Sidmouth has been recognised as having one of the nicest beaches in Britain, along with neighbour Exmouth. The two towns were among 76 locations to be given the prestigious Blue Flag Award for their outstanding beaches.

Not only this, but Seaside Awards were also given to Exmouth, Sidmouth, Budleigh Salterton, and Seaton by the national charity - Keep Britain Tidy.

Councillor Nick Hookway, EDDC’s portfolio holder culture, tourism, leisure and sport, said: “This is fantastic news and shows not only the quality of the Beaches in East Devon but also the commitment of all those who, in whatever way, help to make our beaches so enjoyable.

"Beaches are critical to the environment and economy of East Devon in so many ways and help to make East Devon a wonderful place to visit either for a well-earned holiday or for just a day visit."

East Devon District Council’s beach safety officer Pete Blyth said: “This is a fantastic recognition of the efforts of both our staff and partners in the local community in a very difficult year. 

“There are too many local groups and organisations involved in this success to call them all out by name, but I’d like to thank everyone who has given their time and commitment to help keep our beaches safe and enjoyable for everyone to use.”

Sidmouth Town Council’s vice chair Councillor Chris Lockyear added: “We are delighted that once again Sidmouth has been awarded a Blue Flag for our beach, recognising both the cleanliness of the beach and the sustainable way it is managed.

“As one of only 11 Blue Flag beaches in Devon, this award is a credit to all those who help make Sidmouth beach a joy to those of us who live here, and a draw to the many visitors who come and share it.”

This year, England can boast 76 Blue Flag beaches, more than Brazil, Bulgaria, Cyprus, Israel, Malta, Mexico or South Africa.

The international Blue Flag and the UK Seaside Awards are the quality marks for our beaches and mean those visiting them can be sure that they are clean, safe and meet the highest environmental standards, as well as the tough international bathing water quality standards.

Keep Britain Tidy’s Chief Executive Allison Ogden-Newton OBE said: “This year, more than ever, we are going to be relying on our country’s beautiful beaches to escape for a much-needed break after all the stresses and strains of the past year.

“Last year, due to the pandemic, we did not have the opportunity to celebrate all the great award-winning beaches around the coast so this year we are delighted to have even more winners than we did in 2019, thanks to the incredible work of the teams around the country that make our beaches clean and safe for us all to enjoy.

“From environmental education for the local community and ensuring responsible beach use, to cleaning regimes and an increasing number of recycling facilities, it is a full-time commitment to create beaches worthy of these awards

“As we all plan our 2021 holidays much closer to home, thanks to the Blue Flag and Seaside Award those choosing to holiday at a destination with an award-winning beach can be assured it will be clean and safe and meet the highest standards for water quality and management.”

A full list of England’s award-winning beaches is available here.