Start Bay, Torcross, South Devon

Start Bay, Torcross, South Devon

A large, sweeping bay in South Devon

Start Bay is one of the Westcountry's most beautiful bays. Lined with stunning beaches, pretty villages and great pubs, it's a popular South Devon visitor destination.


Location of Start Bay

Part of the South Devon Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, Start Bay runs from the Dart Estuary to the north down to Start Point and Start Point Lighthouse to the south.

We've positioned Start Bay on Google maps. Zoom in on the 'Satellite' setting to see its location.


Directions and parking for Start Bay

Follow the A379 from Dartmouth or Kingsbridge. The A379 runs along the back of Slapton Sands (Beach). Note that, in recent years, storms battered the road and a section was shifted inland.

There are many large car parking areas at Torcross and behind Slapton Sands (Beach).

We'd also recommend the car parking area above Start Point at Start Farm. It's a great place from which to explore the lower section of Start Bay.

If you're on holiday in Dartmouth and want to explore the upper section of Start Bay, follow the South West Coast Path past Dartmouth Castle (English Heritage) and head towards Blackpool Sands (Beach). You can take the Dartmouth Castle Ferry from the centre of Dartmouth to Dartmouth Castle (English Heritage) and then walk from there.


Towns by Start Bay

Dartmouth is to the north and lines the Dart Estuary.

Kingsbrigde and Salcombe are to the west and are located on the Salcombe Kingsbridge Estuary.

Along with St Ives, both Dartmouth and Salcombe are essential visiting when on holiday in the Westcountry. Start Bay is between them.


Villages/hamlets lining Start Bay

Running north to south, major villages/hamlets are:

Stoke Fleming.


Torcross. Torcross is the major destination within the bay.




Beaches lining Start Bay

Running north to south, major beaches lining Start Bay are:

Blackpool Sands (Beach).

Strete Gate Beach (Slapton Sands).

Slapton Sands (Beach).

Bee Sands (Beach).

Hall Sands (Beach).


Pubs lining Start Bay

Start Bay is a really popular holiday destination. As such, it's packed with pubs and places to eat and drink. Running north to south, pubs lining Start Bay are:

The Green Dragon in Stoke Fleming.

The Kings Arms in Strete.

The Queens Arms in Slapton.

The Tower Inn in Slapton.

Start Bay Inn in Torcross.

The Church House Inn in Stokenham.

The Tradesman's Arms in Stokenham.

The Cricket Inn in Beesands.

On the south coast also try the Pigs Nose Inn down by Prawle Point in East Prawle.

On the Salcombe Kingsbridge Estuary also try Millbrook Inn in South Pool.


Other food and drink lining Start Bay

Running north to south, other places to eat and drink are:

Dartmouth Castle Tea Rooms at Dartmouth Castle (English Heritage).

Radius 7 Restaurant & Bar in Stoke Fleming.

Venus Cafe at Blackpool Sands (Beach).

The Laughing Monk Restaurant in Strete.

Lime Coffee Comapny at Strete Gate Beach (Slapton Sands).

Torcross Boat House Beach Bar & Restaurant & Takeaway in Torcross.

Seabreeze Cafe in Torcross.

Britannia @ The Beach (or The Shack) at Beesands. In their words, 'a combination of a traditional fishmonger, village stores and a unique rustic café'.


Walking the South West Coast Path along Start Bay

We'd recommend walking the South West Coast Path along the coastline here as it's a treat.

Running north to south, you'll pass by Blackpool Sands (Beach), Strete Gate Beach (Slapton Sands), Slapton Sands (Beach), Slapton Ley National Nature Reserve, Bee Sands (Beach) and Hall Sands (Beach) on your way to Start Point and Start Point Lighthouse.

It's also fun to head west from Start Point, past a number of small coves, to Devon's most southerly village at East Prawle.

The Salcombe Kingsbridge Estuary is beyond East Prawle. Take the ferry from East Portlemouth across the water to Salcombe.


Other things to do along Start Bay

Slapton Ley National Nature Reserve.

Torcross Sherman Tank.

Start Point Lighthouse.


Other bays near Start Bay

Lannacombe Bay.

Bigbury Bay.

Tor Bay.

Babbacombe Bay.


Other things to do in the Start Bay area

Dartmouth Castle (English Heritage).

Woodlands Park.

The Salcombe Kingsbridge Estuary.

Dartmoor National Park is to the north west.

The English Riviera is to the north.

Plymouth, Cornwall and the Tamar Valley AONB are to the west