Thurlestone Beach (South Milton Sands)

Thurlestone Beach - Devon
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Thurlestone offers the visitor two sheltered sandy beaches to choose from. Leasefoot, the smaller of the two lies next to Thurlestone Golf Club, while the larger Thurlestone Sands is just along the coast, closer to South Milton. Thurlestone Sands is a popular location for a wide variety of watersports. 

Because Thurlestone Sands is accessed via a single-track road, it is relatively remote and does not get the crowds that are usual on equivalent Devon beaches.  The beaches lie in a designated Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and it’s easy to see why.  They have a distinctly rural feel, and children will love splashing about in the clear shallow water at the shoreline. Care does however need to be taken further out to sea as signs here warn of dangerous rip-tides, currents and sudden shelving. 

A notable feature at Thurlestone Sands is the famous Thurlestone Rock- an arched natural rock formation lying just off the rocks at one end of the beach.  This is best viewed at high tide.  The rocky outcrops flanking the beach provide shelter to the main beach area and expose some interesting rock pools at low tide. 

Although dogs are allowed on the beach at any time of year, there are strongly enforced dog-fouling laws here, which help to keep the golden sand here lovely and clean.

Also known as:

South Milton Sands

Type of beach


Lifeguard service


Dogs friendly beach?

Dogs allowed

Dogs are allowed and dog bins are provided.

Devon dog friendly beaches »


  • Cafe/restaurant
  • Toilets
  • Disabled facilities
  • Shop

Nearest town




OS grid ref.

SX 6769 4166


There is pay parking for 150 cars. There are no spaces for disabled people.

Water quality

Water quality star rating


Marine Conservation Society Recommended

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Thurlestone Beach Reviews

Lovely unspoilt beach

Kate Dickinson
Aug 05th 2020

Lovely day spent on this beach. Toddler played happily in the shallow estuary of the river that runs into the sea here .... Excellent cafe and adequate toilet facilities ... A little tricky for disabled persons as path down is sandy and a step although we did get the buggy down ... coarse but soft clean sand ...  A bit of a challenging drive though to get there along a single track road ....


its me
Apr 03rd 2020

love the beach it is perfection

Nice area, but not convincing.

Mar 18th 2022

The area has a nice coastal walk. However the beaches are not really sand, the name is misleading as the beaches are shingle. The area is nice, especially from the cliff tops. They allow dogs on all of the beaches and coves here and some are out of control. There has been anti social behavioural problems with teenagers and their parents who have been seen to frequent the area of recent times. One cove they SHOULD cut off is Broadsand cove due to anti social behavioural problems, or ban families with teenagers and dogs! It would be a much nicer area to visit, especially the beaches if dogs were BANNED on all beaches in this area during the summer months like elsewhere. Other than that, it isn’t worth visiting.

Smelly poorly kept beach

Country Gal
May 17th 2021

This beach is not well kept.
The access is difficult and the whole beach stinks of sewage.
Poor signage and parking confusing.
Dog friendly yes but why is that…..? Only allowed because it is an awful beach.
Could be truly amazing.
Wish we had had a better experience.
May 2021.