Slapton Ley

South Devon

Slapton Ley's broad sweep of water is ringed by a nature reserve and fringed by reed beds and woods. A 1.75-mile trail skirts the ley, crossing the reed beds via a series of boardwalks. While walking, look out for yellow iris, tufted ducks, great crested grebes and – if you're lucky – otters.

To explore, park at the Memorial Car Park halfway along Slapton Sands and walk across the road (signed Slapton village). The reserve entrance is on the left, immediately after the bridge. Soon the path heads up to Slapton itself, a quintessential Devon village where houses huddle around maze-like lanes. It has a time-warp village shop, robust church and 14th-century ruined tower. From the village, a path beside the road takes you back to the coast and your car.

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby South Devon attractions

1. Slapton Sands

0.13 MILES

The name is misleading: Slapton Sands is actually a spectacular pebble ridge that's 3 miles long. You can find solitude here on even the busiest days. It…

2. Sherman Tank

1.32 MILES

Wave-dashed as they are today, Slapton Sands have an even more dramatic past. During WWII, thousands of American servicemen trained here for D-Day using…

3. South Hallsands

3.74 MILES

The shells of a handful of houses clinging to the cliff at South Hallsands are the remains of a thriving fishing village. In 1917 a severe storm literally…

4. Start Point Lighthouse


Sitting on one of England's most exposed peninsulas, the 815,000 candela beam of this bright-white lighthouse can be seen for 25 nautical miles. Tours (on…

5. Dartmouth Castle

5.19 MILES

Discover maze-like passages, atmospheric guardrooms and great views from the battlements of this picturesque castle. The best way to arrive is via the…

6. Bayard's Cove

5.21 MILES

It's worth tracking down Dartmouth's quaintly cobbled Bayard's Cove, the quay from which the Pilgrim Fathers set sail to America, having put into…

7. Butterwalk

5.36 MILES

Dartmouth's Butterwalk is a row of ancient timber-framed buildings that lean at an improbable angle. Despite looking as though they could collapse at any…

8. Dartmouth Museum

5.37 MILES

An eclectic collection of costumes, swords, ships in bottles and vintage toys, plus evocative WWII exhibits explaining how the area was a mustering point…