Beaches in Paignton, Devon

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Situated on the South Devon coast is Torbay, an east facing bay which forms a natural harbour in the English Channel. It is bordered by the South Hams in the south and west, and by Teignbridge to the north. read more...

The beach guide has 19 beaches listed in and around the town of Paignton. We have arranged these beaches in order of closest to the town first (distance in brackets).

  • Fairy Cove (0.1 miles)

    Fairy Cove © Derek Harper | BY-SA

    Tucked away, just behind Paignton harbour wall is the little red sand beach of Fairy Cove. 

    This pretty little spot is a world away from the main beach, just the other side of the harbour. Backed by sandstone cliffs and the memorial garden beyond Fairy Cove can seem like an oasis of calm in the summer.


  • Paignton Sands Beach (0.3 miles)

    Paignton Sands © Lewis Clarke | BY-SA

    When picturing the archetypal day at the seaside, Paignton Sands would tick most people's boxes. This long, sandy beach on the English Riviera in south-west Devon attracts thousands of visitors every year. Its calm, shallow waters are great for paddling, and you can hire a boat or a pedalo to get out into the water,…

  • Preston Sands (Paignton) Beach (0.8 miles)

    Preston Sands (Paignton) © Tom Jolliffe | BY-SA

    This clean, safe, sandy beach is ideal for families: activities include sandcastle building or rock pooling at low tide. Behind the beach is a grassy area known as Preston Green, which includes a children's playground. Activities on offer include bathing and swimming but be aware there is no lifeguard service at this beach. There is…

  • Goodrington Sands Beach (0.7 miles)

    Goodrington Sands © Maurice D Budden | BY-SA

    Part of the aptly named 'English Riviera', Goodrington Sands is a highly accessible and very popular beach near Paignton. The beach is divided into two sections: the quieter North beach and the more popular South Beach. For visitors bringing along dogs, it is important to note that from May until the end of September dogs…

  • Oyster Cove (1.1 miles)

    Oyster Cove ©

    Oyster Cove is a small, secluded beach roughly halfway between Paignton and Brixham. It is a pretty little beach that is largely off the tourist map, so a good spot to escape the summer crowds.

    The cove here is part of the "Three Beaches" area of Torbay - neighbouring Saltern and Shell Cove being the other…

  • Hollicombe Beach (1.1 miles)

    Hollicombe © Tom Jolliffe | BY-SA

    This charming beach lies in a secluded bay between Paignton and Torquay. It has distinctive red sand, excellent for building sandcastles, together with some areas of large rocks and is backed by equally red sandstone cliffs. The sheltered position and southerly aspect of the beach make it a good spot for sunbathing. In addition children…

  • Saltern Cove (1.2 miles)

    Saltern Cove © Paul Hutchinson | BY-SA

    Saltern Cove lies between the major tourist beaches at Goodrington and Broadsands. Despite this it is usually quiet as not many people bother to make the short walk and climb to get here. It is one of the coves that make up the "Three beaches" area of Toraby, the others being Oyster cove and Shell…

  • Broadsands Beach (1.8 miles)

    Broadsands Beach © Tom Jolliffe | BY-SA

    The long, curving, red-sandy beach of Broadsands lies on South Devon's English Riviera coast, in between rocky headlands. When the tide goes out the beach is extensive. The beach shelves gently into the calm water, making it generally safe for kayaking, paddleboarding, paddling, sailing, and swimming, although at high tide the water comes up almost…

  • Institute Beach (1.5 miles)

    Institute Beach © Derek Harper | BY-SA

    This little beach is tucked away on a little headland between Torquay and Paignton. Somewhat hidden away below the red sandstone cliffs of the Livermead Cliff Hotel, Institute beach is a great spot to get away from it all. The beach itself is made up of red sand and shingle with rocks and plenty of…

  • Livermead Sands Beach (1.7 miles)

    Livermead Sands © Philip Halling

    Livermead Sands is a narrow strip of typical coarse red Devon sand set below the main seafront road between Torquay and Preston. The central section of the beach has an area specifically designated for water-skiing. Swimming in this part of the beach is not allowed. There isn't anything in the way of facilities at Livermead…

  • Elbury Cove (2.2 miles)

    Elbury Cove © Tom Jolliffe | BY-SA

    Elbury (Elberry) Cove is a steeply-shelving pebble beach surrounded by woodland. The calm, sheltered waters are great for sea fishing and waterskiing. Only accessible on foot, via the coast path from Broadsands.

  • Torre Abbey Beach (2.2 miles)

    Torre Abbey © David Dixon | BY-SA

    Torre Abbey is Torquay's main beach, situated just west of the harbour. Shallow, safe waters and a sheltered aspect make this a very popular beach in summer. Mainly sand, with some rocky sections, the beach is backed by a promenade and a large grassy area known as Torre Abbey Meadows.

