South Devon's coastline is truly beautiful. With family-friendly and dog -friendly beaches, some which have cafes and play areas situated nearby. There are an abundance of large expanses of soft golden sands, secluded coves surrounded by dramatic rugged red cliffs which are the perfect places for a rock pool adventures.
Many of our beaches have awards for water and beach quality, and a great swathe of the coastline is under the protection of an AONB (Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty) or the National Trust. Children love nothing better than a paddle in the sea, so a clean beach with plenty of paddling opportunities is going to be right up there at the top of your holiday wish list.
If you want to get out and explore the coastline take a walk along The South West Coast Path, which will guide you along the stunning panoramic sweep of coast, and also allow access to some hidden coves and beaches.
Each beach has its own distinct character, from the pebbly and barren to the sandy and playful. Whether you want a day walking away from the crowds or a fun filled day splashing about in the water, there’s a beach to suit your tastes.
Bantham – TQ7 3AJ
Dogs are not allowed on the beach between 1st May until 30th September, but they are allowed on the estuary all year round which you can get to at low tide. Riding the sea tractor to Burgh Island is always great fun.
Bigbury-on-sea – TQ7 4AS
Located in an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, Bigbury on Sea beach is ideal for families. Dusted with sand and lapped by shallow waters, the beach offers safe fun for groups particularly if you’ve got children in tow. In addition, Bigbury on Sea beach is dotted with rock pools, so there’s plenty of entertainment for budding marine biologists.
If you want to try something different from the usual bodyboarding or surfing then windsurfing and kite-surfing are popular here, with hire facilities located right on the beach. To give you some peace of mind, there are lifeguards present at Bigbury on Sea beach during May to September and the beach also has a first-aid room.
Pay for Parking.
Dogs are not allowed between 1st May and 30th September on the main part of the beach.
Beesands – TQ7 2EN
A mile long beach backed by fields and a freshwater lake. Fishing boats still offer up the catch of the day on the village green. Beesands is a Blue Flag Beach. Great food can be found at The Cricket Inn (seafood pancakes are world famous) or there is the rustic Britannia@the Beach. Dogs allowed. Public toilets and ample parking.
Blackpool Sands - TQ6 ORG
If you fancy all the atmosphere and excitement of a holiday abroad but without actually breaking out the passports, then get yourself down to Blackpool Sands. It’s a Blue Flag Award-winning beach backed by evergreens and scented pines. Blackpool Sands is privately managed and has kept its standards high, making it one of the most popular family beaches in the region. Lots of water sports available. Lifeguards on duty during the summer monthsIt has showers, toilets, disabled facilities and a café.
Blackpool Sands also has sand pits so that the kids can enjoy safe and supervised play. No dogs allowed.
Pay for parking.
East Portlemouth – TQ8 8PU
Set in an area of outstanding natural beauty and made up of a number of small beaches. All beaches have Safe Bathing status. Lots of rock pools. On site parking.
Hallsands Beach – TQ7 2EY
This is the village which collapsed into the sea, so a very interesting history to research. Very popular for diving. Dogs allowed. Limited parking.
Hope Cove – TQ7 3HJ
Lannacombe Beach – TQ7 2NB
Leonards Cove – TQ6 0PH
No dogs at any time
Mattiscombe Sands – TQ7 2EU
The other side to Start point, long steepish path down.
Mill Bay – TQ8 8PU
National Trust parking (payable) at the end of long & narrow lane. Gets very busy in high season. Or catch the ferry over from Salcombe & walk along. Lovely sandy beach
Slapton Sands and Torcross – TQ7 2TQ
Lots of World War 2 history to find out about. The beach is patrolled by lifeguards during the summer months. Beach side café, Start Bay Inn (fantastic fish and chips). Good beach access and toilets. Pay at meter to park.
South Milton Sands and Thurlestone – TQ7 3NY
Stunning scenery and an area designated as an area of Special Scientific Interest. Lots of wildlife. The beach has won the Marine Conservation Society award. Seals and dolphins can be spotted. Popular with surfers. Lifeguards on duty in the summer. Lots of facilities.
Pay for Parking. Dog friendly.
Access to dog friendly Broad Sand and Yarmouth Sand is via the Coast Path. Parking at Thurlestone.
This is by no means an exhaustive list of all the beaches in the local area. Lots more information is available via the Tourist Information, online or in our HouseBook at the Cottage.