Are you planning a road trip through Devon? Then, of course, no coastal walks as well as a visit to the most beautiful beaches in Devon should be missing.
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Before I give you more details about Devon’s beaches, here are some of the most frequently asked questions as an overview.
What is the most beautiful beach in Devon?
Woolacombe Beach is by far the most beautiful beach (quite officially too). Framed by picturesque and dramatic coastlines, with beautiful sand and huge dunes, it has a lot to offer. There’s also plenty of accommodation in Woolacombe, so you can set up base here for your Devon road trip.
Tip: If you want to be aware of tide times in Devon, check this link.
What are the top 5 beaches in Devon?
Devon has a wealth of beautiful beaches, so it’s hard to narrow it down to just a few! Here are some of the prettiest beaches in Devon:
- Woolacombe Beach – Woolacombe has three miles of golden sand, and was voted the best beach in the UK in 2021 by Tripadvisor.
- Saunton Sands – This stunning beach has over three miles of golden sand backed by dramatic dunes, and is a favourite spot for surfers.
- Bantham Beach – Located in an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, Bantham is a popular spot for surfers and families, and offers stunning views of Burgh Island.
- Blackpool Sands – This sheltered cove is surrounded by lush greenery, and the turquoise waters make it feel like a tropical paradise.
- Broadsands Beach – With its crystal-clear waters and picturesque views of the surrounding cliffs, Broadsands is a must-visit for anyone looking for a peaceful, secluded beach.
These are just a few of the many beautiful beaches that Devon has to offer, so be sure to explore and discover your own favourites!
Which part of Devon is the most beautiful?
Does north or south Devon have nicer beaches?
If you’re drawn to coastal location and sandy beaches, then North Devon is preferable. Here you can really surf, walk along sandy beaches and enjoy the sunset over the sea (weather permitting).
In the South the beaches are smaller and more isolated. Often you have to go down the cliff quite a bit to get there. I didn’t find that quite as noticeable in the north.
But what is good for the beaches in south Devon is that there is more privacy felt, as well as less stiff breezes and potentially less crowding. I also found the bus network was somehow better developed.
Woolacombe & Putsborough Beach
The beach at Woolacombe is by far the most beautiful beach in Devon. Beaches in the UK are often covered with large pebbles, English sandy beaches are not everywhere. The honey-colored sandy beach of Woolacombe really stands out and makes beach goers’ hearts beat faster.
The beach goes from Woolacombe to Putsborough and stretches for 3km along the coast.
At each end of the beach there are jagged rocks and stones, but otherwise it is really relaxing to walk along.
The beach is flat, the dunes set back quite far and you can walk here easily. I myself had walked the trail from Woolacombe town center to Baggy Point, the headland that extends into the sea behind Putsborough. I can only recommend it very highly!
By the way, Woolacombe beach even made the 20th place of the world’s best beach in the Tripadvisor Travellers’ Choice Awards in 2020.
There are also several ways to use public restrooms. They are free and easy to find.
If you walk from Woolacombe to the beach, you’ll see a toilet block at the traffic circle. Here it was not so great, stunk a bit and soap was out.
I’d much rather recommend the toilets at the surf school and the Woolacombe Beach Shop. They were spacious and nice and clean.
Behind the dunes on the road to Putsborough there is another small toilet house at the café. But that is apparently only open when The Porthole cafe is also open.
At the other end, the beach of Putsborough there is a beach cafe and a little further up a public toilet house, which was also very well maintained.
There are several public parking lots near Woolacombe beach.
At the respective ends of Woolacombe and Putsborough beaches you can find larger parking lots: the Esplanade Car Park and the These are bound to be busy in high season, so keep Sandy Burrows Car Park in mind as well.
- The Esplanade Car Park: Hartland House, The Esplanade, Woolacombe EX34 7DJ, United Kingdom
- Putsborough Beach Car Park: Vention Ln, Croyde, Braunton EX33 1LB, United Kingdom
Alternatively I saw parking possibilities behind the dunes above the beach along Marine Drive.
Saunton Sands is a long sandy beach located on the North Devon coast in England. It stretches for three miles (five kilometers) and is a popular destination for tourists and locals for a good reason.
The beach is located within the UNESCO-designated North Devon Biosphere Reserve and is part of the North Devon Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. It faces west towards the Atlantic Ocean, making it a popular spot for surfing, windsurfing, and other water sports. There is also reiki and yoga you can do.
Saunton Sands is backed by sand dunes, which are home to a wide range of plant and animal species, including rare butterflies and birds. The dunes are protected by the National Trust, and there are several walking trails that allow visitors to explore the area.
In addition to its natural beauty, Saunton Sands has quite the history. During World War II, the beach was used for military training exercises, and the remains of some of the structures can still be seen today.
The area has also been used as a filming location for several movies, including the 1956 film “The Passionate Stranger” and the 2017 film “Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society“, which also featured the fishing village Clovelly.
