so many beaches, so little time
An area of outstanding beauty to explore and enjoy
The beaches of South Devon are said to be some of the best in the UK and here are some of our favourites:
North Sands a short stroll from the town centre, at low tide its shallow waters make it perfect for families (and dogs) to paddle and swim. At high tide the sand all but disappears so time it right and then head to The Winking Prawn A great venue for a bowl of chips and a cold beer. The menu covers breakfast lunch or dinner. Ice Cream, an enclosed sand pit and a crazy dressing up box keep the kids very happy. They put on a BBQ for high season: but book ahead if you can 01548 842346 Dogs allowed.
South Sands you can take the seasonal ferry from Whitestrand Quay and enjoy another area of outstanding beauty. Sea Kayak will hire paddleboards Sailing Dinghies and kayaks with lessons and tours available. Next door is Bo Beach Café for refreshments. No dogs high season
East Portlemouth & Mill Bay on the other side of Salcombe Estuary but easily got to on the passenger ferry that leaves from the ferry steps by the Ferry Boat Inn in the middle of the high street. Simply a timeless series of sandy coves that are meant to be enjoyed with friends and family, a bucket and spade and a picnic (which should always include an ice-cold beer ready for sundown.. just heaven) Dog Friendly
Gara Rock: if you like walking then we thoroughly recommend packing some crab sandwiches and walking from the ferry around the stunning cliff path (approx. 2.5 miles each way) you are rewarded with a beautiful secluded Beach at Gara to take a swim and relax. The easier option is to drive around to Mill Bay Car Park (about 2 mile walk)
South Milton Sands next to Thurlestone beach is dog friendly and The National Trust has all the info on this beautiful place South Milton Sands. Explore the rock pools at low tide which are phenomenal and keep the kids busy for hours. For delicious fresh food The Beach House is special: From fab coffee to very laid back relaxed lunches with a fresh menu heavy on locally caught shellfish and fish. During the day or at night you really do need to book in advance to grab an inside table: 01548 561164. Parking free if you are a National Trust member, otherwise there is a charge.
Thurlestone: Visit South Devon have nailed it again; another area of outstanding natural beauty oh and very child and dog friendly Thurlestone Beach. We love to park up and walk the cliffs back towards Bantham, it's a beautiful walk at any time of year and definitely good for the soul.
Hope Cove is half a mile away from South Milton Sands, a charming traditional fishing village, with two sandy beaches which are great for families to visit and spend the day and you can moor a boat here. The Cove is a special little venue open all year round for breakfast, lunch and supper; a small cosy informal space, serving great fresh food, craft beers, and only 50 yards from the beach. The Hope & Anchor has long been a local’s favourite, serving good pub food and local beers. Within the village there is also a small shop, post office and a local art gallery.
Bantham was voted the 6th best beach in Europe by Lonely Planet and is a great surf spot (plus kite surfing when windy). If you wish to hire paddleboards or kayaks then get in touch with trioceansurf, 01548 854676. For private or group surf lessons then “Dave the Wave” is your man at Bantham Surfing Academy 01548 853803. Situated in the carpark at Bantham is the Gastrobus, serving locally sourced produce. They serve great coffee and we are partial to a Cherry & Almond slice, or for lunch try the heart stopping but incredible Bantham Burgers… There is a pub at the top of the road before the turn off to the beach: The Sloop Inn a lovely pub for a pint and great food day and night! Public loos and Wi-Fi in the car park
Bigbury is home to the famous Burgh Island, with its stunning Art Deco Hotel. You can walk across to the Island at low tide or at high tide take a ride on the sea tractor. Burgh Island is home to The Pilchard Inn, serving customers for over 700 years. You can sit and enjoy a fresh crab baguette whilst watching the tides meet, and on Friday nights its Curry night. Booking essential: 01548 810514.. Discovery Surf School is one of the best in the UK: lessons, courses, hire of wet suits, boards etc. all here. 07813 639622 More info here: About Bigbury.
Slapton Sands, Torcross is a beautiful pebble beach that stretches for almost two miles from the village of Torcross to Strete Gate. The beach is backed by a large freshwater lake – Slapton Ley – which forms an important nature reserve. The coastline is designated as an “Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty”. There are some wonderful places to eat and drink, the Torcross Boathouse Restaurant and Takeaway and Start Bay Inn, widely believed to serve the best fish and chips!