Route Highlight

Slapton Sands

It’s easy to see this wonderful geographical oddity by driving between Slapton and Torcross. The A379 runs right along the three-mile narrow pebble bar separating the sea and a long freshwater lake called ‘The Ley’.

During World War Two, residents were moved out so American troops could practise beach landings. In 1944 one of the exercises was attacked by German torpedo boats. Nearly 800 GIs died, more than in the D-Day action they were training for. A Sherman Tank standing on the seafront commemorates the tragedy.

During your trip

Other Route Highlights

Salcombe

Probably the biggest tourist lure in the South Hams, Salcombe is not really a beach resort at all. The narrow steep streets of this small fishing village first turned into a boating haven, then have become an overall up-market seaside holiday centre.

Burgh Island

This 26-acre lump of grassy rock houses an old whitewashed smugglers pub and a natural seawater bathing pool – but what makes it famous is the landmark art deco hotel. In its 1930s heyday aristocracy and wealthy celebrities danced the Charleston to big bands playing on floating pontoons.

Plymouth

The biggest city on the SW660 sits in a world-class location between Dartmoor and the islands and inlets of Plymouth Sound, with the lush twists of the Tamar Valley alongside. Many are initially disappointed by a city hastily rebuilt after wartime bombs and it attracts fewer tourists than some villages.

Around Plymouth

Outside the city various leafy inlets of the Sound and River Tamar are worth exploring for the views and for a huge collection of stately homes and gardens. They include Mount Edgcumbe, Saltram House, Antony House, Buckland Abbey and Cotehele.

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