Saunton Sands is easily accessible by car or public transport, and there are several car parks and amenities available, including a cafe, toilets, and shops. The beach is also dog-friendly, with certain restrictions in place during the summer months.
If you love it here, you can also stay at the modern Saunton Sands Hotel*.
There is a bus stop called “Saunton Sands Hotel” close to the beach.
- Bus stop “Saunton Sands Hotel”, Braunton EX33 1LQ, United Kingdom
- Saunton Sands Car Park, Braunton EX33 1LG, United Kingdom
One of the prettiest beaches in South Devon is Bantham Beach, a popular beach located on the south Devon coast in the South Hams district, England. It is roughly 7 miles west of the town of Kingsbridge.
The beach is situated in an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) and is known for its picturesque scenery and excellent surfing conditions.
Bantham Beach is one of the best surfing beaches in Devon, with consistent waves that are suitable for both beginners and experienced surfers. The beach is home to a surf school, which offers lessons and equipment rental. Other activities you can do here include paddleboarding, kayaking, and swimming.
There are lifeguards on duty during the summer months.
The beach is a large, sandy beach that stretches for approximately 1.5 miles. It is backed by sand dunes and has views of the River Avon estuary.
Besides a car park near the beach, there are also public toilets and a café.
If Bantham Beach isn’t enough for one day, you can also visit a number of other popular beaches, including Bigbury-on-Sea and Thurlestone. The South West Coast Path also runs through the area, providing opportunities for hiking and exploring the local scenery.
Overall, Bantham Beach is a beautiful and popular destination for beachgoers, surfers, and outdoor enthusiasts in Devon.
Note that there are no bus stops nearby. The closest one seems to be in Knightsbridge at the Church. You could take a taxi from there if you don’t have a car.
- Bus stop “church” Kingsbridge TQ7 3NP, United Kingdom
There is an official parking lot close to the beach.
- Bantham Beach Car Park, Bantham, Kingsbridge TQ7 3AN, United Kingdom
Plus, there’s also the gorgeous stretch of sandy beach opposite the bay at Bigbury Beach.
- Parking: Bigbury-on-Sea Car Park
Blackpool Sands is a shingle beach located in the South Hams district of Devon, England. The privately managed beach is set in a sheltered bay surrounded by wooded hills and cliffs, giving it a unique and picturesque setting. The sand is of a fine, shingle type, and the waters are clear, making it a popular spot for swimming, paddleboarding, and kayaking.
The beach is privately managed and has a number of facilities, including a beach shop, toilets, showers, and a cafe serving food and drinks. There is also a large car park and a small number of beach huts available for hire. The beach has been awarded Blue Flag status for its clean water and excellent facilities.
Blackpool Sands is also a popular spot for walkers, with the South West Coast Path passing through the area. The beach is located close to a number of other attractions, including the historic town of Dartmouth, the Dartmouth Steam Railway, and the Dartmouth Castle.
Overall, Blackpool Sands is a beautiful and well-maintained beach that offers something for everyone, from families looking for a day out to water sports enthusiasts and walkers.
In der Nähe des gleichnamigen Strandes befindet sich eine Bushaltestelle. Würdest du zu Fuß gehen, dauert es ein wenig mehr als eine Stunde.
- Bushaltestelle: “Blackpool Sands” Blackpool, Dartmouth TQ6 0RG, United Kingdom (Stop ID: dvndgpdm)
Die Fahrt vom Stadtzentrum Dartmouths zum Strand dauert etwa 10 Minuten. Es gibt einen Parkplatz.
- Blackpool Sands Car Park, Blackpool Sands, Blackpool, Dartmouth TQ6 0RG, United Kingdom
Broadsands Sands is a beautiful sandy beach located in Devon, England. It even has tide pools!
The beach is situated on the English Channel, near the village of Paignton and the town Brixham, and is a popular destination for both tourists and locals.
One of the main attractions of Broadsands Sands is its beautiful scenery, with crystal clear waters and stunning views of the surrounding cliffs and countryside. The beach is also backed by lush green hills and woodland, creating a picturesque setting for sunbathing, swimming, and relaxing.
In addition to its natural beauty, Broadsands Sands offers a range of facilities for visitors, including public toilets, a beach shop, and a beach cafe. There is also a large car park located just a short walk from the beach, making it easy to access for those travelling by car.
The beach is known for its family-friendly atmosphere, with shallow waters that are perfect for paddling and playing in. There is also a small play area and a boating lake nearby, which can provide hours of entertainment for younger visitors.
Overall, Broadsands Sands is a stunning beach with something to offer for everyone. Whether you’re looking to relax and soak up the sun, or enjoy a range of water-based activities, this beautiful destination is well worth a visit.
The closest bus stop is a little further down the road on Brunel road in the residential area.
- Bus stop “Brunel Road” Paignton TQ4 6HN, United Kingdom
Pretty close to the beach you can find official parking with six spots. More info here.
There are no motorcycle bays installed, but you are allowed to park safely outside without a fee.
- Broadsands Car Park, Broadsands Rd, Paignton TQ4 6HX, United Kingdom
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