Driving is the quickest and easiest way to explore the wonders of Devon during a short staycation, particularly the south which is known for its Jurassic coastline.
The desirable British destination encompasses sandy beaches, fossil cliffs, medieval towns, moorland national parks, and of course, the picturesque English Riviera.
While each corner of the region makes for a worthy holiday setting, there is one area that’s not to be missed by visitors travelling by car.
Slapton is a village and civil parish in the South Hams district of Devon, England. Located near the A379 road between Kingsbridge and Dartmouth, the idyllic spot lies within the South Devon Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.
The coastal spot is home to Slapton Ley Nature Reserve and two beaches which are separated by one long, open road.
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Arguably the most standout feature of Slapton, the scenic road joins Dartmouth to Kingsbridge in between two contrasting landscapes.
On one side is Slapton Ley, the largest natural freshwater lake in the southwest, stretching 1.5 miles and covering more than 490 acres of natural woodland, marshes and reedbed habitat.
The site is inhabited by a diverse range of animals, insects and plant life which is perfect for families, wildlife enthusiasts and anyone with a passion for nature to explore. And for those who enjoy walking, there are a range of circular routes open to wander around.
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The other side is home to Slapton Sands – a beautiful pebble beach that stretches almost two miles from Strete Gate to the village of Torcross.
According to the Travel Guide Visit South Devon, the coastal spot is characterised by its “Mediterranean style climate”, which means that the sea is “safe, clean and calm”.
There are also plenty of water sports such as surfing, windsurfing and canoeing to try out, all of which are overseen by lifeguards during the summer months.
While both the nature reserve and the beach have plenty to offer, the drive that separates the two unique landscapes has been praised for its breathtaking views.
On Tripadvisor, one visitor claimed that the “scenic route” had “stunning” surroundings despite being a slow path.
Another said: “Slapton Sands Memorial Car Park is one of our favourite destinations overlooking the sea on one side and the Ley on the other. Ideal for fishing or walks to Torcross or through the woods.”
The sought-after section of the A379 is open all year round, though the open road was severely damaged and rendered impassable during Storm Emma back in March 2018.
Some parts of the road were completely washed away, though since undergoing extensive re-construction work to move the road 10m inland away from the sea, it has since been protected.
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