Slapton Ley, on the South West Coastal Path in Devon, is a unique habitat where a freshwater lake meets the sea
See what's planned
- Diverse animal and plant life to discover
- Largest natural freshwater lake in the south west
- National nature reserve
- Stunning coastal walks along the SWCP
Slapton Ley, on the South West Coastal Path in Devon, is a unique habitat where a freshwater lake meets the sea. It is the largest natural lake in south-west England, separated from Start Bay by a narrow shingle beach called Slapton Sands. The lake is surrounded by reed beds, marshes and woodland habitats. Abundant with wildlife, this natural environment makes a fascinating place to study and explore.
The undulating SWCP trail hugs the coast as it meanders through the Slapton Ley nature reserve, making it a great place to start a ramble, passing through small hamlets with just a pub or café to mark their presence, over linear sandy beaches, and atop craggy cliffs, all with spectacular sea views and rolling, expansive countryside vistas as you go. The sea is a wonderful companion as we walk, whether shimmering in the sunlight or when dark and moody as a storm brews out to sea.
FSC Slapton Ley offers the perfect spot to explore the area. The centre is quietly located in lovely gardens, with the beautiful stone-built village of Slapton just five minutes walk away, where you will find two pubs, a small shop and picturesque views.
- Full board en suite accommodation (hostel)
- Private coach transport to and from the trailheads each walk day
- Services of a dedicated tour leader
What's not included?
- Entrance fees (unless otherwise specified)
- Personal expenses (such as your bar bill)
- Discretionary tips
- Optional excursions
- Travel Insurance (you can add this when you book)
This is a grade 4 walking holiday which includes full day walks with minimal amounts of ascent and descent as we follow the undulating coastal path. The paths are generally good, well maintained and sign posted. Full days can be up to 4-5 hours of walking and there are hamlets and beaches on the way for refreshments and rest stops. One of the routes has some vertiginous drops close to the path, please refer to the itinerary for information. The highest point normally reached on this programme is not more than 150m. See the itinerary section for more information.
Our bottom line is happy travellers, and to that end we trust our tour leaders to use the itinerary below as a basis for providing you with a great holiday. We expect our leaders to make adjustments to the itinerary if the weather, group ability or other local conditions make that necessary. There are normally more options available to our leaders than those listed below and one or more of these options may well be chosen. All distances, heights & timings are approximate.
Due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, we may unfortunately need to withdraw a tour that is currently confirmed to operate and we therefore reserve the right to cancel your booking. We would always do our utmost to give you plenty of notice should we have to do this. Selected elements of this tour, including local attractions and restaurants, may change at late notice. Please ensure you have valid insurance cover before you travel.
FSC Slapton Ley
Independent travel to the FSC Slapton Ley Check in is from 2.00pm. Meet your tour leader at approximately 6:30pm in the centre for a briefing before dinner. Dinner each evening is taken on site.
Slapton to Start Point
Breakfast, Packed Lunch & Dinner
FSC Slapton Ley
This a lovely walk to start our holiday. From Slapton Ley we walk down to the nature reserve on the lagoon behind the beach. Keep a look out for the abundant wildlife. At Torcross Village have a look at the Sherman tank war memorial. Our path then heads up and along the coast until the lighthouse at Start Point comes into view.
Start Point to East Portlemouth
Breakfast, Packed Lunch & Dinner
FSC Slapton Ley
Continuing from Start Point we turn west and follow the cliffs around over Prawle Point. We pass secluded beaches to East Portlemouth overlooking the Kingsbridge Estuary to Salcombe on the west bank.
East Soar to Marlborough
Breakfast, Packed Lunch & Dinner
FSC Slapton Ley
We continue to explore the coast. Today we walk to the west of Salcombe. From Soar we walk down to the coast and round, passing Bolberry Down. From Bolt Tail look out for Burgh Island and its famous hotel to the north west. We finish in the village of Hope. Transport will meet us outside the pub.
