Ruins of Hallsands – Hallsands, England - Atlas Obscura
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Hallsands, England

Ruins of Hallsands

The abandoned fishing village was swept right into the sea. 

In the early 20th century, a succession of storms literally washed this small English fishing village away. All that remains now are ruins of fishermen’s houses. The empty homes conjure up an image of a bygone era: You can just imagine cozy roaring fires in the house’s exposed fireplaces, which are visible if you look carefully down to the village.

The deserted village of Hallsands is on the Devon coast, facing the great expanse of Start Bay. In the late 1800s, the local government decided to dredge tonnes of shingle from the bay to use in the expansion of Plymouth’s Naval Harbor.

Of course, what they didn’t know was that by removing shingle from the bay, the shingle beach that had protected the village from storms and high tides for hundreds of years would slip into the bay, taking the place of the extracted gravel. A large storm in 1917 proved catastrophic for the village, and what ruined homes remained have been abandoned ever since.  

You used to be able to walk among the ruins, but it has become more dangerous over time, and the path to access Hallsands has itself been washed away. A viewing platform has been built with information panels telling the story of how Hallsands was destroyed. From the platform you can see the last remaining house in the village, now boarded up and deserted, and in the distance, ruined cottages. 

Know Before You Go

The map coordinates take you to North Hallsands and the car park. There's a short costal path to the viewing point of the abandoned village. There is no access to village.