Best Devon Beaches - Find over 60 Devon beaches | dog friendly beaches

Devon’s Best Beach Guide – Find the top beaches in Devon!

Devon has some of the best beaches in the whole of the UK and if you take a look at a tourist map of Devon you can see the county has a plethora of golden sand and shingle to choose from.

Whether you just have the urge to take off your shoes and run barefoot over the sand, you’re looking for some peace and escape to just stand and listen to the sound of the waves or you visit with an armful of buckets, spades and towels, a trip to the beach is one of the best days out in Devon, not least because its free! Devon’s beaches rival any you will find abroad and there are 64 beaches in Devon and many are award-winning which carry Blue Flag and Seaside Award status. The north of the county has 15 stunning beaches and there are over 50 beaches on the south coast stretching from Seaton to Plymouth. These beaches are blessed with good water quality and if appropriate have a lifeguard presence so you can swim with confidence. These locations are also well managed and have restrooms and some have disabled access too, at most places you will need to pay for parking.

Devon Beach Guide – Map 2024

Find Dog Friendly Devon Beaches

Devon also has many dog-friendly beaches although there are often restrictions in the main summer holiday times. The character of the beaches depends on the region of the county you visit.

English Riviera Paignton - Dartmouth Steam Railway family beach pic

Find Beaches in North Devon

The North is blessed with rolling waves and amazing surf at popular resorts such as Croyde, Woolacombe and Saunton Sands. These locations have big stretches of beach that are a mecca for surfers, body-boarders and watersports of all types. It is also an area of outstanding natural beauty so the coastline, cliffs, hidden coves and unspoilt woodland all add to a unique beauty. Not far from the coast are some Top Devon Attractions including the pretty fishing village of Clovelly, the Milky Way Adventure Park and the Big Sheep Farm & Theme Park and more North Devon attractions can be found here.

Find Beaches in South Devon

South Devon, including the South Hams, has a host of tiny coves and hidden beaches, often the final destination of beautiful rivers and estuaries such as the River Dart, Erme, Yealm and Teign and are perfect for those wishing to sunbathe in a quieter spot but never too far away from a seaside town such as Salcombe, Kingsbridge, Teignmouth or Dartmouth. Blackpool Sands, Dartmouth is a great example of a Top Devon Day Out at an award-winning Devon beach with opportunities to relax, swim or sail plus it has great facilities, a café, parking, plus a busy events programme, there is everything you need for a great family day out in Devon. Blackpool Sands, nestled in an unspoilt sheltered bay near Dartmouth, also hosts music festivals, children’s entertainers, triathlons and rockpool rambles. As a Blue Flag beach, dogs are not allowed on the beach from April to October (check the website for details).

English Riviera bay view

Find beaches on the English Riviera

Another big boast in South Devon is the English Riviera with the resorts of Torquay, Paignton and Brixham combining to offer 22 miles of beautiful coastline and some fantastic sandy beaches around the bay. With numerous opportunities for safe bathing, paddle boarding and other water sports plus a host of delicious eateries and variety of retail shops a trip to the English Riviera adds up to a fabulous day out in Devon. If you’ve enjoyed a day of sunshine on the sand you may wish for a change and visit one of a number of top attractions in Torbay including Paignton Zoo, Kents Cavern, Babbacombe Model Village, and Bygones.

Best Beaches In Devon

Find South Hams & Plymouth Beaches

Many West Devon beaches are just a short journey from Plymouth including Wembury beach with its many rockpools for exploring, its marine centre and the chance to snorkel, Mothecombe Beach and Bigbury where you can walk at low tide to Burgh Island and climb the path to the top of the island to enjoy wonderful views of South Devon. Both Bigbury and nearby Bantham have busy surf schools so a holiday in Devon is the perfect time to learn to surf with a qualified instructor. Boards and wetsuits can be hired too.

SailGP Plymouth out to sea view

Find Beaches in East Devon

East Devon has many large seaside towns that have popular resorts that make great destinations for family holidays including Sidmouth, Exmouth and Beer. This part of the stunning 630 mile south west coast path, one of the UK’s longest and best loved National Trails, is https://www.southwestcoastpath.org.ukbeautiful and stretches all the way along the cliffs giving fantastic opportunities for long, scenic walks and the chance to savour the splendour of the coastline. East Devon also has the popular Jurassic Coast to shout about, a UNESCO World Heritage site which many tourists flock to that starts on the long sandy 2 mile beach at Exmouth and stretches for 95 miles along the coast to Old Harry Rocks near Swanage in Dorset. Along this route there are many lovely beaches including the pebble beach at Budleigh Salterton where the mouth of the River Otter meets the sea at the eastern end which is a nature reserve that’s an important site for migrating birds and a site of scientific interest and the shingle beach at Beer where you can see the local fisherman bringing in their catches of fresh fish, lobster and crabs. Complete your visit in this area of the county with a fabulous day out at Seaton Tramway, the Donkey Sanctuary, World of Country Life or a boat trip on Stuart Line Cruises.

