South Devon is lucky enough to boast some of the UK’s best beaches, from wide stretches of sand, to secluded rocky coves and rugged, dramatic cliffs.
See below for a list of our top 12 favourite beaches. Our list keeps growing!
1. Wonwell Beach- 4.0 miles
This is a lovely, sheltered, estuary beach. There is limited parking on a narrow lane with a turning circle at the bottom. Please check tide times before going: the beach is very small at high tide. It is quite sheltered if it is a windy day and great for a beach BBQ.
2. Ayrmer Cove- 4.0 miles
This is a quiet beach with a stream for dam building. There are no facilities at the beach but it is great for escaping the crowds. Park in the National Trust car park in Ringmore - it is about a 15-20 minute walk down to the beach.
3. Westcombe Beach- 4.0 miles
This is a really beautiful beach, great for swimming, with a stream here which is fab for dam building. You can walk to this beach from Kingston- approximately 25-30mins. The lane down to the beach tends to be wet all year, so wellies or Crocs are a good idea. You can also park at the end of a dead-end lane and walk down a steep hill to the beach.
4. Challaborough Beach- 4.8 miles
This is a lovely beach, which also has a lifeguard during the peak season. Challaborough itself is mainly a caravan park, so during the holidays the beach can be very busy. Out of school holidays it can be nice and quiet. There are toilets and a café serving fish and chips etc. There is a stream which is good for building dams. If you are prepared to walk a little way from the jetty, you will normally find a peaceful spot even during the holidays. There is often good surfing to be had at Challaborough too.
5. Bigbury Beach & Burgh Island- 5.3 miles
This is a pretty beach with a nice walk over the sandbank at low tide to the island. It has a large car park and a beach kiosk serving food and drinks etc. There is a sea tractor which takes you to Burgh Island when the tide is in. There is a pub called the Pilchard Inn on Burgh Island. You can hire surf boards, as it is often great for surfing. There are Lifeguards at this beach.
6.. Bantham- 6.5 miles
This is a sandy beach, with sand dunes and an estuary. It features a large car park (£4-£6) and is great for surfing. A refreshments van serves nice food and hot drinks. A short walk to the left along the coastal path leads to other secluded beaches. The river beach allows dogs all year round. There are Lifeguards at this beach.
7. South Milton Sands/Thurlestone Rock- 8.6 miles
South Milton is another lovely sandy beach, which at low tide has great rock pools. There is a National Trust car park, free for members. There is a Beach House café, with a small inside area and plenty of tables outside. There is also a nice walk from here to Hope Cove, approx. 1-1.5 miles, which has two or three pubs which serve good food. At low tide there are brilliant rock pools. You can also hire stand up paddle boards and kayaks in the car park. There are Lifeguards here too.
8. Mothercombe Private Beach- 8.7 miles
This is a beautiful little beach, very clean and well kept. It is open Wednesdays, Saturdays and Sundays and there is a large field car park with an excellent cafe called The School House. It is a 10 minute walk down the path to beach.
9. Salcombe - North sands- 11 miles
This is a nice beach, but it is small at high tide. There is free parking on the road up the hill, or in the car park. There is a good café called The Winking Prawn. It is a 1.5 mile walk along a quiet road to Salcombe town centre, you can then get a ferry back to South Beach then walk 10 mins back to North Beach if you wish.
10. Salcombe - South sands- 11 miles
This beach has limited parking, but it is just a short walk from North Sands. There is a ferry to and from the town centre. The beach café and hotel restaurant look lovely, although we have not yet sampled them ourselves.
11. Landcombe Cove- 15 miles
This beach is between Strete and Blackpool Sands. It can only be accessed from the coastal path. You can park in Strete, in a lay by which has space for approximately fifteen cars. The final descent is down a very steep grassy slope, not for the faint hearted or unfit!! It is most definitely worth the walk however, as you will be rewarded with a golden shingle beach with crystal clear waters.
12. Mill Bay, East Portlemouth (opposite Salcombe)- 19 miles
This is a small, sheltered estuary beach with golden sand and it has a stream running down the side which is great for children to play in. It has lovely views over to Salcombe. You can park in the National Trust car park. Beach BBQs are not permitted. There are toilets in the car park.