An icy Christmas Day swim in South Devon has been a tradition for some time now, but in the...
Prawle Point, owned by the National Trust, is a coastal headland in South Devon, and is the southernmost point of Devon. The point itself is home to dramatic high cliffs, that are both rugged and wild in their beauty. Boasting a warm and mild climate, Prawle Point is a haven for those who love the outdoors, and in particular, walking and wildlife enthusiasts. The coastline is rocky and arduous, but nevertheless, there are several coves with pebble beaches from which you can swim, all of which are accessed via the South West Coast Path. The National Coastwatch Institution has a station at the point, which was reopened as Devon’s first National Coastwatch Institution station in 1997, and this is also home to a visitor centre, open every day from 9am – 5pm, boasting a wide range of displays. For the full picture, check out the Prawle Point webcam ahead of your visit, which points from Prawle Point towards Bolt Head.
The area around the point is renowned for its thriving wildlife, and because it’s so southerly, it is a bird watchers paradise, with migrant birds arriving first in the spring and gathering at the point for their long flights in the autumn. Buzzards, ravens, hawks and peregrine falcons are just a few of the many birds that abound the point, and sometimes, seals and dolphins can be seen offshore, and occasionally, basking sharks. What’s more, for those who are partial to old tales, many ships have wrecked at Prawle Point, with the most recent being in December 1992! At the time this attracted huge crowds, and eventually a local salvage company towed away the remains, some however, are still visible today, so be sure to keep your eyes peeled.
Looking for specific information about Prawle Point? Use our quick links below, or read on for our comprehensive guide to Prawle Point…
There are some who would think calling Prawle Point a beach is something of an exaggeration, and so to be sure, there is not a great deal of sand on display. Whilst it’s not the kind of place to take the family for a day of relaxed sunbathing, there are several coves along this section of the coast that are well worth exploring, and best of all, wonderful swimming spots. The terrain is rugged, rocky and unforgiving but this is counterbalanced by outstanding natural beauty, both in and out of the water. There are no toilet facilities, or indeed any facilities at Prawle Point Beach, so it’s best seen as a place to visit for a couple of hours or to pass through as part of a wonderfully scenic walk – why not pack a picnic and sit by the water to enjoy South Devon at one of its most remote and unspoilt spots.
This part of South Devon is relatively undiscovered, and is a great spot to escape the crowds, especially in the summer months. Anglers regularly visit Prawle Point which is a haven for wrasse and bull huss amongst other species. If you’re keen to land your dinner, be sure to choose your marks carefully and consider float fishing as a way to lower the considerable risk of losing tackle due to the rocky seabed. For budding marine biologists, there’s great rockpooling to be had, look out for spider crabs, strawberry anemones and starfish too! Prawle Point is especially dramatic in the colder months, with wild stormy seas and strong winds dominating, certain to blow away any cobwebs on a blustery walk.
The journey to Prawle Point culminates with a bumpy drive from the village of East Prawle down a steep single-track road, at the end of which is a car park operated by the National Trust, situated just a few hundred metres from the coastline. It’s a popular place to stop and take in the view before making your way down the grassy hill towards Prawle Point Beach – ‘the rocky outcrops’. Once there, follow the South West Coast Path towards Lannacombe Beach, or oppositely towards Gara Rock Beach, and be warned, this section can be very muddy, even in the summer, so walking boots or wellingtons are advised.
Yes, Prawle Point Beach is dog friendly all year round.
This stretch of the South Devon coastline is arguably one of the most wild and rugged in the South West of England, and so as you can imagine, it is peppered with secluded coves and secret beaches. Lannacombe Beach is a short drive (and even shorter walk!) from Prawle Point and is similarly remote, rugged and atmospheric yet it’s more of a traditional sandy beach. Other similar beaches near Prawle Point include Mattiscombe Beach, Gara Rock Beach and the cluster of sandy coves closely neighbouring East Portlemouth 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.
Near Salcombe, the easiest way to get to Prawle Point is by road. For satnav users, use the postcode TQ7 2BX, which will navigate you to the Prawle Point National Trust car park. Parking costs £2, payable using an honesty box, so be sure to remember a little loose change on your visit. Alternatively, you can park in the village of East Prawle and walk to Prawle Point, which is just over a mile away.
The nearest bus stop to Prawle Point is East Prawle, where the volunteer-run Coleridge Bus service operates on Wednesdays only. For further details, see the Coleridge bus timetable.
You can also reach Prawle Point by foot from the village of East Prawle, and also from the South West Coast Path. Prawle Point is a walker’s paradise, and you will find some wonderful hiking options in both directions, one of our favourites is the walk from Prawle to Lannacombe Beach.
At Coast & Country Cottages, we boast an enviable portfolio of holiday cottages near Prawle Point throughout East Portlemouth, Salcombe and also Start Bay. From traditional dog friendly cottages to luxury properties taking in panoramic sea views, you are sure to find something to suit your party size, taste and budget.