Best Beaches in South Devon

Fringed with sugar-white sandy beaches on both coasts, you’re spoilt for choice for a place to lay your towel in Devon. We round up Devon’s best beaches.

Elendor Cove, Devon

Elendor Cove, Devon

1. Bantham Beach

Wetsuits outnumber bikinis on south Devon’s only surf beach. Look out for stand-up paddle surfers, a quirky new take on the sport.

2. Ness Cove

Getting to this red-sand and shingle beach – via an old smugglers’ tunnel – is an adventure. Leave time to visit Shaldon Zoo at the entrance, which is home to one of the UK’s largest collections of critically endangered primates.

3. Lannacombe Sands

A local secret, this small, sandy horseshoe cove is at the end of a long dirt track and only has space for about six cars. Get there before 10am and you’ll be assured a spot, even in the height of summer.

4. Mill Bay

It’s hard to choose from the array of beach beauties that surround the yachtie town of Salcombe, but Mill Bay, a quick ferry ride across the water, pips the others to the post for being seaweed-free and basking in sun all day. Take an Ordnance Survey map to find quieter coves further up the coastal path.

Blackpool Sands, South Devon

Blackpool Sands, South Devon

5. Blackpool Sands

Beneath wooded cliffs, this mile-long, privately owned sweep of shingle attracts families in their droves during the school holidays. By day, swimmers can practise their dives from a floating dock, and the beach café stays open beyond sunset.

6. Slapton Sands

More than 600 US servicemen were killed on this three-mile stretch of shingle when German E-boats attacked their D-day rehearsals. A Sherman tank on the sand commemorates them.