Tunnels Beach (Ilfracombe)

Tunnels Beach (Ilfracombe) - Devon
© Gareth James and licensed for reuse under this Licence

A network of tunnels, hand-carved in the early nineteenth century, leads to a selection of sheltered sand and shingle beaches and a Victorian tidal swimming pool.

The beaches, which are backed by cliffs, can only be accessed via the tunnels, for which an entrance fee is charged.

Type of beach

Sand & shingle

Lifeguard service


Dogs friendly beach?

Dogs are banned from the beach from 1st May to 31st October. Outside of these times dogs must be kept on the lead. and dog.

Devon dog friendly beaches »


  • Diving & snorkelling
  • Good fishing
  • Swimming/bathing


  • Cafe/restaurant
  • Toilets
  • First aid point
  • Childrens play area
  • Shop
  • Deck chair hire
  • Picnic area

Nearest town



EX34 8AX

OS grid ref.

SS 5148 4784

Water quality

Water quality star rating


Marine Conservation Society Recommended

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Tunnels Beach (Ilfracombe) Reviews

Jun 18th 2022

Had a lovely visit to the tunnels beaches yesterday. Wedding in next beach was quiet and unobtrusive.  All facilities clean and staff friendly. Had a nice swim and also hired deck chairs, very reasonable.  Thank you, unusual day out, will be back!

Tunnels beaches

Sep 07th 2021

Visited initially on 05/09/21 , & really enjoyed swimming there. On 06/09, when the tide was approaching high water, I thought that there was an unpleasant odour, which was in no way apparent or detectable the previous day. I wondered if anyone had any suggestions, as to why this may have been so?

Taken over by corporate weddings

Sep 04th 2021

The Tunnels beaches have been taken over by a very busy corporate wedding company. The largest beach has noisy weddings on most days, music and BBQ smoke!! Not nice. The other bay is small and absolutely tiny when tide is in. Gets extremely crowded and busy, really unpleasant and is not worth the entrance fee!