rock pools so there is plenty for adventurous families to explore and discover.

The Venus Café offers a variety of food and drink options, including ice creams for those hot summer days. There are also shower facilities so you don’t have to worry about bringing unwanted sand back in your clothes or car. As well as this, there are toilets, on-site parking and a first aid room so everything you may need is available for your use. Lifeguards are on duty between May and September so that you can swim safely within the flags. There is disabled access to the beach.

The wide range of watersports available to you makes this beach extra special. You can also learn to surf at Bigbury with Discover Surf School who offer lessons for beginners and intermediate learners. Visit for more information. Or if you’d like to branch out, have a go at windsurfing and kitesurfing, both of which are becoming ever more popular in the area.

The Sea Tractor, ferrying passengers from Bigbury-On-Sea to Burgh Island

Take a trip over to Burgh Island which you can access from Bigbury Beach by foot at low tide, and by the famous sea tractor at high tide. This historic landmark, once known as St Michael’s Island, has been populated since ancient times by traders, fishermen and monks. The remains of the monastery are said to lie under the iconic 1920s Art Deco-style hotel which now dominates the island. In the 20th Century, the island achieved fame as the inspiration for Agatha Christie’s masterpiece, ‘And then there were none’, the world’s best-ever selling mystery novel. Discover the hidden gems of this picturesque island and take some breathtaking photographs overlooking the beach.

Bigbury-on-Sea is a brilliant place to spend the day, and Burgh Island helps to make it the kind of beach that can attract not only sunbathers, swimmers and surfers, but also nature-spotters, history buffs, artists and of course fans of Dame Agatha Christie, the famed ‘Queen of Crime’.

Make sure to add it to your list of beaches to visit when you’re next in the South Hams!

Discover more about South Devon’s best beaches with the help of our South Devon Beach Bible.

If you are looking for accommodation in South Devon, make sure to take a look at our range of holiday cottages in Bigbury-on-Sea.