Smugglers Tunnel in Shaldon Leads to the Most Beautiful Hidden Beach

When visiting Teignmouth it is an absolute must to visit Smugglers Tunnel in Shaldon. Just across the estuary from The Observatory you’ll find the lovely village of Shaldon which can be easily accessed by the regular ferry boat from Teignmouth beach.

Smugglers Tunnel in Shaldon

Just on the fringes of Shaldon and a short walk from the ferry, the Smugglers Tunnel in Shaldon can be found which leads to the most beautiful hidden beach in the area.

Smugglers Tunnel in Shaldon is a spooky passageway cut through the cliffs which offers a totally unique way to access the hidden Ness Cove beach. The beach is totally hidden and can only be seen from the costal path and the sea. The sign post saying ‘Smugglers Tunnel’ is just above the beautiful Grade II Ness House and a short walk away from the Ness car park. Feeling like you’ve stepped back in time, the gated entrance to the tunnel certainly looks like something from bygone years though nowadays the tunnel itself is lit with automatic lighting which turns as you proceed further into its depths.

The tunnel is certainly a little eery, though well maintained, but does have a somewhat spooky feel as you walk down it. You can just imagine smugglers from many years ago using this secret passageway to smuggle their booty from ships hidden just beyond the cove.

Smugglers Tunnel in Shaldon

The further you walk into the winding depths of Smugglers Tunnel the more eery it feels until you hear the welcoming sound of the waves getting nearer. As you get near to the tunnels end, there are steep steps which can be quite difficult underfoot at times.  But as you reach the end and walk out into the welcoming fresh air you will see it was worth the trek down there. Walking out into the daylight you are faced with an elevated view of beautiful Ness Cove. Surrounded by the magnificent red cliff face, the beach offers total seclusion from the rest of the world!

Smugglers Tunnel in Shaldon

Somewhat Unknown History of Smugglers Tunnel in Shaldon

The true history of Smugglers Tunnel in Shaldon is somewhat unknown. Nobody is absolutely sure how long ago this tunnel was dug through the cliff face above Ness Cove beach. It is widely believed that it was originally created by smugglers as an access route from the hidden beach. Anchoring their ships out to sea, they would row in with their contraband and make their way through to tunnel in order to avoid the heavy fees imposed at official ports.

It is thought that in later years the tunnel may have become part of the coastal defence during the Second World War after Teignmouth suffered terribly as a result of German bombing raids

Whatever the true history of Smugglers Tunnel, there is no doubt that this hidden gem is absolutely worth the visit. Just mind your footing as you near the end of the tunnel and be prepared for the steep drop at the bottom, and consequently the very steep incline on the trek back up!

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