A week of hot weather during June 2017 saw myself, and a load of climber mates, spend nearly every day in the water at Ansteys Cove, Redgate Beach and Long Quarry Point in Torquay, Devon. It was so hot that you had to spend a lot of time in the sea just to cool off. We were happy to oblige.
Ansteys Cove is well known as a great climbing area, but it also boasts some of the best snorkelling and scuba diving in Torquay. It is a secluded cove with tall cliffs that plunge into turquoise blue water. It is also protected from the prevailing south west winds, so is a proper little sun trap! There is one small problem though.
Technically the beach is closed due to unstable cliffs above the main beach area. The council hasn't got the cash to spend to secure the cliffs, so the beach has been closed since 1998. Many people ignore the signs and walk down the cliff path to the beach, or arrive by boat. It really is worth the effort because the beach is the hidden gem of Torquay.
The cliffs and rocks are popular with coasteering companies. They guide people through the maze of rocks, underwater passages and caves that make up the Ansteys Cove and Long Quarry Point area. The fact that coasteering companies use the place is testament to the safety of the water under many of the cliff jumps. It's deep and free of submerged rocks in the main jump spots.
It's also worth mentioning the quality of the snorkelling and diving in the area. Just off the main beach is labyrinth of underwater rocks to explore, with hundreds of fish, crabs, jellyfish and occasionally seals.
Usually the water is clear, unless there has been a recent swell in the channel when it can become a bit murky. Bright sunshine is the best time to see lots of activity under the water, as it penetrates to a good depth, and lights up the rocks beautifully.
As you will see in the video at the top of the page, Ansteys Cove is a stunning place. I hope it encourages you to seek it out if you are ever in the Torbay area. The video is just some highlights from our weeks worth of fun in the sea. Hope you enjoy it!