Nestled in the enchanting South Devon, Slapton Sands is a jewel waiting to be discovered. This captivating stretch of coastline isn’t just any beach. No, mate, it’s a trove of natural beauty, history, and, most importantly, the perfect getaway for any van-life enthusiast.
Getting here is part of the fun. Once you’ve made your way to Devon, you can take the A379 from Dartmouth. The scenic route will lead you directly to Slapton Sands, giving you a taste of the stunning views you’re about to experience.
As you approach, you’ll notice that Slapton Sands isn’t sand at all. It’s a delightful pebble beach stretching for nearly three miles, backed by the striking Slapton Ley National Nature Reserve. Here, the juxtaposition of the serene freshwater lake and the roaring sea creates a spectacle that’s truly unique.
One landmark you can’t miss is the Sherman Tank. It’s a solemn reminder of the ill-fated Exercise Tiger in 1944, where American soldiers practiced for the D-Day landings. The tank was retrieved from the sea in 1984 and now stands as a monument to the soldiers who lost their lives.
If you fancy a stroll, there’s no shortage of walks in this area. The South West Coast Path is a favourite, with breathtaking sea views and a chance to spot local wildlife. For a more leisurely walk, the Slapton Ley trail offers a tranquil journey around the lake, enveloped by lush vegetation and a symphony of birdsong.
Slapton Sands is not just a feast for the eyes but also a haven for wildlife. The Ley is the largest natural freshwater lake in the south-west and home to a rich variety of birds, including the rare Cetti’s warbler. Look out for otters too, if you’re really lucky.
When you’re not exploring the area or chilling by your van with a brew, you might want to delve a bit deeper into local history. The nearby village of Slapton has been around since at least the Domesday Book and has its share of stories to tell.
And don’t forget to look up at night. With minimal light pollution, Slapton Sands is the perfect place for stargazing. As you settle in for the night, let the lullaby of the waves guide you to sleep.
There’s something about Slapton Sands that’s hard to put into words. It’s more than just a spot on the map; it’s a feeling, a moment, a memory waiting to be made. So, as you journey on your van-life adventure, make sure to leave a little piece of your heart here. Because once you visit Slapton Sands, it’s not a place you easily forget.