Wembury is the name of a stretch of coast situated on the south coast of Devon, very close to Plymouth Sound. The village of Wembury, Wembury Beach, Wembury Point, the offshore island known as the Great Mewstone and the surrounding coastline form a Marine Conservation Area (MCA) and a Special Area of Conservation (SAC). It is an area well known for its magnificent views, some of the best rock pools in the country, its abundance of marine life, the vast array of bird-life and the reptiles and insects of the newly created coastal grasslands. The Great Mewstone is a small rocky island stands about half a mile out from Wembury Point and is the largest offshore island for many miles along the South Devon coast. It is now a nature reserve with no public access.
Its recent history is mixed. In 1928 Wembury Point was sold and developed into two holiday camps. However in 1935 Wembury Cliffs were given to the National Trust by da Sebag-Montefiore to protect them from development and in 1939 the Trust acquired Wembury Mill on Wembury Beach. In 1940, during the Second World War, the Ministry of Defence requisitioned Wembury Point and built a radar station, observation posts and anti-aircraft guns. The MOD held onto Wembury Point after the war and in 1956 established HMS Cambridge Gunnery School there. There was no access to the public for many years but in 2001 the Gunnery School was decommissioned and in 2005 the MOD decided to sell the site. The National Trust launched a public appeal to raise £350,000 to purchase Wembury Point and to save the site from commercial development. Over £1.4 million was raised and the National Trust bought both Wembury Point and the Great Mewstone turning the latter into a nature reserve and returning the former to its natural environment of coastal grassland.
There are many walks along this stretch of coast with the National Trust having six defined trails stretching from Heybrook Bay to the Yealm estuary and beyond to Noss Mayo and Gara Point. The south-west coastal path also runs through the area. Details of the National Trust walks can be found on their site at http://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/wembury/lists/walks-around-wembury