Ness Cove

Ness Cove - Devon
© Chris Allen and licensed for reuse under this Licence

Tucked away underneath the cliffs of the Ness Headland is the secluded beach of Ness Cove. The beach here is nearly always less busy than nearby Teignmouth and as a result it is popular with locals.

Access to the beach is through the intriguingly-named Smuggler’s Tunnel, which leads the visitor through the rocks of the Jurassic Cliffs out onto the beach.  It is not clear whether the tunnel itself was ever used by smugglers, but the cove itself was certainly once the haunt of those bringing contraband in and out of the country.

Beyond the tunnel are steps down to the beach which can be quite slippery when wet so access for those with mobility problems can be quite difficult.

At high tide most of the beach is submerged, so check tide tables before visiting.  At low tide a delightful beach of fine red shingle and coarse sand is revealed.  The sand is not the most suitable for building sandcastles, but children with love hinting for crabs and shellfish in the many rock-pools.

Marker buoys prevent boats from getting too close to the designated swimming area, however there is no lifeguard service.

The area of beach directly underneath the cliffs needs to be avoided because of the risk of rock-falls. In the evenings the beach is sometimes available for private barbeques.

Ness Cove is very dog-friendly.  There are no restrictions on dog-walkers apart from the usual duty to clean up after your pet, and there is even a designated dog-exercise area.

There are no facilities on the actual beach but toilets, shops and cafes can be found at the cliff-top end of the tunnel.

Type of beach


Lifeguard service


Dogs friendly beach?

Dogs allowed

Dogs are permitted on the beach all year round. therei s also a dog exercise area.

Devon dog friendly beaches »


  • Crazy golf/putting
  • Swimming/bathing


  • Cafe/restaurant
  • Toilets
  • Deck chair hire

Nearest town



TQ14 0HP

OS grid ref.

SX 9391 7174


Pay parking with spaces for the disabled.

Water quality

Water quality star rating


Marine Conservation Society Recommended

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Ness Cove Reviews

Alway love this beach

Kym Davies
Aug 05th 2022

We have been back here time after time. We have BBQs in the evening and there’s barely anyone here. We love it, kids love it. Rocks to explore at low tide. Just know your tide times.

interesting approach, quiet and ok

Jul 10th 2022

red sand, not exactly beautiful, open sea so can be rough, fairly gently sloping into the water so reasonably safe for older children, would not recommend for toddlers. Quiet, off the beaten track, accessed through old ‘smugglers’ tunnel. Around 500 yards by 20 yards at low tide, but still enough at higher tide. no facilities beachside thou nice pub within 100 yards.

Donna larvin
Apr 13th 2022

Absolutely amazing beach.  Started going here in the 60’s….