Challaborough Beach | South Devon Beach Bible

By Ross Purdy on November 14, 2016

Situated on a stunning stretch of the South West Coast Path, Challaborough Beach is a picturesque little sandy cove, which sits in the shadow of Bigbury-On-Sea and looks out over iconic Burgh Island.


Directions to Challaborough Beach


By car:

Sat nav users, use the postcode TQ7 4HZ for Challaborough Beach.

From Salcombe:

Challaborough Beach is just under 12 miles from Salcombe.

  1. Leave Salcombe on Salcombe Road/A381.
  2. A little over two miles past the village of Malborough, turn left to remain on the A381, signposted for Plymouth, Modbury, Totnes and Thurlestone.
  3. Go straight on at the roundabout (A379).
  4. Take the first exit at the next roundabout. This will take you onto Tidal Road/Stakes Hill. (Note that this route is tide-dependent.)
  5. Continue on this road until you come to St Ann’s Chapel. Turn left at the junction.
  6. Pass through the village of Bigbury and continue up the hill. You’ll come to a right turn signposted ‘Challaborough – 1 mile’. Take this turn and follow the narrow lane.
  7. When you arrive at the holiday park, take a left at the shop then an immediate right to the car park. Report to the park reception in order to pay.

From Dartmouth

This beach is approximately 20 miles from Dartmouth.

  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 beyond the village, you’ll reach a roundabout. Turn right.
  4. Take the first exit at the next roundabout. This will take you onto Tidal Road/Stakes Hill (tide-dependent).
  5. Continue on this road until you come to St Ann’s Chapel. Turn left at the junction.
  6. Pass through the village of Bigbury and continue up the hill. Take the right turn signposted ‘Challaborough – 1 mile.’
  7. Follow this road to Challaborough Beach. When you arrive at the Holiday Park, take a left at the shop and then an immediate right to the car park.

On foot:

Challaborough Beach is a short walk, albeit steep, walk from Bigbury-On-Sea and Bantham Beach, and a moderate hike away from Thurlestone Sands, South Milton Sands and Hope Cove’s beaches. You can also walk from the National Trust car park in Ringmore to Ayrmer Cove, and from there take a left and walk the half a mile or so.


There is a small privately-owned car park with room for around 20 cars, just a few metres from the beach. Parking costs £5 per day. Report to the holiday park’s reception to pay.
There is more capacity at nearby Bigbury-On-Sea, which is a 10-15 minute walk away (involving steep hills).


  • Beach shop
  • Beach café
  • Public toilets


  • Challaborough Beach is dog-friendly between May and September.


No supervised activities, but Challaborough is a popular surfing location, as are nearby Bigbury-On-Sea and Bantham Beach. It is also a top spot for rockpooling.


Similar beaches

Thurlestone- The Rock-MLWith a nice sandy middle area and enticing rockpools at the edges for kids to explore, Challaborough Beach has similarities to Mouthwell Sands at Hope Cove. South Milton Sands and Thurlestone Sands also offer similar terrain. Other compact coves, which are rather quieter, include Lannacombe Beach, Mattiscombe Sands and Ayrmer Cove.

Our guide to Challaborough Beach

Challaborough Beach sits in a wonderful spot. It’s situated in the shadow of Blue Flag-awarded Bigbury-On-Sea beach, just a stone’s throw from famous Bantham Beach, and looks out over unique and iconic Burgh Island. However, since it’s surrounded by these famous South Devon treasures, it’s perhaps the case that this pretty little cove is often overlooked by Devon residents and holidaymakers alike.


If you’ve already been to our region’s best known beaches and like the thought of exploring somewhere new, then Challaborough Beach makes an excellent option. This applies whether you’re a walker, swimmer, sunbather, artist or any other kind of beach-lover. Challaborough is also a popular place for surfing, especially at times during the summer, when the waves off Bigbury-On-Sea and Bantham are at their busiest.


As a sandy beach, Challaborough is perfect for having a picnic or making sandcastles with the kids, while the rockpools at the edges offer endless fun for intrepid youngsters. A holiday park backs onto the sand, meaning there are lots of facilities close by, including a well-stocked beach shop, public toilets and a café. The proximity of the park also means that the beach becomes very busy with holidaymakers during the summer, so if you’re looking for a little more room to spread out, you have a couple of other options in the local area:

  1. Walk west along the Coast Path towards the more remote beaches of Ayrmer Cove (0.5 miles) or Westcombe beach (1.25 miles). At either of these you’ll find more seclusion amongst the rugged, rocky scenery, but on the other hand there are no facilities on hand.
  2.  Head east towards Bigbury-On-Sea, Bantham Beach or South Milton Sands, where the bays are both spacious enough to accommodate everyone and well served with all the facilities you need for a fantastic day at the beach.

At all times of the year, Challaborough makes a lovely spot for a rest as you walk the Coast Path. You can see beautiful Burgh Island and its iconic Art Deco hotel from a new perspective before travelling further along the Coast Path or making your way inland, for example to Ringmore Woods which is around 1.25 miles from Challaborough Beach.


Just 10 minutes walk from Challabough Beach at Bigbury-On-Sea, Coast & Country Cottages offers these two exceptional holiday properties for self-catering breaks:

25 Burgh Island Causeway (sleeps 4)

This top floor, two-bedroom apartment offers unforgettable views of Burgh Island and the land bridge that joins it to Bigbury-On-Sea’s fantastic Blue Flag beach.


Enjoy an al fresco glass of wine from your balcony as you savour the scenery, or head inside to the stylish living and dining area where the views continue to impress.


Enjoy a week’s holiday at 25 Burgh Island Causeway from just £543.

2 Avon Quillet (sleeps 6)

Another stunning property for holidaymakers who can never get enough of stunning sea views, 2 Avon Quillet is a well-presented first-floor apartment with panoramic views of Bigbury Bay.


You can also enjoy the view from the en-suite master bedroom in this recently refurbished holiday home, which sits perfectly for easy access to a stunning stretch of the South West Coast Path. Book your holiday from just £410 per week.


For comprehensive information about South Devon’s best beaches, see our South Devon Beach Bible.