The beach at Bantham, at the mouth of the River Avon, is one of those flat sandy beaches that seems to stretch for miles. Together with Bigbury (which lies on the other side of the river) they are the best place for surfing in South Hams. While the waves don’t reach the scale of the North Cornwall coast, there is plenty to enjoy especially when the wind is from the south or south west.
Of course, you need to make sure you are not there at high tide when there is practically no beach at all, so check the tides or the surfer’s website at Magic Seaweed. As with all big flat beaches, the sea can come in quickly and catch you out – if you are unsure of the conditions on site, there are usually Life Guards on duty in the summer, and often groups from Bantham Surf Academy who will advise you.
If you’re not into surfing (or you’re just watching), there’s still plenty to do at Bantham, not least a good bracing walk up round the headland and along the cliffs to the south – try walking to the cafe at South Milton Sands (about 2.5 miles away). There’s a good coffee van in the carpark at Bantham too, plus the cozy Sloop Inn, in Bantham village. Just don’t be tempted to try to reach picturesque Burgh Island Hotel across the river – you won’t make it without being carried out to sea!