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The Best Beaches in Devon

Bantham Beach in Devon

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On the southwest of England sits a county so lush with vibrant villages, cities and heritage that you have to put it on your vacation wishlist. It’s still relatively low in terms of population (around two per cent), which adds to its appeal and experience. This is Devon.

Along with Devonshire clotted cream, Devon is widely known for its sprawling coastlines as well. Many of the beaches here are coveted for their safety and cleanliness, which is ideal for kids and your next family vacation.

Want to know the best beaches in Devon? We got you covered!

Table of Contents

1. Be at Peace on Anstey’s Cove Beach

What’s it like: If you’re looking for a quiet place to rest and relax on the English Riviera, your first choice should be Anstey’s Cove. Nestled in the middle of Babbacombe and Torquay, this breathtaking shingle beach is the perfect place to soak in some alone time with your family.

What to do: The Anstey’s Cove Beach Cafe & Bar is open from 9 AM to 5 PM. There are kayaks and deckchairs for rent from there too. The surrounding hillside has multiple trails for wildlife walks.

Fun Fact: Agatha Christie went on a romantic picnic with a gentleman named Amyas Boston by Anstey’s Cove seaside. She later used his name, Amyas, in her novel Five Little Pigs.

More information about Anstey’s Cove

Address: 5 Vaughan Parade, Torquay, Devon, England

2. Surf at Bantham Beach

Bantham Beach ocean view

What’s it like: Near the hills of South Hams, Bantham beach showcases various rock pools and wide expanses of sandy ways. View Burgh Island and Bigbury Bay while enjoying the waves. Armed with a seasonal lifeguard, it’s one of the safest family beaches around.

What to do: The main attraction of Bantham Beach is surfing. If you want to give it a go, the Bantham Surfing Academy is ready for you to start your surfing journey. As for the parking fee, it’s just ten euros for the whole day.

Fun Fact: Even though it’s open to the public, Bantham Beach is privately owned by an anonymous family. They bought the beach as part of an estate worth 11.5 million pounds.

More information about Bantham Beach

Address: Bantham, Kingsbridge TQ7 3AN, United Kingdom

3. Get a Tan at Blackpool Sands

Blackpool Sands ocean view
Partonez, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

What’s it like: Blackpool Sands is a half-moon-shaped beach that carefully brings the surrounding area of South Hams and the rolling waters together. Much like Bantham Beach, there are reliable seasonal lifeguards always at the ready.

What to do: Sun up and get that tan you always wanted while the kids play in the sandpits. You can also rent a couple of wetsuits, kayaks, and paddle boards for more fun.

Fun Fact: Blackpool Sands is a winner of the Blue Flag award. This honor is given to beaches for their first-rate cleanliness and safety.

More information about Blackpool Sands

Address: Blackpool Valley Road Nr, Dartmouth TQ6 0RG, UK

4. Pool It up at Croyde Bay Beach

Big waves in Croyde Bay Beach

What’s it like: Croyde Bay Beach is another family-friendly beach. It’s also considered one of the top beaches, boasting the best surf in the UK. The beach has sturdy sands for better sandcastle construction and strong waves. A seasonal lifeguard is up and ready for any emergency.

What to do: This is the ideal spot for intermediate and advanced surfers because of its steady waves. Other options are fishing and rock pooling.

Fun Fact: There are rock formations on both ends of the beach, and they create amazing rock pools too.

More information on Croyde Bay Beach

Address: Croyde, Braunton, EX33 1QB, UK

5. Explore the Reach of Exmouth Beach

Exmouth Beach scenery

What’s it like: The view from the beach is breathtaking, allowing its viewers to gaze over the cliffs towards the Jurassic Coast. The beach itself is made for walking and sculpting your sandcastles.

What to do: There are so many water-related sports you can do here, like:

  • Swimming
  • Kite surfing
  • Kayaking
  • Boating
  • Windsurfing
  • Paddle-boarding

What makes this place unique is the inclusion of swing boats, crazy golf, and even dinosaur safari trails.

Fun Fact: Coming from Exmouth and to Studland Bay, the Jurassic Coast is teeming with historical land formations and fossils. It marks the location as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. 

More information about Exmouth Beach

Address: Exmouth, Devon, EX8 2AZ, UK

6. Saunter Over Saunton Sands Beach

Huts at Saunton Sands Beach

What’s it like: Close to its namesake village of Saunton, this beauty is in North Devon. It spans three miles of bright yellow sandy beach and 8.5m on the high tide. Croyde and Braunton are on either side of this gem, making it the first beach you’ll see.

What to do: Sunbathing is a must when visiting Saunton Beach. Plus, the coolness of the waves is so inviting for your next swim. For a different experience, there’s always long-board surfing.

Fun Fact: Saunton beach is part of the Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty of North Devon. This area includes the Branton Burrows Biosphere Reserve, which is protected by UNESCO.

More information about Saunton Sands Beach

Address: Saunton, Devon, EX33 1LQ, UK

7. Relax by Woolacombe Beach

Woolacombe Beach scenery

What’s it like: This 3-mile stretch of sandy beach is midway between Ilfracombe and Croyde. It’s already one of the greatest family-friendly beaches in all of the UK. It also has an excellent view of the Bristol Channel and Lundy Island.

What to do: Your family can rent a beach hut and enjoy the many amenities, including surfing, kite surfing, and kayaking. Since this is one of the more well-known beaches, there are many restaurants and shops for your convenience.

Fun Fact: There’s a memorial for the American soldiers of WW2 on the north bay. It’s there to commemorate their training for the Normandy Landings.

More information about Woolacombe Beach

Address: Nr Braunton, Woolacombe, Devon, EX34 7DL, UK


When you’re trying to decide where to take your family on your next beach holiday, what better place than the best beaches Devon has to offer? There are a wide variety of sands and surf to choose from.

You got Anstey’s Cove for some peaceful family-alone time. If your kids want to try surfing, Bantham Beach, Saunton Sands, and Croyde Bay are the beaches for you. Blackpool Sands is your go-to for the perfect tan. Go to Exmouth or Woolacombe Beach for your next adventure.

Written by
David Prior

David Prior is an NCTJ-qualified journalist and the editor of Big Family Breaks. He is also a father of five and an experienced traveller, especially with kids.

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