Mothercombe to Noss Mayo
Breakfast, Packed Lunch & Dinner
FSC Slapton Ley
Continuing west we walk from Mothercombe, where we cross a small beach before heading up onto the cliffs, around to the pretty little sailing village of Noss Mayo, with the sea our companion all the way. Breath taking views await.
Departure from the centre after breakfast. Check out is by 9.30am. We hope that you have enjoyed your holiday and look forward to welcoming you on another soon.
Walks & Excursions
Local Transport Costs
All local transport costs in conjunction with the advertised activity programme are included in the holiday cost. There may be occasions where additional visits or excursions are added to enrich your experience, these will be paid for locally by you if you choose to participate. Local transport can be a mix of private hire coaches, taxis, local buses and ferries depending on the itinerary.
A range of local excursions and activities may be available to book at your destination through a local operator.
We have no involvement in such activities or excursions which are not run, supervised or controlled in any way by
us. Your contract will be with the local activity supplier and we accept no responsibility for their actions or omissions.
When budgeting for your holiday, you will need to consider drinks, any meals not included in the holiday price,
non-included entrance fees, optional excursions you may choose to participate in locally and any souvenirs or
additional services such as laundry. A general guideline for lunches and drinks is £10-£20 per person per day.
Although entirely at your own discretion, tipping is an important aspect of tourism and hospitality life and expectations are fairly high. In order to simplify tipping, we strongly recommend that you allow your leader to take care of making sure tips are given to hotel and restaurant staff and to local guides and drivers. This will be done using some funds provided by us together with, if you wish, a contribution from you, which he/she will collect during the holiday.
Tour Leaders & Local Guides
Your tour leader makes the world of difference to your holiday and ours are as passionate about discovering the world on foot as you are. They're resourceful, organised and widely travelled. They will handle all the local administration and other needs that might arise to ensure that you don't have to worry about planning your days and you can enjoy your holiday. Although leading group holidays, they won't forget that every group is made up of individuals. Each tour leader has their own individual style, talents and professional backgrounds and all are trained, qualified, experienced and dedicated to making your holiday as enjoyable, interesting and inspiring as possible.
Leader's Evening Briefing
Each evening, your tour leader will discuss with you the programme for the following day. This will be your opportunity to discuss the details and ensure the planned activities suit your walking ability. If you have concerns on clothing or equipment, this can be discussed then also. If you do not wish to join the organised group programme, please let the leader know.
Your Travel Details
Travelling by Train?The nearest railway station to FSC Slapton Ley is Totnes station, (South West Main Line) approximately 13 miles away from our property. Andsome Cabs can be contacted to transfer from Totnes station to Slapton Ley at 01803 840009 UK rail information: www.nationalrail.co.uk
Travelling by Bus? The 3 Bus Service from Plymouth to Slapton via Kingsbridge and from Dartmouth to Slapton is operated by Stagecoach. The bus stops on Slapton Line and at the village bus stop outside the Centre. UK coach information: www.nationalexpress.co.uk
Travelling by Car? If you are driving to Slapton Ley to join our holiday, there are car parking facilities on site. The AA and RAC both offer free and detailed on-line route planning facilities on their websites which may help you find our hotels. Details can be found at: www.theaa.co.uk and www.rac.co.uk
You may also wish to look at the following website for advice on the best way to travel to the hotel: www.rome2rio.com
During the holiday, private coach transport to and from the trailheads, is included.
Personal Details Check
To ensure that we can accurately administer your holiday arrangements, please confirm that the personal details we hold for you are up to date and that you have provided the information we need to secure your holiday travel and accommodation arrangements. Please check your passport details, date of birth and any other important details necessary for us to properly manage your holiday booking. You can view and update information already provided, and add details not yet asked for, by using the Manage My Booking facility on our website www.ramblersholidays.co.uk, or by calling our Sales and Reservations team on +44 (0)1707 331133. When you receive your booking confirmation please check the details as soon as possible.
