An icy Christmas Day swim in South Devon has been a tradition for some time now, but in the...
Mattiscombe Beach, otherwise known as Great Mattiscombe Sands, is one of South Devon’s most secluded beaches and is the perfect bolthole if you’re looking for a quiet, sandy escape. The beach itself, found nestled alongside the South West Coast Path, is south-facing and a short 2km steep walk down from the Start Point Car Park. It is renowned for being a little challenging to access, but for those who are able, the reward is well worth the hike. Mattiscombe Beach is a patchwork of sand and rock exposed at low tide, backed by rolling South Devon countryside. Dog-friendly year round this is a popular spot amongst dog walkers who love exploring with their canine companions. What’s more, there is a small waterfall and stream running down the beach to the shoreline, providing a safe, natural environment for little explorers. For those more able, the incredible rock formations prove popular with those keen on bouldering. There are no facilities on the beach with the nearest toilet being found in the Start Point Car Park. As such, you will find those visiting Mattiscombe Beach amongst the more ‘hardy’ of beach-goers, taking delight in a range of quintessentially British seaside activities such as sunbathing, sandcastle building, picnicking and paddling! This secluded beach is a haven for wildlife – grey seals are often spotted, and in late winter and spring you may be lucky enough to see one or two pups with them. In the height of summer, be sure to keep your eyes peeled for basking shark fins…
For sat nav users, use the postcode TQ7 2ET, which will navigate you to Start Point Car Park. The private car park at Start Point is manned for the majority of the year and boasts 100 spaces, and (at the time of writing) costs £3.50 to park all day, less for shorter periods. Be sure to bring your change, because the car parking hut is cash only.
The South West Coast Path runs alongside Mattiscombe Beach, and boasts a wealth of varied walking routes should you wish to incorporate your visit with a longer walk. Walk from Hallsands beach around Start Point to Mattiscombe Beach, and for those really eager, continue west to Lannacombe Beach and Prawle Point (or even Gara Rock Beach for the truly hardy). Navigating this stretch of the South West Coast Path will give you access to the South Devon coast at its most rugged and spectacular. One of our favourite stretches along this section of coastal path is the East Portlemouth to Gara Rock walk.
At Coast & Country Cottages we love walking, so much so, we’ve created a comprehensive walking guide detailing varying routes that tread both the coast and countryside of South Devon. For more inspiration, download our walking guide today.
Start Point Lighthouse is situated on one of the most exposed peninsulas on the entirety of the English Coast. Proudly residing at the end of the headland in Start Bay, the lighthouse has guided vessels in the English Channel for over 150 years and has many, many tales to tell! As well as admiring the lighthouse from the coast path, you can also venture inside for a guided tour – it is well worth allowing time for this, you can expect to spend your time learning of shipwrecks, storms and farmers who braved the wild seas. Visit the Start Point Lighthouse website for more information.
Fishing from Mattiscombe Beach is likely to produce the same species you’d find in the more accessible beaches of Start Bay, so expect to pull in the likes of bass, wrasse and mackerel, season depending. The South facing aspect of the beach means that the weather conditions can be quite different to the popular fishing beaches of Start Bay, and you will often find shore anglers heading to Mattiscombe Sands when it is too windy to fish comfortably from Beesands or Slapton.
South Devon’s coastline is peppered with sandy beaches, shingle bays and secluded coves, and as such, you will never find yourself far from a perfectly suited beach. Similar beaches near Mattiscombe Beach include those within Start Bay, such as Hallsands, Beesands and Torcross. Nearby Lannacombe Beach offers a similar sense of serenity and remoteness to Mattiscombe, and a little further afield, for views of Burgh Island, we also recommend Ayrmer Cove and Westcombe Beach. What’s more, on the other side of the River Dart close to Kingswear, Man Sands is another highly recommended quiet, craggy beach.
It can be a tough job deciding which beach to visit when exploring the region of South Devon, so to help navigate your way, take a look at our comprehensive guide to the best beaches in South Devon.
At Coast & Country Cottages, we boast an enviable portfolio of holiday cottages near Mattiscombe beach, throughout Start Bay and beyond. From coastal cottages to luxurious properties taking in sweeping sea views. Regardless of where you choose to holiday, spend your days exploring remote and unspoilt coves by choosing a holiday cottage in Start Bay.
The Lobster Pot is situated in a peaceful seaside location, just a few steps from the shingle beach in the fishing village of Beesands. The property boasts panoramic sea views from the spacious living accommodation, balcony and three of the luxurious bedrooms. Also dog-friendly (with the additional luxury of a dog shower!), it’s an ideal bolthole for those wanting to holiday with four-legged friends.
Prospect House is stunning a complex of luxury apartments in the fishing village of Hallsands, two of which are available as holiday homes with Coast & Country Cottages. Situated close to Hallsands Beach, the properties boast panoramic sea views with Juliet balconies, and enjoy access to beautifully landscaped gardens, a seasonal outdoor swimming pool and all-weather tennis court. This is the perfect spot for families that want to holiday together!