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From the Blog

The best beaches in South Devon

Posted by Holly Brookes on Updated on
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Craggy cliffs, soft sands and hidden coves

Whether you’re looking for a safe spot to swim with little ones, a dog-friendly playground or somewhere to picnic with your pals, we’ve put together a selection of South Devon beaches that guarantee a great day beside the sea.


North Sands in Salcombe 

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Postcode: TQ8 8LD
Nearest parking: North Sands car park
Facilities: On-site café and toilets
Dog-friendly: Year-round
Nearby town/village: Salcombe 

Sitting close to the town centre, fall in love with the soft golden sands of one of Salcombe’s finest beaches. Dubbed the most dog-friendly beach in the area, the bay’s calm waters make it a popular destination for families with children. Views of the Kingsbridge Estuary and Fort Charles provide an impressive backdrop for lounging in the sun, while ample parking and nearby amenities tick all the boxes for a stress-free day at the beach.

If you’re visiting during the summer months, the popular seafood restaurant The Winking Prawn hosts multiple al fresco barbeques throughout the day. Tuck into a tasty feast of freshly caught fish as you look out across North Sands.

Where to stay nearby: Marrying sensational scenery with breathtaking interiors, escape the stresses of everyday life at Waterside. Just a short walk from the centre of town and sleeping eight guests, take full advantage of this home’s waterfront location by spending your days stretched out on North Sands Beach before heading back to rest sandy feet on the glass-fronted balcony.


Bigbury Beach in Bigbury-on-Sea

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Postcode: TQ7 4BG 
Nearest parking: Bigbury-on-Sea car park 
Facilities: Toilets and café
Dog-friendly: October to May
Nearby town/village: Bigbury

Located in an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, this popular family beach offers a picturesque setting for a day of relaxation. Boasting shallow waters that are perfect for paddling and rock pool exploring, Bigbury Beach is also known for its reliable surfing conditions. Famed for the iconic Burgh Island, we highly recommend taking the sea tractor across the causeway or waiting till low tide to make the crossing on foot before stopping for a drink at The Pilchard Inn. 


South Sands in Salcombe 

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Postcode: TQ8 8LJ
Nearest parking: South Sands car park
Facilities: Toilets and café
Dog-friendly: October to May
Nearby town/village: Salcombe

If a traditional family day at the beach is what you crave, then look no further than South Sands. Just a short walk from North Sands, head to its sister spot for a day of sandcastle building and wild swimming. Fringed by clear waters and plush hillsides, you can access this beach via a small set of stairs or a concrete ramp. For watersports fans, embark on a guided tour with Sea Kayak Salcombe and explore the estuary, spotting seals and dolphins along the way.

Make your journey a little more interesting and take the passenger ferry from Whitestrand Quay in Salcombe straight to South Sands' shoreline. This colourful vessel sails every half hour until 5:30pm and children under three can travel for free.

Sugary Cove in Dartmouth

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Postcode: TQ6 0JN
Nearest parking: Dartmouth Castle 
Facilities: Toilets and café
Dog-friendly: Year-round
Nearby town/village: Dartmouth

At the mouth of the River Dart sits this quiet beach made of shingle and rocks. Accessible at low tide and described as the perfect place to go for a swim, its clear waters are reminiscent of a tropical island in the South Pacific. Traverse a beautiful track along the coast path down to the bay, where dogs can run free. Built on rocks just above the estuary, Dartmouth Castle dates back to the 1380s and sits just up from the cove. Amble up from the beach to discover this historic landmark before heading into Dartmouth town centre, which sits just 30 minutes away. 

Bantham Beach in Kingsbridge

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Postcode: TQ7 3AN
Nearest parking: Bantham Beach car park
Facilities: Toilets and café
Dog-friendly: December to May
Nearby town/village: Kingsbridge

Where expansive sands, stunning scenery and popular wave breaks come together to create an idyllic day out, there’s a reason why Bantham Beach is one of South Devon’s most popular natural attractions. Tucked along this stretch of coastline, gaze out towards Burgh Island while you rest your head on the sand or stroll across the headland with a scoop of fresh gelato from The Gastrobus. 

When the tide is low, paddle over shallow waters and uncover a series of hidden rock pools teeming with marine life.

South Milton Sands in Thurlestone

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Postcode: TQ7 3JR
Nearest parking: South Milton Sands car park
Facilities: Toilets and café
Dog-friendly: Year-round
Nearby town/village: Thurlestone

Nestled between the beaches of Hope Cove and Thurlestone, South Milton expertly combines excellent facilities with an unspoilt feel, securing itself as a firm favourite with locals. A popular lookout for wildlife enthusiasts and birdwatching fans, take a seat at The Beachhouse to spot Great Crested Grebe’s fly over the wetlands. If you fancy rounding off your day with a barbeque dinner, roll out your picnic blanket and pour yourself a glass of something sparkling in time for sunset. 

Harbour Beach in Hope Cove  

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Postcode: TQ7 3HQ
Nearest parking: Mouthwell Bay and limited on-road parking
Facilities: Toilets 
Dog-friendly: Year-round
Nearby town/village: Hope Cove

The largest sandy inlet in Hope Cove, soak up the heritage of this pretty fishing village with a day on Harbour Beach. Popular with walkers and dog owners, the latter are welcome all year round as long as they’re kept on a lead. Partake in a game of boules as fisherman trawl their catch of the day before heading to The Lobster Pod Bistro for a unique dining experience above the harbour. If you're looking to explore Hope Cove, take a look at our insider's guide for a round-up of beautiful coastal walks, dining spots and other handy recommendations. 

Luxury homes in South Devon

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Above (left to right): WatersideTamarisks, Clifftop, Avocet, Overcombe and Beachfront.

Often referred to as the English Riviera, South Devon is home to fantastic seafood restaurants, sprawling coastal walks and huge expanses of golden sands. From beachfront retreats to clifftop hideaways, call our Property Advisors on 01208 895570 to secure your next beach holiday. 

Image credits: South Milton Sands via Unsplash | All other images are our own. 


Posted by Holly Brookes

A lover of all things interior design, food and events, Holly is never short of ideas for a day out in the South West. When she’s not looking for the perfect oat flat white, Holly can be found exploring new corners of the coast.

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