Boat crusing across the south devon coast

Whilst the promise of a day playing on the sand, swimming in the sea and soaking up the sunshine the importance of beach safety cannot be understated. The RNLI is called out multiple times a year in the south west to perform rescues. Many people under-estimate the speed of the tide, especially if they live in urban areas and are not familiar with the unpredictability of the ocean or the strength of the current and can get caught out in a strong riptide. Wherever possible bring your family to a lifeguarded beach and check the tide times before you arrive so you are prepared. If you see someone in trouble call 999 for the Coastguard. To check out the tide times before your trip to the beach visit Tide Times. Some beaches have a big tidal range especially when there is a full moon and the lovely sandy beach that is there when you arrive can fast disappear, along with your clothes and beach towel if you’re not careful!!

In recent times open water swimming has become increasingly popular due to the huge number of benefits it brings, specifically a cold water dip in the sea is said to bring improved blood circulation, improved immune system not to mention the sense of wellbeing, even if it is pretty nippy! It’s also a popular social pass time with people enjoying the camaraderie of taking a chilly dip in the sea as a group followed by warming up with a hot drink when you’re back on dry land. There are a number of open water swimming clubs that promote wild swimming in both North and South Devon so you can brave the waves in good company.

Devon in December – Enjoy a Festive break!

Whatever time of year you choose to visit the beaches are always there and always open so if you decide to book a staycation in Devon at Christmas you can work up an appetite (or work off your festive lunch) with a walk across the sand. One of the glorious benefits of the beach in the autumn and winter is that you often have it all to yourself so you can wrap up warm, blow away the cobwebs and get out and enjoy the elements. Out of season the beaches are open once more for dogs so they can enjoy a lovely long run across the sand without the usual summer restrictions. For more dog-friendly Devon locations visit visitdevon.co.uk/explore/dog-friendly.

dog friendly devon beaches

Find top visitor Attractions with Accommodation – Stay & Play at Devon’s Top Attractions!

Close to these wonderful beach locations are some fantastic accommodation providers. Some of Devon’s Top Attractions now offer great opportunities for you to stay with them and get free or reduced entry prices to their sites. These locations include Crealy Theme Park & Resort which has luxury hot tub lodges, safari themed cabins and Devon Glamper Units as well as 100 camping and touring pitches. River Dart Country Park was awarded Gold in the Touring Camping & Caravanning Park of the Year at the Visit Devon Tourism Awards 2019 and has excellent camping facilities and generous pitches for touring caravans, tents, motorhomes or motor caravans. Woodlands Theme Park in South Devon is also an award-winning AA 5 Gold Pennant graded Caravan and Camping site located in beautiful countryside and only a short drive from the picturesque waterside town of Dartmouth. In the north The Big Sheep Farm & Theme Park has just launched its luxury Boutique Retreats.

Sheep racing at the Big Sheep

Find Top Devon Caravan & Camping sites and Devon Holiday Parks

If you’re looking for inspiration for your next camping or caravanning tour then exploring Devon should be top of your list and a visit to the Caravan & Camping Show which takes place in January will give you plenty of motivation. There are many sites around the county that have excellent pitches close to family friendly beaches. In addition to the huge variety of beaches across the county a trip to Devon wouldn’t be complete without a day spent exploring Dartmoor National Park considered to be one of the best places to visit in Devon. Other great resorts in Devon are the Welcome Family Holiday Park in Dawlish Warren and Cofton Holidays both of which are very close to Dawlish Warren beach https://www.dawlishwarren.info/ which has won a Blue Flag for the past 24 years! In the north Woolacombe Sands Holiday Park and Ilfracombe Holiday Park are both in ideal locations for a trip to the beach as well as Ladram Bay in Budleigh Salterton to name just a few.

River Dart Country Park Camping

Welcome Holiday - Premier Caravans

For a comprehensive list of Devon’s beaches check out https://www.devonbeachguide.co.uk which has lots of helpful information so you can plan your next special day out to one of Devon’s best beaches!

Find more Things to do in Devon and book attraction tickets

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