Start Bay stretches from the sheltered Dart Estuary in the north, to the remote promontory of Start Point in the south. Between these are the coastal villages of Hallsands, Beesands, Torcross, Strete, & Stoke Fleming. In the centre of the bay is the 2-mile long strip of shingle beach of Slapton Sands, which formed 3,000 years ago creating a freshwater lagoon (or Ley) behind. Slapton Ley is now a National Nature Reserve and home to a huge variety of native wildlife including Otters, songbirds and butterflies.
At the southern end of Slapton Sands is the small coastal community of Torcross, where a Sherman Tank stands as a poignant memorial to the many who died in Operation Tiger when in 1944, a full-scale rehearsal for D-Day was attacked by German E-boats leading to the lives of more than a thousand soldiers being lost.
At the southernmost tip of Start Bay is the impressive promontory of Start Point, one of the most exposed peninsulas on the south coast of England and almost the southernmost point in Devon. Jutting almost a mile out into the English Channel, the seas around Start Point are extremely hazardous, so much so that a lighthouse was built in 1836 to warn shipping off the particularly hazardous Skerries Bank. Local legend has it that the lighthouse is haunted by the ghost of local pirate Henry Muge, who was hanged at the lighthouse in 1581.