  • Beacon Cove (2.2 miles)

    Beacon Cove © Derek Harper | BY-SA

    A short walk from Torquay harbourside, Beacon Cove is a sheltered shingle beach. Less crowded than Torquay's main beach, but still easily accessible.

  • Peaked Tor Cove (2.2 miles)

    Peaked Tor Cove © Derek Harper

    The tiny pebble beach at Peaked Tor Cove is set just beyond Torquay Harbour and is accessible below the South West Coast Path via a set of over 150 steps just behind the Imperial Hotel. (Please note: as per the comments, access to the beach may be restricted, although we haven't confirmed the current situation)…

  • Churston Cove (2.5 miles)

    Churston Cove ©

    Churston Cove is a scenic, shingle and rock beach, just north of the town of Brixham on the English Riviera. Access is via a long, steep and narrow path, which is uneven in places and can make disabled access particularly difficult. The path passes through woodland and one of the highlights of the beach is…

  • Fishcombe Cove (2.6 miles)

    Fishcombe Cove © Derek Harper

    The little shingle beach at Fishcombe Cove sits just outside Brixham. With the hillside and cliffs behind being covered in woodland this really is a pretty spot. Access to the beach is both picturesque and a little challenging. It involves a shortish, but very steep walk from the car park or via the steps from…

  • Meadfoot Beach (2.6 miles)

    Meadfoot © Neil Owen | BY-SA

    Meadfoot is a small and peaceful beach a little apart from the bustle of the main Torquay area. There is a car park and boat-launching ramp at the rocky, northern end, and a cafe and beach huts at the sandy, western end. A split-level promenade offers limited parking and backs onto a wooded hillside.

  • Oddicombe Beach (3.9 miles)

    Oddicombe Beach © Derek Harper | BY-SA

    This sheltered shingle beach just north of Torquay on the English Riviera is a family favourite, often busy in summer. There are deckchairs, kayak, pedalo, and sunbed hire on offer. This UNESCO Global Geopark Key Site has interesting cliff formations and geology: the limestone and red sandstone are especially dramatic, and landslides have affected the…

  • Babbacombe Beach (3.8 miles)

    Babbacombe © Nick Potts | BY-SA

    Just east of Torquay, around the heavily wooded headland, is a different world to the bright lights and marinas of Torbay. Here you will find several little coves, the first, and arguably prettiest, of them is Babbacombe beach. The beach here is a little crescent of sand and shingle backed by thickly wooded cliffs dotted…

Paignton beaches map

Map featuring Paignton beaches. Click on pins to view beach details

About Paignton

Situated on the South Devon coast is Torbay, an east facing bay which forms a natural harbour in the English Channel. It is bordered by the South Hams in the south and west, and by Teignbridge to the north.

The area is edged by steep hills with palm trees a common sight around the bay. It is said the naturally sheltered bay has its own a micro climate that is significantly warmer than much of the rest of the UK. It is often referred to as the English Riviera on account of its long sandy beaches and this mild climate.


Torbay is made up of three main resort towns that are positioned around the bay spanning from Berry Head to Hope's Nose; these are Torquay, Paignton and Brixham, which have, over the years, become connected yo various other smaller towns and villages.

To the north is Torquay; for more than 100 years it has been a fashionable seaside retreat first becoming popular with wealthy visitors during the Victorian era. Much of the action is centred on the palm tree-lined waterfront with its busy harbour, promenade and marina which offers some of the UK's best sailing. The sandy beach is set slightly away in a less busy area, but still close to the town centre.

Surrounded by the famous seven hills, there are panoramic views and plenty of cliff top coastal paths around the town. Torquay has a number of sites of historic interest including Torre Abbey and Kents Cavern, while a popular family attraction is Living Coasts, a coastal zoo that is home to marine life including penguins, seals and puffins.

Torquay is also the birthplace of Dame Agatha Christie and there is an interesting mile walk which takes you through 10 landmarks associated with the mystery writer.

Paignton pier

The town of Paignton sits in the centre of the Torbay area; much of the action is around the seafront which is still a popular family destination. It boasts a mile long sandy beach backed by a promenade replete with amusements, a small harbour and traditional pier. Next to the beach is Paignton Green with its sporting facilities and various events. There are pleasure boat rides across the bay from Paignton Harbour to Torquay and Brixham. Paignton Zoo is one of Devon's most popular family attractions and is home to 100s of species of animals. There is also the nearby Splashdown Quaywest Waterpark with its eight water slides. Numerous events take place in Paignton including the annual regatta and carnival.

Brixham harbour

Furthest south is the attractive town of Brixham which has a different feel to the rest of Torbay; it remains a bustling fishing port set amongst the rugged cliffs around the bay where cottages cling to the hillsides. The focal point is still the traditional and quaint harbour which remains as one of Britian's busiest ports. Fishing trips and ferry services to Torquay also run from the here.

Above the seafront is the town, a maze of narrow streets lined with colourful traditional cottages and the towering cliffs at Berry Head and its coastal path.