Thurlestone to Bantham Circular | South Devon Walks

October 6th, 2017 | By Ross Purdy

Welcome to your visual guide to a circular walk between Thurlestone (South Milton Sands) and Bantham.

Thurlestone Rock, viewed from Thurlestone (North)


  • Distance: 4 miles (depending on exact route)
  • Views: Coast and countryside, Burgh Island and Thurlestone Rock
  • Terrain: Pavement, tracks, road, fields, some steep hills
  • Circular? Mostly
  • Starting point: South Milton Sands National Trust car park, although there are several possible alternative starting points in the area.

Thurlestone to Bantham

OS © Crown copyright 2018 CS-49390-P7H3Y2

To view the OS map for our Thurlestone to Bantham walk, please click here.


1. Head to South Milton Sands beach and turn right, walking along the sand.

South Milton Sands, looking north towards Thurlestone Sands.


2. At the end of the beach, join the South West Coast Path.

The South West Coast Path, leading up from Thurlestone Sands


3. You’ll pass a few smaller beaches on your left, and a golf course on your right. Would you like to find out more about golfing in South Devon? Find out from the experts here.

Leas Foot Sand at Thurlestone.


4. As the signs say, do keep an eye out for stray golf balls!

A sign requesting walkers look out for stray balls emanating from Thurlestone Golf Course.


5. Don’t forget to look back at the wonderful views of Thurlestone Rock.

Thurlestone Rock, an arch-shaped formation out to sea opposite South Milton Sands.


6. There are some perfectly placed benches along the path for enjoying views of Burgh Island. The view from this bench looks unbeatable…

A bench on the coast path with views of Burgh Island


7… except by the next bench on the path!

Burgh Island, seen from a bench above Bantham Beach.


8. Go through the gate at the end of the path.

A gate leading into a field by Bantham Beach.


9. There’s often livestock grazing here, so the farmer requests you keep to the edge of the field.

A field overlooking Bantham Beach.


10. When you reach the beach, turn right and walk through the car park.

Bantham Beach car park.


11. Carry on until you reach The Sloop Inn. Turn right here (either into the pub if it’s time for a rest or just past it if you plan to continue the walk!)

A crossroad by the Sloop Inn


12. The road leads directly to a footpath.

A footpath past the Sloop Inn, which leads towards Thurlestone village.


13. Go through the gate and turn left.

A gate in fields between Thurlestone and Bantham


14. Turn right when you reach the corner of the field. There will be a gate in front of you. Go through it.

A muddy trail towards Thurlestone.


15. Go over the stile straight ahead.

A stile leading to a steep climb in the direction of Thurlestone.


16. Go through the next gate and climb the steep hill.

A steep hill leading towards Thurlestone


17. At the waymarker at the top, you can go right to re-join the coast path or carry on towards Thurlestone village.

A waymarker pointing towards Thurlestone


18. Go through the gate. Keeping to the edge of the field, head towards the church.

A footpath leading towards the church in Thurlestone


19. Go through the gate by the church and walk down the road with the church on your left.

The church in Thurlestone


20. Walk around the church and turn right, passing the war memorial on your right.

A path around the war memorial in Thurlestone


21. Now, simply follow the road.

The main road into Thurlestone.


22. When you come to golf club, you have a few options. One is to walk through the golf club car park by the road.

The entrance to Thurlestone Golf Club


23. Turn right and walk down the footpath.

The footpath leading to the South West Coast Path at Thurlestone


24. Turn left to rejoin the coast path heading back towards South Milton Sands. When you pass the small car park you’ll see a gate leading to a footpath, a little inland. Go through it.

A footpath through South Milton Ley


25. Cross the bridge and follow the trail back to the South Milton Sands National Trust car park.

The footbridge over South Milton Ley.


We hope you enjoyed this guide to one of our favourite coastal walks. You might also enjoy this spectacular walk around East Soar or this route between East Portlemouth and Gara Rock.

There are more fantastic walking trails in this guide to South Devon walks.

How about a walking holiday in the South Devon Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty? There are trails suitable for everyone and you’ll be amazed by the variety of scenery in our region, from dramatic cliffs and rocky headlands to picture-postcard rolling hills and chocolate box villages.

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