A secret UK beach that can only be accessed twice a day has been likened to a ‘Croatian paradise’ – but you’ll have to be quite nimble to get there.
Sarah Elmes, a journalist, recently documented her journey to the idyllic location that until recently was known only by locals.
As Devon Live reports, everyone can now access Maceley Cove, near East Prawle in Devon, by following Sarah’s handy steps – although you’ll have to be quite nimble to get there.
All you’ve got to do is hop on the M5 down to the south west, then the A38 until you hit south Devon, then another few hours and you’re nearly there.
Sarah said: “Let me take you on a magical journey to one of Devon’s most stunning private beaches, Maceley Cove.
“Maceley is at the south east corner of Prawle Point, the southernmost point in Devon. The steep path down to the cove makes up part of a circular route, but is only really suitable for agile walkers.
“Agile cars are also necessary for the National Trust car park. Only park here if 1) you don’t mind your vehicle getting covered in dust and 2) you don’t mind your bumper scraping along the giant pothole at the exit. Don’t say I didn’t warn you.
“It was mid-afternoon by the time we set off, and the conditions couldn’t have been more perfect. The sun was baking hot in the sky, but low enough to not scorch your skin.
“The path first takes you up to the lookout and visitor centre, then to your left, past Prawle Island, Signalhouse Point, and finally Maceley Cove, which was at about the halfway point on the circular route, though the walk back was slightly longer.
“I knew I was going to be stunned when I first set eyes on the cove, but I’m not exaggerating when I say it took my breath away, even with the tide in and only a small portion of the white sand beach visible.
“But we weren’t there yet: to get down to the cove, walkers have to navigate a steep, single-file and gravelly ‘path’, ending with a set of large rocks, jutting out at right angles, some unsteady beneath your feet.
“After stopping for some obligatory photographs, we traversed our way down and by the time we’d reached the beach, were drenched in sweat and ready to strip off our clothes and jump into the azure water.
“‘It’s like a beach in Croatia,’ my sister commented, as we paddled in and took our first strokes, the tip of the sun creeping behind the clifftop to our right.
“Apart from the plush yacht, with a couple and their young boys in the water swimming next to it, the cove was otherwise deserted.
“But when we were about level with the family, we spotted another man and woman arrive at the beach, they too donning their swimwear and opting for a cooling dip.
“My sister and I were grinning from ear to ear, and I couldn’t help but keep nose-diving under the surface to feel the silky water flow past my body, cold against my hot limbs.”
Sarah said that the incoming tide meant they had to cut their visit short, as the water completely envelops the hidden beach.
She continued: “At high tide, the beach completely disappears. With this in mind, we swam back to the shore and gulped down some refreshments before negotiating the sharp incline back to the top.
“If you’re looking for an adventure in the coming weeks, I might have just given away one of Devon’s best-kept secrets, and to the squirming locals reading this, I can only apologise, but ‘secret’ beaches are meant to be discovered – especially when there’s a gem of a pub at the end of them.”