Great Mattiscombe Beach

Great Mattiscombe Beach - Devon
© Jonathan Billinger and licensed for reuse under this Licence

Great Mattiscombe Beach, sometimes known as Mattiscombe Sands is a delightful sand and rock beach, backed by rolling hills and low-rise cliffs. There are some quite spectacular rock formations on the beach which appear most dramatic at low tide.  However, the beach does not have any rock pools.  

Bathing here is possible although there is no lifeguard and swimmers need to be aware of rip tides and submerged rocks in the water.  The beach is quite exposed.

The South-West Coastal Path runs near to the beach so there are scenic walks in either direction from the beach with lovely views over the bays and coves of this area of the coast.

The beach can be quite difficult to find and is therefore often fairly quiet.  From the car park at Start Point take the path on your right as you face the lighthouse.  The walk to the beach takes around 10 minutes.  Access is not suitable for those with mobility problems.  

There are no facilities at the beach but a portaloo can be found in the Start Point car park.

Type of beach

Sand & rock

Lifeguard service


Dogs friendly beach?

Dogs allowed

No known restrictions

Devon dog friendly beaches »


  • Rock pooling

Nearest town




OS grid ref.

SX 8166 3691

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Great Mattiscombe Beach Reviews

Quiet, Sandy, Sheltered

Feb 15th 2021

One of my favourite beach along this part of the coast. A bit of a walk down fron Start Point but that keeps the number of visitors down and means the place is generally quiet. Rock formations provide some privacy if needed and allow youngsters and not so ypung to go exploring. The sand is soft. Rocks can be at the waterline during low tide but the sea is clear and wonderful for swimming.