Passports and Visas
Passport Information for United Kingdom
Any non UK or EU citizens may be subject to passport, identity card or visa requirements to enter the United Kingdom.
This holiday is provided on a full board basis starting with dinner on your arrival day and finishing with breakfast on your departure day. Breakfasts and dinners will be taken at the Centre and lunch will consist of a packed lunch provided by the Centre.
Packed lunches will be arranged by the leader each day. These generally consist of a sandwich, water, fruit and a piece of cake. As kettles are available in the communal areas, you may wish to bring a flask to make up a coffee/tea flask to accompany your picnic lunch.
Dinners consist of a two course (main and dessert) set menu with a choice of a meat dish and vegetarian option. Tea and coffee will be served with dinner. The centre does not have a bar, so you are welcome to bring alcoholic drinks to consume on site. There is a village shop next to the centre and two pubs a short walk away in Slapton village.
Footwear & Kit List
Lightweight waterproof walking boots with a good moulded sole (such as Vibram or similar) and a deep tread and which provide ankle support are strongly recommended and may be essential for some walks.
General Kit List
Outdoor activities are always safer and more enjoyable if you are prepared.
If you have not travelled with us before the following list might be of use:
- Waterproof jacket (Goretex or similar) and trousers
- Lightweight quick-drying trousers
- Walking T-shirt/shirts
- Walking socks
- Fleece or jumper
- Sun hat, sunglasses, lip salve and sun block
- Warm hat and gloves (if appropriate)
- Swimwear (if appropriate)
- Day sack (this should be able to carry all you would need for the day's activity)
- Day sack liner
- Water bottle - at least 1 litre capacity (more than 1 bottle may be required)
- Basic first aid kit
- Walking poles (should you find them useful)
- Sit mat
This list is not exhaustive and every walker is different and may have their own preference.
Travel Documents Checklist
Documents and Information to take with you:
- Holiday money
- Credit or debit cards (and separate details of who to call if lost)
- Car parking ticket and car park directions (if prebooked)
- Coach or rail travel tickets (if prebooked)
- Holiday booking confirmation document
- Travel insurance details (if applicable)
- Details of any medical condition or allergy your holiday leader should know about
Water To Go
An alternative to bottled water from single-use sealed water bottles is
filtered water from a refillable bottle containing its own water filter
such as a Water-to-go bottle available from
Just fill up from any water source and save the environment from disposable plastic bottles.
We have negotiated an exclusive 15% discount with our partners Water-to-Go
for you as a thank you for helping the environment. Please go to their website
at www.watertogo.eu and
enter the code RWH17 when ordering. In addition, Water-to-Go will match the
discount with a donation to our charity, Heart & Sole, which will allow us
to continue to make a difference in the countries you visit on our holidays.
Maps, Guidebooks & Other Information
Maps, Guidebooks & More
You will find plenty of useful and interesting information on the South West Coast Path official website at www.southwestcpastpath.org.uk to help you in planning your trip.
Guide books from Cicerone, Walking the South West Coast Path, and Trailblazer's "Dorset & South Devon Coast Path are both good reads
The Map Shop
Maps and guidebooks relating to the areas you will be walking in may be bought before your holiday from The Map Shop at www.themapshop.co.uk
Visit the following websites for an idea of the climate in your destination:
Staying Healthy On Holiday
Health requirements can change at any time. It is your own responsibility
to ensure that you inform yourself from a professionally qualified source on,
and comply with, such requirements at least 6 to 8 weeks before departure.
Advice on vaccinations is available from your GP.
Health Advice for United Kingdom
No compulsory immunisations are required for holidays in the UK although you should be up to date with the usual immunisations recommended for life in Britain. Tetanus immunisation is recommended.
