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Slapton & Torcross

Torcross is a petty village overlooking Start Bay between Dartmouth and Kingsbridge & has a good choice of restaurants, cafes & pubs offering excellent food and drink. Torcross is unusual in that it has water on both sides of it - the sea to the east & a large freshwater lake, Slapton Ley, to the West. Slapton Ley & nature reserve with it's field centre are in a very picturesque area which is well worth a visit.

From the top of the hills above the village there are wonderful views across the beach and Ley. Known as Slapton Sands, it stretches for a couple of miles along the coast & is actually not sand at all but a single beach from where a small number of fishing boats still launch. The Slapton & Torcross beaches are both very popular with beach fishermen.

Towards the end of World War II Torcross was one of the sites used to practice for the D-Day landings as the terrain was quite similar to the Normandy beaches & around 15,000 US troops passed through the area leading up to the invasion. The village & surrounding area was evacuated with 3000 residents leaving their homes when the US Army commandeered the area for the battle practice & an obelisk was erected in recognition of this sacrifice.

During one exercise using tanks & landing craft almost 750 troops lost their lives when things went tragically wrong. German torpedo boats intercepted the convoy & two ships were sunk. A Sherman tank that was lost at that time was recovered from the sea in 1985 & is now displayed in the village as a memorial to those servicemen who lost their lives on that fateful day.