Wild Pear Naturist Beach is a delightful little cove on the North Devon coast, near the seaside holiday village of Combe Martin.
Wild Pear beach can only be reached on foot and the nearest car park is in Combe Martin. [The village can be reached via the A399 from Ilfracombe or the A39 / A399 from the direction of Minehead.] See here for full directions
Until late 2005 the access path was declared dangerous as a result of winter storm damage and the collapse of some steps which formed part of the route.
However, as a result of some hard work by National Trust volunteers, access is now much improved and this delightful naturist beach is open once again - although the path is still hard to find and involves a steep scramble down the cliff.
To get to the beach, walk up through the car park behind the Foc'sle Inn at the back of Combe Martin beach. At the top of the car park, follow the signs for the coast path and in the direction of Hangman Hills. The walk to the beach is 1/2 mile in lngth and quite strenuous - not recommended for anyone elderly or unfit. Also, the path is narrow and, in places, slippery. Good trainers or proper walking shoes are advisable. The first part of the walk, up to "Little Hangman" is probably the worst part - it's uphill all the way. At several points along, the path, you can see the beach below by peering over the fern undergrowth (Very Carefully!).
When you reach "Little Hangman", you will find a covered resting-place (very reminiscent of a bus shelter) Follow the coastal path and you will see the hill called "Great Hangman" ahead, just after you cross a stile, the path down to the beach is on your left with the path to "Great Hangman" straight on. Note that the path down to the beach is not so easy to see or find. Bear over to your left even more "towards the edge" and you will begin to make out a couple of very thin "slots" worn in the long grass - you would have to be very imaginative to call them paths. The undergrowth is very long with a lot of thistles and thorn bushes - so it is not advisable to be wearing shorts or anything that does not protect your legs.
The path down to the beach is narrow and winding - proceed with great care, as it becomes quite steep and slippery in places.
Once you have negotiated the obstacle course described above, you are free to enjoy what is a wonderfully quiet and peaceful little beach. The beach is in a rocky cove - although there is some sand - and quite well protected from the offshore wind. Fresh water streams run down the slate cliffs at the back of the beach. The beach is very popular with naturists, however there are no signs to indicate that the presence of naturists, so you do occasionally find people arriving on the beach unaware - they usually either take their clothes off or leave promptly ! The beach is overlooked from the coastal path above, but at a great distance - anyone wishing to spy on the beachgoers will need very high powered binoculars to see anything.
"Our overriding memory of the beach is how quiet it was. You can lay on the beach and hear nothing but the waves lapping on the shore."
There is a pleasure boat, "The Queen of Cornwall" which sails from Ilfracombe daily. As it passes the beach, it comes in close so that the passengers can "see the funny nudists on the beach". If you are in the sea at this time, expected to be gawped at. If you are at the back of the beach, you will be too far away for them to see anything.
None. Take everything you need with you.
The sea water is crystal clear and clean, although not particularly warm, being the North Atlantic. The streams of fresh water which run down the cliffs at the back of the beach are cool and said to be drinkable.