There are many popular walking routes around Bigbury-on-Sea area. Making the most of the beautiful countryside and coast is often best done on foot. Many trails in this area are suitable for walking or running.
There are plenty of walks that can be undertaken from Bigbury and its vicinity. Here are some suggestions – you can find more details of each route by clicking on the link. The South Devon ANOB website is a good source including some town walking tours. For a full list of local walks with downloadable guides see our full walking page
Burgh Island and Bigbury Village (1 mile) : A short walk to become acquainted with Bigbury on Sea village and the famous Burgh Island. Walk one
Challaborough/Folly Hill (round walk 1.5 miles – all on road) : A walk to the next bay and back though the lovely Devon countryside.Walk two
Folly Farm/Avon Estuary (2 miles) : A steep walk up hill to enjoy fabulous views of the island and coast, followed by a walk along the beach.Walk three
Ringmore/Ayrmer Cove (3 miles round trip) : A walk along the coast to a secluded cove and up to a lovely Devon village for a nice pub lunch.Walk four
Bantham/Thurlstone (3.5 miles) : A gentle coastal stroll. Walk five
Aveton Gifford (5.75 miles) : A round trip walk in the Devon countryside. Walk six
Avon Valley (7.5 Miles) : A walk along the lovely estuary of the Avon and Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.Walk seven
The more ambitious may enjoy the Bigbury-on-Sea sections of the South West Coastal Path. To undertake these “there and back” is a tall order!! You could walk one way and arrange transport (taxi) for the other direction e.g. get a taxi to Salcombe and walk back along the coast to Bigbury. Alternatively you could just do part of the walk and return (see suggestions under each section)
Bigbury on Sea – Wembury (13.8 miles SW Coastal Path)
A shortened section of this walk could be to walk from Bigbury on Sea along the coastal path and then strike inland to Kingston and have a drink or lunch at the Dolphin Inn (about 7 miles one way). return on foot or by taxi
Bigbury on Sea – Salcombe (13 miles SW Coastal Path)
A shortened section of this walk could be to walk from Bigbury on Sea or from Bantham along the coastal path to Hope Cove and have a drink or lunch before returning
The South Devon Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty website has many others including some town walkabout tours for Dartmouth and Totnes.
Burgh Island and Village (1 mile return):
– Turn right out of the house, go to the end of Cleveland Drive. Then follow the footpath down until you reach Folly Hill. Turn right and almost immediately a gap on your left leads to the beach.
– Cross the beach to Burgh Island (you can use the tractor if the tide is in). Go up the slip road between the 14th century Pilchard Inn and the famous Burgh Island Hotel.
– When you reach the gate take the footpath that goes straight ahead and follow it as it winds round the edge of the island and up the hill to the Huer’s Hut (this was the lookout point for shoals of pilchards. He would issue a “Hue and Cry” for the fishermen who originally inhabited Bigbury)- you can also get a mobile signal here!
– After lingering and admiring the 360-degree views (see if you can spot your holiday home), take the path that leads straight down the hill and maybe stop for a quiet drink at the Pilchard Inn.
– Now go straight across the beach to the slipway beside the flats of the Burgh Island Causeway (built on the site of an original pilchard factory).
– Go straight across the car park and take the exit road that leads you up behind the flats. You will now be by the Bay Cafe. Take Marine Drive and stroll along past the houses and bungalows of Bigbury Village.
– As Marine Drive comes to an end turn right into Ringmore Drive past the village shop and Post Office. Take the first left into Warren Road and go up the hill. The first right will return you to Cleveland Drive.
Challaborough and Folly Hill (1.5 miles round – this route is mainly on roads and can therefore be useful in muddy conditions. The route is quite hilly and you have to be careful of traffic on areas such as Folly Hill):
– Turn left out of the house, go down Parker Road and turn right into Ringmore Drive. Walk past the Post Office – at the end of the road turn right and take the coastal path down into Challaborough Bay.
– At the bottom of the hill leading to Challaborough, you will find ‘Friar Tuck’s Fish and Chips’ and the start of an extensive caravan park. Take the small road immediately to your right.
– This road leads you up past the caravan park. Soon the road begins to rise rapidly and you will leave Challborough behind.
– Continue up the road between high hedges until you reach a T junction where you turn right. The road goes down and then up until you reach the junction with the main road to Bigbury-on-Sea – you will see the edge of Bigbury Golf Club over to your left.
– Continue straight ahead and the road will take you to the top of Folly Hill, by the entrance to Folly Farm and a spectacular view down to the sea and Burgh Island.
– Follow the road down the hill into Bigbury-on-Sea until you reach the Bay Cafe (perhaps in time for a welcome cup of coffee!). Then head on up Parker Road until you reach Cleveland Drive.
Folly Hill Farm and Avon Estuary (2 miles round trip – the route is quite hilly and is best done around low tide as part of the beach area can be cut off at high tide):
– Turn left out of the house and then right up Parker Road. At the top of the road go over the stile and straight up through the field.
– As you reach the top of the field you will see the remains of an old Army observation post. Go through the gate and bear right towards Folly Hill Farm. The views up here are amazing and you can even get a mobile signal!
– As you reach Folly Hill Farm cross the road and go straight ahead (between the two trees). You will come to another stile.
– Beyond the stile the path leads steeply downhill until you reach the riverside (Avon Estuary). Over to your left across the river you can see Bantham. There is a ferry crossing here in high season.
– To the right, there is a ramp which leads down to the beach. Walk along the beach with the river on your left and the cliffs on your right. The first part is rock-strewn and you need to pick your way carefully.
– Continue along the beach until you reach the first part of the beach at Bigbury. Go directly across the beach and go up the steps by the lifeguards’ lookout. Here at the Venus Cafe you can have an ice cream, a drink or a snack.
– Cross the carpark then head up Parker Road until you reach Cleveland Drive.
back to the top
Ringmore via Ayrmer Cove (3 miles return):
– Take Ringmore Drive (off Parker Road). Walk past the Post Office. At the end of the road turn right and take the coastal path down into Challaborough Bay.
– Walk through the bay at the back of the beach and take the signposted coastal path to Ayrmer Cove.
– After descending to Ayrmer Cove, cross the stream and take the inland path that goes up the left-hand side of the valley, which will take you to Ringmore village. Stop at the Journeys’ End pub for a drink or a meal.