St Mary's Bay

St Mary's Bay - Devon
© Tom Jolliffe and licensed for reuse under this Licence

St Mary’s Bay is a secluded cove not far from the town of Brixham. The beach is mostly sandy with some shingle and rocks. Located just south of Berry Head the beach just about lies on the popular 22-mile stretch of coastline known as the English Riviera. This name dates back to Victorian times because of the temperate climate, sub-tropical plants and scenic waterfronts.

The beach is a popular spot for swimming and snorkelling, although there is no lifeguard service.

Situated within the Berry Head to Sharkham SSSI St Mary’s Bay is also a good place to look for fossils. However, please note it is illegal to collect fossils from the cliff without written consent of Natural England.

St Mary’s is best reached from the pay and display car park at Sharkham Point, at the end of St Mary’s Road along a path and some steep steps. This can make disabled access quite difficult.

Sharkham Point is the headland to the south of the beach. From here there are excellent views of St Mary’s Bay and the heritage coast beyond. There are further panoramic views from the coastal path that passes above the beach.

To the north, the path takes visitors to Berry Head National Nature Reserve. Here there are public toilets and a café. Otherwise, the closest facilities are to be found in the centre of Brixham with its attractive working harbour. Here you will find no shortage of shops, pubs and restaurants.

Type of beach


Lifeguard service


Dogs friendly beach?

Dogs allowed

Dogs are welcome on the beach all year round.

Devon dog friendly beaches »


  • Diving & snorkelling
  • Good fishing
  • Swimming/bathing

Nearest town




OS grid ref.

SX 9328 5504


Free car parking is available at Sharkham Point for around 50 cars. but there are no disabled spaces.

Water quality

Water quality star rating


Marine Conservation Society Recommended

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