Broad Sands

  • Broad Sands - Devon
    © Philip Halling and licensed for reuse under this Licence
  • Broad Sands - Devon
    © Roman Grac
  • Broad Sands - Devon
    © Lewis Clarke and licensed for reuse under this Licence
  • Broad Sands - Devon
    © Lewis Clarke and licensed for reuse under this Licence
  • Broad Sands - Devon
    © Chris and licensed for reuse under this Licence
  • Tucked away on the rugged North Devon coast between Watermouth and Combe Martin is a little known cove. Named Broad Sands for reasons unknown, the beach is neither broad nor that sandy, more shingley! The original name of Braoadstrands seems no more appropriate.

    Fairly well tucked away Broadsands is generally very sheltered. It is also cited as one of the best swimming beaches on this coast, although care needs to be taken as there are no lifeguards. In fact there is not anything here, except natural beauty.

    This is a great little cove for exploring with lots of nooks and crannies, and even a few caves. It is worth noting that the beach shrinks considerably as the tide comes in so do check before you plan your visit.

    For such an undiscovered gem there has to be some catch. This is probably in the form of the approximately 240 steps you will have to negotiate to get up and down to the beach.

    Type of beach


    Lifeguard service


    Dogs friendly beach?

    Dogs allowed

    Devon dog friendly beaches »


    • Swimming/bathing
    • Rock pooling

    Nearest town


    OS grid ref.

    SS 5630 4791

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    Broad Sands Reviews

    Tainted Beauty

    A Devon Local
    Jul 17th 2022

    This was a stunningly beautiful, peaceful beach respected and well looked after by local people. Then it was advertised nationally and across social media. Since then it has become a packed, littered, cluttered “free” camp site with camp fires, bottles, cans, plastic bags, food packaging, BBQ remains, used toilet paper (use your imagination as there are no public toilets). After the first lockdown was lifted locals had to send in a boat to remove all of the litter and mess left behind by visitors as there was too much to bring it back up the 200+ steps. Advertising this natural beauty to people who have no respect for it should never have happened.

    The real issues

    Andy - Frequent visitor to North Devon
    Feb 06th 2023

    Before you even get to the uneven/irregular 200+ steps you have to get near the top of the cliff. This is not an easy task unless you are a seasoned hiker who travels light because there is zero parking within a 1.6 mile radius. The lane leading up to the cliff top is a no parking zone with felled tree trunks at the sides to further narrow it down with the a couple of passing points.
    There is no access to the gated caravan site at the top of the lane and you will not be given access to turn so heed the last turning point sign, turn around and head off to a well serviced beach, of which there are many.

    Unless you are going to walk to this beach from either your residence or parked car(1.6 miles away) you are wasting your time as you are not going to get access to it.