Mattiscombe Beach | South Devon Beach Bible

By Ross Purdy on May 8, 2016

Mattiscombe Beach near Start Point in South Devon

Mattiscombe beach is a south-facing sandy beach. The beach is relatively challenging to access yet serene and unspoilt, so well worth the walk.

Location and access

By car:

Sat nav users, use the postcode TQ7 2ET (Start Point).

From Salcombe:

Mattiscombe beach is about 15 miles from Salcombe.

  1. Leave Salcombe on Salcombe Road, passing through Malborough and following signs to Kingsbridge.
  2. When you arrive in Kingsbridge, take the second exit at the roundabout onto Ilbert Road.
  3. At the next roundabout, take the second exit (A379).
  4. Stay on the A379 (Embankment Road) until you come to village of Frogmore.
  5. Shortly after you pass @The Bakery on the right, turn right over the little bridge (signposted for South Pool).
  6. Take the first left.
  7. Turn right at the end of the road.
  8. Take the next left.
  9. When the road bends to the left, turn right, signposted for Kellaton, Hallsands and Start Point.
  10. Keep left when the road forks.
  11. Continue until you reach the Start Point Car Park.
  12. The beach is a half-mile downhill walk away.

From Dartmouth

Dartmouth is 14 miles from Mattiscombe beach.

  1. Leaving Dartmouth up College Way, turn left at the first roundabout you come to, signposted for Stoke Fleming and Strete.
  2. Follow this road through the villages of Stoke Fleming and Strete. You will wind downhill to Strete Gate, where Slapton Sands will appear on your right.
  3. About a third of the way along the beach, a right turn will appear, signposted for Slapton. Take this turn onto Sands Road.
  4. Pass through Slapton village on Sands Road. At the other side of the village, you’ll come to a crossroads. Turn left onto Brook Road.
  5. Stay on this road until you come to the end. Turn left at the T-junction.
  6. Go straight on at the roundabout in Stokenham.
  7. At the next junction, the road will bend sharply to the right. Follow the road right.
  8. You’ll come to a similar junction and the road will bend sharply right. This time turn left (in terms of direction, go straight).
  9. Keep left when the road forks.
  10. Continue until you reach the Start Point Car Park.
  11. The beach is a half-a-mile downhill walk away..

By bus:

The nearest regular bus stop is at Torcross, which is on the No. 93 Plymouth-Kingsbridge-Dartmouth bus route.

The volunteer-run Coleridge bus service stops at some nearby villages, such as Kellaton and East Prawle.

On foot:

The South West Coast Path runs alongside this beach. Walking from Hallsands beach around Start Point, past Mattiscombe beach and then west (to Lannacombe beach, Prawle Point or even Gara Rock for the truly hardy) will give you access to the South Devon coast at its most rugged and spectacular.


The private car park at Start Point is manned for part of the year, usually from the end of March to September. At the time of writing, it costs £3.50 to park all day, less for shorter periods.


  • Toilets at Start Point Car Park (seasonal)


  • dogYes, dogs are welcome throughout the year.


  • No supervised activities.
  • Sunbathing, swimming, and fishing are all popular.

Similar beaches

Nearby Lannacombe beach offers a similar sense of serenity and remoteness to Mattiscombe, but the former is easier to access as the car park is immediately adjacent to the beach itself. For views of Burgh Island, we also recommend Ayrmer Cove and Westcombe Beach. On the other side of the River Dart close to Kingswear, Man Sands is another highly recommended quiet, craggy beach.

Our guide to Mattiscombe Beach

A short but steep walk down from the Start Point Car Park will take you to Mattiscombe Beach, a little known sandy cove in South Devon that faces slightly south-west. The beach’s aspect means that the weather conditions there can be quite different than those you would find at the same time at Start Bay. This is why shore anglers head there when it’s too windy to fish comfortably from Beesands or Slapton or other nearby spots.

The beach itself is a classic sandy cove, perfect for sunbathing, sandcastles, paddling and suchlike, but there are no facilities and the final climb down to it could be tough for young families to manage.

If you’re planning to walk along this stretch of the South West Coast Path, consider stopping at Mattiscombe for a break or a picnic. It has a wonderfully secluded feel, perfect for a quick rest before pushing onto the next stretch.

The Coast Path, leading to Mattiscombe Beach

Fishing from Mattiscombe Beach is likely to produce the same species you’d find in the more accessible beaches of Start Bay. The rocky seabed by the edges of the beach makes it excellent for good-sized wrasse, and the terrain is smoother down the middle, so fishing there will hopefully mean you make it back with most of your tackle (hopefully a few fish too!)


Spend your days exploring remote and unspoilt coves on your next UK break, by choosing a self-catering holiday in South Devon.

Looking for another kind of beach? Take a look at our comprehensive guide to the best South Devon beaches here.