10 Best Beaches in South Devon

10 Best Beaches in South Devon

Whether you are whisking yourself away for a luxury weekend break or a much-anticipated fortnight away, no trip to South Devon would be complete without a wander along the beach. 

Famous for its spectacular coastline, South Devon’s beaches range from giant sandy strips that stretch into the distance to picturesque coves overhung by lush vegetation. Hard though it may be to choose, we’ve put together a list of some of the best beaches that South Devon has to offer for you to tread footsteps in the sand and bask in the area’s unrivalled natural beauty. 

Bantham Beach

Bantham Beach’s beauty is no secret and it has long been the recipient of national awards, even ranked by Lonely Planet as one of the top 10 beaches in Europe. A veritable haven at the mouth of the Avon River, its sweeping golden sands, shallow waters, surfable waves and protective dunes make it a favourite amongst visitors of all ages. 

Beer Beach

Flanked by imposing limestone cliffs, Beer Beach has to be one of them most geologically striking of South Devon’s beaches. Made up of sand and shingle that is lapped by turquoise waters, the beach is a gorgeous place to just sit and watch the world go by. Once a smugglers’ haunt, these days this UNESCO World Heritage Jurassic Coast site is frequented by the boats of local fisherman who go out each morning for a fresh haul.

Bigbury on Sea Beach

As appealing to adrenaline junkies looking to ride the waves as it is to literary gurus retracing famous steps, Bigbury on Sea Beach appeals to all. A large sweep of sand that connects to the famous Burgh Island at low tide (an island that inspired Agatha Christie and hosted the Beatles), there will be plenty to keep all generations entertained. One thing you must make time for here, though, is a trip on the unique Sea Tractor!

Blackpool Sands Beach

You may well recognise Blackpool Sands beach for its trademark crescent shape and sparkling waters. Often confused for a scene from the Pacific, this Blue Flag accredited beach is easily one of the best beaches in the country, not just Devon. Graced with amenities, lifeguards and beautiful views, hours will fly by at this salt-kissed gem. 

Challaborough Beach

Another Blue Flag beach that charms all those who visit is Challaborough Beach. Enjoying a sheltered position, glorious scenery and neat swells that lure surfers from afar, it boasts year-round appeal. If you have children in your party, they will love the abundance of sand at low tide, providing the most ideal terrain for epic sandcastle competitions.  

East Portlemouth 

Made up of Fishermans Cove, Smalls Cove and Mill Bay, East Portlemouth’s beaches make for havens of secluded tranquillity. Not far from local amenities yet carved with plenty of quiet corners and nooks, this section of South Devon coastline is great for those looking to escape for a while. Good news for four-legged visitors too, these beaches area dog-friendly year-round. 

Hope Cove Beach

Located near Salcombe in the South Devon Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, Hope Cove’s two beaches (Mouthwell Sands and Harbour Beach) beckon salt-tousled swimmers and sun-kissed bathers. With water quality designated ‘excellent’ and lifeguards during the summer months, this is another popular choice for families looking to kick back and relax. 

Sandy Bay

The half a mile-long Sandy Bay in Exmouth is a privately owned beach nestled within a secluded bay. Scattered with rock pools and backed by red sandstone cliffs, this Blue Flag bay offers beach-lovers a wonderful opportunity to paddle in the sea, play by the shore and snooze on the sand. For added convenience, there are also plenty of facilities nearby.

Slapton Sands 

Beaches aren’t just for summer and the year-round dog-friendly beach of Slapton Sands provides 365 days of allure. A huge shingle strip that extends for 3 miles, the massive amount of space means there is always somewhere quiet to sit down and enough room for a game of frisbee. And, as well as being extremely picturesque, Slapton Sands also plays an important role in protecting some of the UK’s rarest flora and fauna, with Slapton Ley Nature Reserve located right next to the beach.

Westcombe Beach

One of the best things about Westcombe Beach is its seclusion. A remote, unspoilt beach untouched by human development, it enjoys untarnished natural beauty. Void of facilities, visitors must be prepared to bring their own supplies, but this all adds to its appeal. As this dog-friendly beach is not supervised by lifeguards either, utmost caution is always advised when taking to the water. 

Tempted for a coastal sojourn? Take a look at our luxury cottages in Devon here


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