The lowdown on coasteering in South Devon

By Ross Purdy on September 23, 2017

Coasteering off Gara Rock with Adventure South

Coasteering in South Devon is quickly becoming one of the things to try for thrill-seeking families and groups of friends visiting the area. If the ideal of clambering over and jumping from rocks along our beautiful shoreline appeals, then this might just be the pastime for you!

What is coasteering?

Coasteering means traversing a rocky section of coastline, usually combining climbing and swimming, but the exact meaning depends on the terrain itself. It can also involve diving or jumping into the water and exploring canyons and caves.


Who offers coasteering in South Devon?

These local companies offer coasteering in the South Hams, providing expert supervision and the equipment you’ll need (including winter wetsuits and helmets).

Sea ‘n’ Shore (Salcombe)

Salcombe-based Sea ‘n’ Shore offer two types of coasteering, and both can be booked for half-day sessions. The standard coasteering option (£40 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, 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 – even more exciting! – option is to opt for a rib coasteering session (£70 p/p). This involves taking a high-speed rib ride along the South Devon coast to the coasteering spot, at which point you’ll jump off the boat and swim to shore. From there, it’s another case of climbing, swimming, exploring and jumping into the sea.

Adventure South (Salcombe)

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. Adventure South promises to “help you push past your comfort zones, guaranteeing a day you’ll never forget.”

Team member Holly coasteering off Gara Rock

Gara Rock offers jumps up to 10 metres in a stunning location (£45 p/p), while you can also choose a rib ride + coasteering package (£65 p/p), getting transported in style to Gara Rock, where you’ll enjoy some wild swimming, climbing, and of course the chance to hurtle off the rocks into the sea. There are also opportunities for coasteering closer to Salcombe itself (£35 p/p).

A first-hand tale of coasteering in South Devon

Norma, a member of our sales team, went coasteering with Adventure South. Here’s how her session went…

Norma coasteering“I had never heard of coasteering before, so it was a completely new experience for me, jumping off the rocks into the beautiful waters off Gara Rock. Myself and the gang met the Adventure South team at North Sands where they supplied us with wetsuits, helmets and buoyancy aids.”

Once appropriately dressed, equipped and briefed they were ready to begin the adventure.

“We waded out into the water, hauled ourselves onto the boat, and off we went on a fast rib ride out over the bar into the open sea, which was thrilling as it was very fast and bumpy. When we got a bit further round the coast to Gara Rock, we jumped off the boat and swam to the rocky shoreline.”

As promised, there were lots of jumps to try.

“We started off on a lowish jump, I think it was about 4 and a half meters. The instructor told us to stand on the edge of the rock and step off as if we were just walking off. We were told to fold our arms over our chests until we hit the water and then to give the ‘All OK’ sign, which was a hand over the head. It was quite nerve-racking at first but a real adrenaline rush. Some of my colleagues went higher and higher, up to about 10 metres. I stayed on the lower jump!”

After ample opportunities for jumping, climbing and “wild water swimming through the crevices in the rocks and around the shoreline”, it was time to head back.

“Back on the boat the rib ride seemed even faster and it was a super way to see Salcombe and the shore line from a different perspective.”

So how was the day overall? Adrenaline-fueled fun or a little too much excitement for one day?

“I must say I thoroughly enjoyed the whole experience and would definitely do it again – I might even be a little braver next time and go a bit higher. The Adventure South team were very friendly, patient and helpful. However, I must admit I did need an early night after this exciting experience!”

With miles of spectacular shoreline, calm estuary waters and an array of schools and hire facilities, South Devon is a dream destination for those who love to be by the water.

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Find out more about other popular watersports in the region here:

Wherever you stay in Salcombe, Dartmouth or elsewhere in the South Hams you’ll be within easy reach of our breathtaking coastline and picturesque rivers and estuaries.