If you’re looking for a day or two at the beach, Devon is the place to be. Not only do you have the UNESCO World Heritage Jurassic Coast and the UK’s first Surf Reserve in the North but also a host of beaches around the county of varying sizes and popularity. Whether you’re looking for a big expanse of sand to lounge on or somewhere you can go hunting around rock pools, there are loads of options here.

For those of you visiting the Torbay or south coast, we’ve compiled a list of some of our favourite beaches to visit in this part of the county.

Bantham Beach

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Bantham Beach

Located near Kingsbridge, Bantham Beach is a haven for watersports fanatics, especially those who love surfing and paddleboarding. The beach falls within the South Devon Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and regularly wins awards for its conservation efforts, cleanliness and safety.

Because of its safety, this is a popular beach, especially during the summer months, but it has enough space for everyone, so if you’re on the hunt for somewhere you can hunker down with a bucket and spade or do a little swimming, this one is a great choice, especially if you’re visiting with the family.

Bigbury on Sea

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bigbury on sea

Where else can you climb aboard a sea tractor that has been servicing the beach for generations? The answer? Nowhere! The beach at Bigbury on Sea is also popular with visitors and is watched by lifeguards during the summer months, making it relatively safe for swimming and watersports. It is also surrounded by facilities including cafes and one of the oldest pubs in Devon, so you can rejuvenate with some refreshments after a few hours splashing around.

Perhaps the most famous thing about this beach, not counting its beauty or position within the South Devon Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty is the aforementioned sea tractors. These tractors give you a chance to visit Burgh Island, which inspired Agatha Christie’s And Then There Were None and features an art deco hotel.

Blackpool Sands

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blackpool sands

The award winning Blackpool Sands is a favourite among families and holiday makers alike. It has once again been named as a Blue Flag Beach for 2023 and can be found near the picturesque Dartmouth.

The beach itself has a host of facilities, including disabled facilities and life guards on duty, so is a great choice for all ages and abilities. You’ll find watersports going on throughout the summer months and if you visit in July, you’ll be able to catch the annual Tunes on the Sands festival.

Dawlish Warren

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dawlish warren

Dawlish Warren is one of two beaches in the town of Dawlish – this one is over a mile long so there is plenty of space, even in the summer when visitors flock to this traditional seaside town. Along the main road towards the beach, you’ll find a host of amusements and arcades, as well as everything from cafes to shops and of course, the chance to partake in everything from canoeing to paddleboarding.

Unlike some of the other beaches we’ve mentioned, Dawlish Warren forms part of a nature reserve and is one of the most important areas in the county for wildfowl and wading birds. It is internationally recognised as an ecological site and so is one of the most fascinating places to spend a day whether you’re a twitcher, plant enthusiast or just a nature lover.

hope cove

If you want to pretend you are somewhere more exotic, Hope Cove is the place to go!

Hope Cove is made up of two sandy beaches near Salcombe. Mouthwell Sands is the nearest beach to the carpark and is a great option for sunbathing. The other, the harbour beach is bigger and there is a good mix of sand and rocky areas, making Hope Cove a fun spot for crabbing and rockpooling too.

Both beaches are easy to reach and feature life guards in the summer months,  as well as plenty of coastal walks, so whether you want to go for a swim or simply people watch, make sure to add Hope Cove to your list!

Slapton Sands

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slapton sands

This beautiful beach stretches across two miles, connecting Strete Gate to Torcross and is a haven for history lovers and beach goers alike. Not only do you have all the charm of the traditional British seaside, but the beach has a significant connection go WWII, as it was used as a rehearsal area for the D Day landings. You can visit a stone monument that marks the occasion at the Torcross end of the beach.

Aside from its impressive history, Slapton Sands is surrounded by beachside cafes, has disabled access and is dog friendly all year around, so is hugely popular throughout the year, not just the summer months. The sea here is usually calm, so is a good spot for trying out a variety of water sports and doing a spot of paddling, just make sure to adhere to the flags, which are put out every day.

Will you be visiting any of these South Devon beaches this summer?

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