Our guide to holidays in Thurlestone
To be honest, it would be easy to drive past this tiny hamlet on the Devon coast without even realising, but if you like your holidays away from the crowds and off the beaten track, it’s the perfect destination. Home to scenery that’s all the more beautiful for being unspoilt, Thurlestone sits right in the heart of a designated Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.
And then there are the local beaches…still undiscovered enough to feel far from the crowds even on the sunniest of days, these stretches of sand have a way of making you feel as though they were made just for you to wander them. Whether you sit for a minute and enjoy the view that Turner immortalised, or you go the extra mile and kayak right through it, it’s probably the most recognisable part of the area’s stunning landscape.
Beaches in Thurlestone
It’s true that you won’t find bustling amusements and lots of attractions around Thurlestone’s two sandy beaches, but that’s actually a big part of their appeal. With a Marine Conservation Society to its name in recognition of its gorgeous clear waters, you’ll find lifeguards on duty between May and September.
Just imagine stepping into your flip flops and onto the sand, with nothing but the sound of the waves lapping the beach, and the sight of rolling hills in the distance. There’s something special about Thurlestone, and as it’s dog friendly all year round it’s also a great spot to enjoy some time on the shore with your pet.
If you make your way a little further along the coast, you’ll find South Milton Beach. This one’s bigger than the main one at Thurlestone, and both of them have sheltered waters that make them great for families and those of you who just want to enjoy the surroundings without the crowds.
Things to do in Thurlestone
With the ever-elegant Burgh Island just across the water, you can hop aboard the sea tractor and trundle your way over the sand to the island that the likes of Dame Agatha Christie and Noel Coward used to visit when they needed time out. There’s a private hotel on most of the island, but you can still enjoy the views across the bay once you’re there and sample the menu at The Pilchard Inn, one of the area’s oldest pubs. Just be careful though, as the pub’s the subject of many a creepy ghost story…
South Milton Sands is a popular spot with the local surfing community, and the area’s surf school offers courses especially for beginners if you fancy having a go on the board. Or, if you’re happiest enjoying the area on foot, the sandy beaches along this stretch of coast make the perfect spots for a wander.
It’s tricky to imagine an area more suited for walkers than Thurlestone, and whichever way you head (coast or countryside), you’ll be greeted by view after view that’ll have you stopping to take another photo to share with those back home.
Places to eat in Thurlestone
When you’ve spent hours on the beach and it’s time to feed the family, head to The Beach House café. Set right on the beach, and with the look of a quirky wooden beach hut, this friendly café serves up laidback, hot food, snacks and drinks. The café specialises in seafood, and whether you decide to take away and eat on the beach or sit at one of the picnic benches outside and admire the incredible views, you can enjoy the taste of fresh, local produce.
In the summer, the menu overflows with fresh seafood carefully sourced from local suppliers, whilst winter visits are all about homemade soup to keep you warm while you blow the cobwebs out with a walk along the beach.
Next, there’s The Village Inn. Right in the heart of the village itself, this classic pub has a reputation for serving up big portions with friendly service. Serving up fresh, locally-sourced seafood and the usual pub favourites, this traditional village pub’s perfect for an evening meal after a busy day enjoying the beaches.