Best beaches in Devon

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Below are a list of the top 16 beaches in Devon as selected by the users of the Beach Guide website.

The current most popular beach in Devon is Woolacombe. If you would like to have your say on which are the best beaches in Devon just follow the link to the beach and vote by clicking the star ratings at the top right of the page.

  • 1. Woolacombe Beach

    Woolacombe © Ian Woolcock

    Award-winning Woolacombe Beach is widely recognised as one of the best beaches in the UK. Located on the North Devon coast, between Croyde and Ilfracombe, the 3-mile sandy beach is popular with surfers and families looking for a traditional seaside experience.

    Since 1848, the beach has been in the private ownership of Parkin Estates…

  • 2. Bantham Beach

    Bantham ©

    Situated at the mouth of the River Avon, Bantham beach looks out over Bigbury and Burgh Island. Backed by sand dunes and the rolling hills of the South Hams, Bantham has little trouble fitting in with the South Devon Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.

    Bantham is an ideal family beach; a wide expanse of…

  • 3. Blackpool Sands Beach

    Blackpool Sands © Tony Atkin | BY-SA

    The crescent-shaped beach of Blackpool Sands is set against an attractive backdrop of pines and the rolling South Hams countryside. The beach itself is something of a misnomer as the sand is in reality mostly a coarse shingle – there is some sand towards the top of the beach though.

    There are sandpits for…

  • 4. Saunton Sands Beach

    Saunton Sands © Judy Dean | BY-SA

    Three and a half miles of golden sand backed by one of the most unique and impressive dune systems in the country. Saunton Sands is bounded to the south by the combined estuaries of the rivers Taw and Torridge. Popular with families and longboarders.

  • 5. Bigbury on Sea Beach

    Bigbury on Sea © Mark Hadley | BY-SA

    A large, sandy beach, with plenty of facilities, located between the rivers Avon and Erme in South Devon. Safe swimming, rock pools and the intriguing Burgh Island, which can be accessed via a causeway at low tide, or a unique 'sea tractor' at high.

  • 6. Great Mattiscombe Beach

    Great Mattiscombe © Jonathan Billinger | BY-SA

    Great Mattiscombe Beach, sometimes known as Mattiscombe Sands is a delightful sand and rock beach, backed by rolling hills and low-rise cliffs. There are some quite spectacular rock formations on the beach which appear most dramatic at low tide.  However, the beach does not have any rock pools.  

    Bathing here is possible although there is…

  • 7. Westward Ho! Beach

    Westward Ho! © Travels With A Dog And A Camera :) | BY-SA

    Facing westwards into Bideford Bay, Surfers and swimmers, kayakers, and paddle boarders will love this long sandy stretch of sand. The main beach is backed by the grassland of Northam Burrows Country Park and the imaginatively named Pebble Ridge.

    This part of the coastline is known for its dramatic cliffs, and Westward Ho! is no…

  • 8. Seaton Beach

    Seaton © Toms_travels | BY-SA

    Seaton Bay, with its mile-long pebble beach, sits right on the edge of the Jurassic Coast, a UNESCO world heritage site. The beach (whose pebbles are protected), is backed by steep cliffs at the western end and well-served by the seaside town of Seaton.

    A variety of watersports are on offer.

  • 9. Sidmouth Beach

    Sidmouth © Philip Halling | BY-SA

    The attractive Victorian resort of Sidmouth lies on the coast about 15 miles from Exeter. The main beach on the town's sea-front is largely made up of hand-sized pebbles above the shoreline.

    At low tide a strip of rich red sand is exposed with some interesting rock pools. Sidmouth's gently sloping beach is backed by a…

  • 10. Thurlestone Beach

    Thurlestone © Jeff Collins | BY-SA

    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…

  • 11. Dawlish Warren Beach

    Dawlish Warren © Lewis Clarke | BY-SA

    Backed by sand dunes, the sheltered location of Dawlish Warren offers a mix of natural beauty and traditional family entertainment; go-karts, golf, and amusement rides, as well as water sports are all available. It is also possible to hire beach huts on a daily or weekly basis. From part of the beach, there are stunning…

  • 12. Burgh Island Beach

    Burgh Island ©

    Located near the small, seaside village of Bigbury-On-Sea, Burgh Island is a small tidal island whose beaches are only visible at low tide. 

    Burgh Island is renowned as a famous former haunt of pirates and smugglers. However, in more recent times, the island is also well known for its connection to Agatha Christie, who is said…

  • 13. Thurlestone Beach (North)

    Thurlestone © Philip Halling | BY-SA

    Thurlestone Beach is actually two distinct beaches separated by a rocky outcrop.

    To the north is a smaller beach which is adjacent to Thurlestone Golf Club in and south of the outcrop a bigger beach that sits on the coast in the direction of South Milton. The two beaches share many of the same characteristics and…

  • 14. Beer Beach

    Beer © Mr Eugene Birchall | BY-SA

    Beer Beach sits below the picturesque Devon village of Beer, forming part of the 95-mile Jurassic Coast World Heritage Site.

    The name "Beer" comes from the Old English translation of "grove", rather than any connection with the popular beverage.

    The beach here is made up of shingle, and is mostly protected from strong winds…

  • 15. Beesands Beach

    Beesands © Jeff Collins | BY-SA

    Beesands Beach nestles between the sea, a freshwater lake called Widdicombe Ley and the tiny village from which it gets its name. The village features little more than a small church, and a row of houses, shops and pub looking out onto the sea.

    Beesands' shingle beach, which is about one mile long, is backed…

  • 16. Yarmer Beach

    Yarmer Beach © Philip Halling | BY-SA

    Yarmer beach is a good-sized stretch of sandy beach a little to the north of the better known Thurlestone beach. Actually Yarmer is the closest beach to the village but as there is no direct car access to the beach it is something of a hidden gem.

    Whilst the beach here has virtually…