If you’re coming to Devon this summer and hope to visit a couple of beaches, we’ve pulled together some great ones that need to be on your list, especially if you want to go paddling or swimming while you’re here. Of course, with two coastlines and a host of award-winning beaches, the list of beaches to visit is exhaustive here in Devon and it was a struggle narrowing down it to just these ten, however, these are our favourite locations for a quick swim. You can find more information about our beaches here and if you have a favourite that isn’t on this list, drop us a message!

Woolacombe Beach
Woolacombe, North Devon


woolacombe beach

Woolacombe is a popular beach with tourists and often tops Best Beach awards, not only here in the UK but also across the world. It has a long expanse of sand and sea and is a particular favourite for surfers. Because it has such a long stretch, despite being popular, you can always find a spot a bit further along and there are lifeguards dotted around making it a safe one for swimming.

Broad Sands
Ilfracombe, North Devon

Ok, we’ve put this one on the list but keep it quiet, this cove is only accessible by walking along the South West Coast Path and is one that not many tourists venture out to.  It is a really beautiful spot  and offers sheltered swimming and some shallow caves to explore, if you’re looking for something a little quieter and more private, this is the one to go for.

Jacob’s Ladder Beach
Sidmouth, East Devon

jacobs ladder sidmouth

One of two beaches in Sidmouth, this one has a staircase leading up to Connaught Gardens and usually calm seas making it ideal for a gentle swim or paddle. With a mix of sand and shingle and those iconic red cliffs, this is also a good beach for hunting fossils – just make sure to leave them where you find them.

Hollicombe Beach
Paignton, South Devon

Nestled between Paignton and Torquay, this beach is great for visitors to the English Riveria and is often less crowded than the main beaches in both towns. You’ll find some red sand and warm water here, making it a good swimming and sunbathing spot. If you’re coming by car, you will have a little walk to the beach itself as the nearest car park is located in Paignton, but it is worth it!

Blackpool Sands
Dartmouth, South Devon

blackpool sands

Another of the more popular beaches, Blackpool Sands constantly wins awards and has a lovely continental feel about it, making it seem that you are somewhere other than England. As a popular beach with families, there are fantastic facilities and easy access to the local amenities here. During the summer months, you’ll find life guards on duty, so you can safely enjoy a swim.

Woody Bay
Lynton, North Devon

Like Broad Sands, this one isn’t the easiest one to get to, but it is spectacular once you get there. You will need to walk here along a track which will take you past a waterfall and an old pier but once you arrive, you’ll find some lovely rock pools and spots to take a dip.

Tunnels Beaches

Ilfracombe, North Devon

tunnels beachesThe beach here is famous for the tunnels which were created in the 1830s to separate male and female bathers and to access the water, you will need to walk through them which makes for a wonderful experience. The tidal seawater pool is perfect for children because it is so shallow and the natural rock formation, separates the swimming pool from the sea so it is the ideal place for swimmers. There is a lifeguard on duty and is one of the safest beaches in this part of Devon.

Barricane Beach
Woolacombe, North Devon

Just half a mile from Woolacombe is Barrican Beach, which is hidden away behind some rocks. It is a Site of Special Scientific Interest and is part of a Marine Conservation scheme, so there aren’t any life guards on site, but it is good for wading, paddling and swimming.

Saunton Sands
Croyde, North Devon

With three and a half miles of golden sands, beautiful blue waters and some incredible sand dunes, Saunton is the best place for surfing and watersports. With facilities and amenities open along the beach it is ideal for families and you can easily spend the whole day here.

Westward Ho! Beach
Westward Ho!, North Devon

Not far from Saunton Sands, you’ll find the village of Westward Ho! where there is a sandy award-winning beach and a pebble ridge. There is some excellent swimming opportunities and some amazing family friendly places to stay right on the beach.