‘Unusual’ British beach branded a ‘bucket list’ destination for its unique past

Tunnels Beach is a lesser-known gem tucked away on the North Coast of Devon near Ilfracombe.

While it is by no means the “best” beach in the UK, its unique 19th-century tunnels are what makes it such a must-see spot.

Whether it be for a staycation or just a day trip, visitors have taken to social media to praise its beautiful views. And it costs just a few pounds to visit.

Sharing the historical destination on their Instagram page, travelling duo Charlotte and Cory (@cjexplores) revealed that the beach has links back to the Victorian era.

They wrote that the “one of a kind” spot was created in the 1820s and “has to be on your UK bucket list this summer”.

According to The Beach Guide, the shoreline was named Tunnels Beach because the network of tunnels, hand-carved in the early 19th century, is the only point of access on foot.

The winding routes lead down to a selection of sheltered sand and shingle beaches along with a Victorian tidal swimming pool.

Travel lovers Charlotte and Cory claimed that the beach was once divided into two during the 1900s, with the sea pool known as “the ladies’ pool” and the neighbouring beach reserved for gentlemen.

They wrote: “Nowadays, the sea pool is for everyone! And sometimes the gentlemen’s beach is closed as it also operates as a wedding venue – Amazing.”

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Now a popular spot thanks to its publicity on social media, visitors should know that the beach is only open between April and October.

Opening times are 10am to 5pm through April, 10am to 6pm from May to August, and 10am to 5pm in September and October.

And while it is loved for its historical roots, the site has been modernised with a cafe, toilets, first aid point, shop and children’s play area.

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The beach itself can only be accessed on foot but travelling nearby is relatively easy. According to visitors who have experienced Tunnels Beach, the easiest way to get there on public transport is to get a train to Barnstaple followed by a bus into Ilfracombe town.

Reviews of the hidden spot praised its “quiet and unobtrusive” atmosphere – even when weddings take place, as told by Pam who shared her thoughts on Beach Guide.

The beachgoer revealed that her trip to the historical spot was “an unusual day out” but she “will be back”.

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