Further Travel Advice
For further advice please visit:
You might wish to take a small bottle of antibacterial hand gel with you for times when you're unable to wash your hands.
Although not compulsory for British and EU citizens resident in the UK, we strongly recommend that you take out travel insurance to cover you in the event of eventualities such as unexpected cancellation, accident or illness before your holiday or the loss of personal possessions.
Visitors who are not British Citizens (or who are not EU citizens resident in the UK), must be adequately insured to join our holidays and will be unable to participate in our local walking and other activity programmes without being able to demonstrate that you have valid travel insurance.
The UK Foreign & Commonwealth Office provides up to date information
on security and local laws for travellers, together with current
passport and visa information, at www.gov.uk/travelaware.
Please take a few minutes to look at the current advice on your
Please be aware of what's going on around you, take sensible
precautions with your credit cards and passport and avoid displays
of wealth such as wearing expensive jewellery or watches.
Do not carry more cash on you than you will need for each day,
and we recommend that a money belt is used.
We're committed to ethical tourism in all our destinations.
Our holidays are designed for you to discover the essence
of the country you are visiting. Travelling in small groups
not only gives you an up close and personal experience of
your destination, but minimises your impact on the immediate
environment. We feel that the most important starting point
to protect the environment is to be out in it.
For more details visit our website.
The Ramblers Holidays Charitable Trust
Unlike many tour operators we have our own trust through which RWH Travel’s profits are channelled back into a variety of outdoor, walking-related or environmental conservation projects in the UK. The focus of the Trust’s financial support is Britain’s leading walking charity, The Ramblers, and their role in promoting the benefits and importance of walking to the British public. In addition the Trust welcomes applications for small grants from local organisations in the UK who need support for walking-orientated activities. This includes the establishment of footpaths and bridleways, funding for rebuilding bridges and renovating huts, as well as bursary funding for the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award for children who could not otherwise afford to do it. Please visit the ‘About Us’ section of our website and click on the Charitable Trust link for more details.
Heart and Sole
We appreciate that we are in a fortunate position to be able
to use our profits to help make a difference to people's lives.
Heart & Sole is a venture managed by our office staff, whose
aim is to reach the heart of the communities in the countries
we visit. Through Heart & Sole, we hope to make more of a long
term, direct impact to these communities, particularly in less
developed countries where even a small amount goes a long way.
See our website for more information and details of some of the
projects we support.
Staying In Touch
Please do provide us with a mobile phone contact number. We will only use this to contact you with important information relating to your holiday arrangements.
Do keep your mobile phones switched on and readily available when travelling to the airport or if delayed in transit so that we can contact you with any last minute information relating to your travel arrangements.
As a matter of courtesy, please switch off your mobile phone during walks, or endeavour to minimise its use. Please also try to minimise the use of mobile devices during group meals.
We welcome all comments about our holidays and value ideas for the future. If you have provided us with an email address we will invite you to complete an online questionnaire or to add feedback to our page on the independent review site 'Feefo'.
Please note that this Holiday Information sheet may be periodically updated and reissued.
In most cases the revisions will be minor and the overall nature
of the holiday will remain unchanged. Should we make a major change
to your holiday arrangements between you booking your holiday and
your date of travel we will notify you to specifically draw your
attention to any significant change.
You may wish to review the latest version of this Holiday Information Sheet online prior to travel.
Please note that any advertised offers, benefits or initiatives may be discontinued at any time.
Ramblers Walking Holidays
Our office is open and our Sales & Reservations team are available to speak to you from:
- 9am to 12pm Monday to Friday
Please quote your Booking Reference number and Tour Code whenever contacting us.
We wish you an enjoyable holiday!
Our holiday walking grades
Full and half day walks at a moderate pace over hilly terrain.
Most of these holidays have an element of sightseeing as well.
Half day walks will probably involve about 3 hours of walking, with full day walks having around 5 hours. Expect ascents and descents of up to 600m.
Discover more about our walking grades