Bigbury-on-Sea, South Devon

Bigbury-on-Sea, South Devon
  • Iconic South Devon village overlooking Burgh Island on the southern coast
  • Two of Devon's best family beaches with good facilities. Very busy in high season
  • Arguably the best located pub in South Devon and an internationally famous hotel. Access across beach or by sea tractor
  • Great spot for watersports
  • Excellent coastal and estuary walking
  • Main photo: The Pilchard Inn and Burgh Island Hotel on the north east side of Burgh Island with Bigbury-on-Sea Beach visible at low tide


Iconic South Devon coastline with a couple of the county's best beaches

Bigbury-on-Sea is a village on the South Devon coast. It's surrounded by beautiful beaches and looks out across sand and sea to the famous Burgh Island. The area is great for family beach holidays, watersports, walking and local food and drink. Bigbury-on-Sea is essential UK visiting.


Why holiday or weekend break in Bigbury-on-Sea?

To help you choose Bigbury-on-Sea, we've listed some of the local attractions below.


Bigbury Bay and parking for Bigbury-on-Sea

The setting is awesome. It's as good as anything along the UK coastline. Cliffs and beaches arc around glorious Burgh Island. At low tide, Bigbury-on-Sea Beach connects Bigbury-on-Sea and Burgh Island. Bantham Beach is to the east on the other side of the River Avon and Estuary. Challaborough Beach is to the west.

There's a large car park above the beach. There's a great Bigbury Bay and Burgh Island viewing point at the western end of this car park by the RNLI lookout.

In busy periods, there are big overspill parking areas at the edge of the village. These are visible on Google's satellite imagery. Public loos are situated by the beach car park.


Bigbury-on-Sea Beach

At low tide, Bigbury-on-Sea has a huge sand beach stretching from Burgh Island up to the mouth of the River Avon and Estuary. Bigbury-on-Sea Beach is one of South Devon's best family holiday beaches.

Bigbury-on-Sea Discovery Surf School, Bigbury Beach Shop and The Venus Cafe overlook the beach. Again, public loos are situated by the beach car park.

Across the mouth of the River Avon and Estuary is the equally impressive Bantham Beach.


Burgh Island

Burgh Island is an iconic South Devon landmark. The island's famous Art Deco hotel has hosted Winston Churchill, Edward VIII and Wallis Simpson, The Beatles and Noel Coward. The island was also the inspirational setting for Agatha Christie novels including 'And Then There Were None' which is one of the best selling books of all time (Wikipedia has it at 7th with approx. 100 million sales).

In addition to the hotel, there's a pub called The Pilchard Inn. Few pubs have a better location.

Walk across sand at low tide. Take a trip on the Burgh Island Sea Tractor at high tide.

If you're into walking and views, paths rise to the top of the island offering magnificent views of Bigbury Bay and the South Devon coast.


Bantham Beach across the River Avon and Estuary from Bigbury-on-Sea

Bantham is a village on the other side of the River Avon and Estuary from Bigbury-on-Sea. Bantham also has a huge low tide sand beach that's exceptionally popular with surfers. Bantham Beach looks out across the sea to Burgh Island, Bigbury-on-Sea and Bigbury-on-Sea Beach. Amazing place.

There's a large car park and public loos behind the dunes that rise above the beach. Parking charges apply. Gets very busy so be patient on the skinny road leading in. Bantham Gastrobus and Gastropizza are located at the back of the beach.


Bigbury-on-Sea? watersports

Try Bigbury-on-Sea Discovery Surf School at Bigbury-on-Sea.

Bantham Surfing Academy is at Bantham Beach.


Bigbury-on-Sea? food and drink

Enjoy food, drink and a glorious view at The Pilchard Inn.

For a special occasion, try Burgh Island Hotel.

Other pubs in the local area include Bantham The Sloop Inn at Bantham and Journey's End Inn at Ringmore.

There's also The Venus Cafe overlooking Bigbury-on-Sea Beach and the Oyster Shack by the River Avon is great for seafood. Bantham Gastrobus and Gastropizza are situated at the back of Bantham Beach.


Bigbury-on-Sea? South West Coast Path

We'd recommend walking the coast path east of Bantham Beach towards Thurlestone and the National Trust's South Milton Sands where you'll find the wonderful beachhouse selling delicious seafood. See the Bigbury-on-Sea South West Coast Path Walk listing for more information.


Other Bigbury-on-Sea walking

In addition to walking to the top of Burgh Island, we'd also recommend the Avon Estuary Walk.


The Salcombe Kingsbridge Estuary and the River Dart and Estuary

Bigbury-on-Sea is in a super part of the UK. Experience Salcombe in the Salcombe Kingsbridge Estuary and Dartmouth in the River Dart and Estuary. Along with Bigbury-on-Sea, these are essential UK visiting.



If time permits, we'd suggest you head for the high moor. See one of our sister sites 'Holiday in Dartmoor'.



The city looks out across the sea to the Devon and Cornwall coasts. Its history is remarkable. Plymouth National Marine Aquarium is a highlight.