The 6 best beaches in Devon you have to visit

Home | Locations | Devon | Things to do in Devon | Beaches in Devon

The 6 best beaches in Devon

You’re spoilt for choice when it comes to choosing a beach in Devon. With over 130 on the list we’ve whittled it down to our top 6 best beaches in Devon to visit. So, if you’re here for a week you can try a new beach every day and revisit your favourite before you head home. 

Whether you’re looking for a family friendly beach with sheltered waters or a little cove to launch the kayak, there’s a beach for you in Devon. Take the plunge into the crystal clear waters of Bigbury Bay with its Blue Flag accreditation for cleanliness; Explore the beautiful coves around Inner and Outer Hope by paddleboard or indulge yourself and your partner with a romantic picnic and a Pimms on one of Salcombe’s sandy bays.

Devon’s coastline is awesome, it’s time to kick off your shoes and take the plunge.


This iconic seaside town is blessed with a plethora of soft sandy beaches which are easily accessible on foot or by ferry. Firstly, on the Salcombe side of the estuary we have North Sands and South Sands. These pretty coves are very family friendly with good facilities and North Sands is dog friendly all year round. A seasonal ferry runs from South sands to Whitestrand in the centre of Salcombe. Facing Salcombe we have three beaches: Smalls, Mill Bay, and Fisherman’s Cove. These beaches are awesome and well worth the (quick) ferry ride across the water. Perfect for picnics, beach games, swimming and rock pooling. The beaches are dog friendly too so why not make a day of it! More info about Salcombe’s beaches here

Bantham & Bigbury

Sitting either side of the mouth of the River Avon, these two glorious beaches are our top spots for surfing on the south Devon coast. Both beaches have surf schools and seasonal lifeguards on patrol and are extremely popular for kayaking and paddle boarding. Bantham is dog friendly all year round and is backed by sand dunes. Bigbury is charming and great for rock pooling and swimming. A lovely beach for young children with sandy pools exposed at low tide. Walk the causeway at low tide and explore Burgh Island, we recommend a hike to the top for fabulous views along the coastline.  More about watersports in south Devon.

South Milton Sands

Just a 10 minute walk from the pretty village of Thurlestone lies South Milton Sands. This stunning beach has seasonal lifeguards and is dog friendly all year round. A lovely family friendly spot with a gently shelving beach and excellent water quality a cafe and loos. One of our favourite spots for kayaking and paddleboarding and a picnic. More about South Milton Holidays and Thurlestone holidays here

Hope Cove – Harbour Beach & Mouthwell Sands

Hope Cove is a charming traditional fishing village which lies along the beautiful stretch of coastline between Bolt Head and South Milton Sands. It’s a village of two halves; Inner Hope and Outer Hope; and two beaches. Inner Hope is a great option for water sports (there’s a slipway just below the old lifeboat station which is perfect for launching small motor and sail boats. The sheltered harbour offers excellent conditions for paddle boarding, kayaking and swimming. Harbour Beach is dog friendly all year round (must be kept on leads). Outer Hope’s beach is Mouthwell Sands which is perfect for sandcastles, rock pooling and dam building. The little stream which runs down the sands to the sea is always popular with children! There’s a seasonal dog ban in place on this beach.  

Devon beaches

Blackpool Sands

This privately owned Blue Flag beach has excellent quality sea water which makes it the perfect spot for swimming, paddle boarding and kayaking (hire available if you don’t have your own!)

A sweeping curve of fine shingle backed by pines in an area of outstanding beauty. There’s plenty of parking, a shop, showers and loos plus an excellent beach cafe/restaurant which also offers takeaways so you can tuck into delicious seafood on the sands. (Dog ban between March and October.)

devon beaches


This beautiful stretch of steeply shelving beach is very popular with families, it’s a great spot for wild swimming, paddle boarding and sailing (there’s a slipway for easy access down to the beach). A small promenade runs above the shingle beach which is lined with former fishermen’s cottages. There’s a village pub, beach restaurant and a couple of cafes so why not picnic on the beach with a pint and some local fish and chips.  Torcross doesn’t have a dog ban so it’s a good option if you’re on holiday with your pooch.