The Beach Guide

Hartland Quay Beach

Hartland Quay Beach - Devon

© Humphrey Bolton and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence

Hartland Quay is a small pebble and rock beach with some areas of sand, along the Hartland Devon Heritage Coast near to the border with Cornwall. It is known for the spectacular scenery and the imposing cliffs that tower over the beach. The rocks that from these cliffs are not only dramatic but of considerable geological interest with their jagged shapes and layered forms.

On the beach there are rock pools, waterfalls and many bird's nests in the area. On a calm day the Hartland Quay beach is a good spot for bathing and snorkelling as well as surfing and fishing. When the weather makes the sea rough it can be an impressive sight watching the waves bashing against the rocks. This coast is infamous for shipwrecks.

There is a large car park on the cliffs above the quay. The beach is accessed via a slipway, but it is too steep for wheelchair access. There is also a hotel and restaurant in a picturesque spot at the top of the cliffs, overlooking the beach and surrounding coastline. There are also toilets here. The Hartland Quay Museum tells visitors about the legends and history of shipwrecks and smuggling in the area.

The South West Coast Path passes the beach and offers some spectacular views. There are warning signs of dangerous cliffs, so care needs to be taken. To the north there is a circular walk taking visitors to Hartland Point.
The nearest hamlet from the beach is Stoke, whilst the town of Hartland is about 2 miles away.

In March 2017 the beach gained notoriety when the carcass of an enormous whale washed up on the rocks here.

Type of beach

Pebbles and rocks

Lifeguard service


Dogs friendly beach?

Dog ban in force

Dogs are banned from the beach all year round.

Devon dog friendly beaches »


  • Cafe/restaurant
  • Facilities

    • Slipway

    Nearest town



    EX39 6DB

    OS grid ref.

    SS 2240 2482

    Water quality

    Water quality star rating


    Marine Conservation Society Recommended

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