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Coasteering in South Devon is hands down one of the region’s most popular outdoor activities, especially for thrill-seeking groups of family and friends. At its heart, the sport is all about exploring, so expect to jump from exhilarating heights, discover sea caves and gullies, and scramble over rocks as you uncover the stunning South Devon coastline. So, if you’re up for a challenge, be sure to book an adventure coasteering in South Devon – this high energy sport won’t fail to disappoint and will certainly push you way beyond your boundaries!
Looking for something in particular? Use our quick links below, or read on for our full guide to coasteering in South Devon.
– What is coasteering?
– Where to go coasteering in South Devon
– Coasteering in Salcombe
– Coasteering in Torquay and Brixham
– Coasteering in Plymouth
For those that aren’t entirely sure how you will be spending your time when coasteering in South Devon, let us explain in a little more detail. The physical act of coasteering involves journeying along the intertidal zone of rocky coastline (the area where the ocean meets the land between high and low tides) on foot or by swimming; without the aid of boats, surfboards or other floating devices. You will spend your time ‘adventure swimming’ in a combination of both calm and rough water, and in some cases, even navigating tidal currents. Swimming aside, you will also climb, scramble, jump and dive from exhilarating heights, all of which inject quite an adrenaline rush. Jumping and diving are regarded as some of the most exciting parts of coasteering, and these activities usually make up the majority of a session.
As you can imagine, coasteering has the potential to be a dangerous sport, so be mindful to stay safe and follow guidance at all times – always book with a qualified instructor and never navigate the coastline alone, it simply is not safe. A basic level of fitness and swimming ability is expected, so if you do know of any issues with your health or ability, let your group leader know well in advance.
South Devon is the ultimate natural playground, boasting a coastline that stretches for over 100 miles that is punctuated with craggy cliffs, secluded coves and rocky outcrops – the perfect environment for eager explorers! The coastal town of Salcombe has fast become a hub for coasteering, with Brixham, Torquay and Plymouth also offering similar adventures. Regardless of where you visit, if you want to go coasteering in South Devon, you’re guaranteed to have a good time.
All of the local companies that offer coasteering in South Devon provide expert supervision and the equipment you’ll need, including winter wetsuits and helmets, and best of all, sumptuous hot chocolate and biscuit refuels, perfect for recharging. Your expert guides will set a route and pace that is inclusive of everyone, ensuring that everyone is set a challenge that meets individual needs – great if there are a range of abilities within your group!
The stretch of coastline that surrounds Salcombe is breathtaking and also varied, taking in the gentle Kingsbridge Estuary, the sandy shores of South Sands, East Portlemouth Beach and the craggy cliffs that surround Gara Rock Beach. Just a short rib ride away, Hope Cove and Thurlestone are great for exploring, as is the rugged and remote terrain of Prawle Point, Mattiscombe Beach, and Start Point. Needless to say, within this area the waters are crystal clear, and you will find an array of sandy inlets and secret coves just waiting to be explored.
Salcombe based Sea ‘n’ Shore is a family run watersports business with a deep-rooted love for outdoor water-based activities and learning. They pride themselves on their flexibility, especially when it comes to designing a group activity day to suit, so you are sure to find the perfect coasteering adventure with them, whatever your ability may be. Sea ‘n’ Shore offers two types of coasteering, both of which can be booked for half-day sessions.
The standard coasteering option (£45 p/p) involves meeting at Start Point car park (TQ7 2ET) and making your way down to the coast as a group. You’ll be rock climbing, swimming, exploring caves and gullies, and as the organisers promise, doing ‘lots and lots of jumps’. Sessions start at 9.30am or 1.30pm and last about three hours. The second coasteering option is a fast and furious rib session (£70 p/p), which involves taking a high-speed rib ride along the South Devon coast to various coasteering spots, where you will jump off the boat and swim to shore. From there, it’s another case of climbing, swimming, exploring and jumping into the sea!
Another local company that is based in the heart of Salcombe, Adventure South are proud of their extensive knowledge in adventure sports and excursions. Gara Rock and the shoreline around South Sands are both great locations for coasteering, where you can wild swim, jump from the cliffs and explore caves, something the team take full advantage of. Adventure South promises to ‘help you push past your comfort zones, guaranteeing a day you’ll never forget.’
Offering three packages, Gara Rock Coasteering (£50p/p) is not for the faint hearted and embraces big jumps (10 metres), epic scenery, channels, caves, plenty of swell, rocky areas to scramble, and plenty of wild swimming. The Salcombe Coasteering (£40p/p) is more focused on exploration rather than adrenaline. Expect the beaches, caves and channels to be easily accessible, with plenty of opportunity for swimming, scrambling and jumps up to 5 metres high (don’t be fooled though, the Salcombe coasteering will most certainly push you out of your comfort zone!). Rib Coasteering is the third option (£65p/p) and undoubtedly the most popular. Starting at North Sands Beach, you will climb aboard the Rib and head across the Salcombe Bar into open water, where you will journey towards your coasteering destination of Gara Rock, observing shipwreck sites and local wildlife (seals and sometimes dolphins!) along the way. Arriving in style, expect to enjoy wild swimming, climbing, and of course, enjoy multiple opportunities to hurtle off the rocks into the sea.
With such a varied coastline with regards to both landscape and terrain, each coasteering adventure in South Devon is unique. Salcombe aside, there are some excellent spots within the region from where you can enjoy coasteering in South Devon, most of which cluster around Plymouth, Brixham and Torquay. We recommend doing a little research before booking your exhilarating adventure, and taking the time to consider the focus of your session – do you want to spend more time jumping and diving, or perhaps you would rather scramble and navigate craggy outcrops. Having an idea of this information will help you to pinpoint which company to book with and maximise your time, because they all offer something a little different
For extreme coasteering with routes that journey around wild headlands, underneath exposed cliffs and deep within sea caves, book with Adelong. Based in Torquay, you can expect to explore a sheltered coastline, jump from Daddyhole near Babbacombe and visit Anstey’s Cove. Furthermore, you can add additional challenges to your day that are guaranteed to push you to the limit both physically and mentally – bolt on activities such as abseiling and caving, not forgetting the Sea Zipline, a 70 metre zip line that travels from the cliff to sea level at speed!
For something a little different, visit Blue Dot Adventure. Based on Dartmoor, they are wild adventure enthusiasts that host exciting coasteering sessions on both the coastline and on Dartmoor itself – perfect for exploring the white water rapids of the River Dart. Another fabulous local company that offer coasteering in South Devon is that of Go Coasteering – with a range of activities perfect for families, groups and also stag and hen parties, their offering is varied and tailored to individual requirements, and covers coasteering spots in Salcombe, Start Point, Plymouth, Torquay and also Brixham.
The waters of South Devon are a mecca for water sports, so coasteering aside, you will find sailing, surfing, stand up paddleboarding and kayaking in abundance. Regardless of whether you’re after a high energy sport, or perhaps something a little more mellow, the region has it all. At Coast & Country Cottages we boast a wealth of self-catering holiday cottages that are within close proximity to South Devon’s coasteering hotspots. From coastal cottages to country escapes, and even properties with hot tubs to warm tired limbs, we have it covered. Browse our South Devon self-catering properties to find your perfect holiday bolthole.