One of the best places to spend some time with the family after a hectic work week is the beach. And whether it is the sand or the shingle, Devon is home to some of the most beautiful beaches in the world. If you plan on visiting the South West of England any time soon, here is a list of some of the top beaches in Devon.
Croyde Bay Beach
Arguably one of Devon’s highly regarded beaches; Croyde Bay Beach is a beautiful sandy beach very popular with surfers for its reliable surf. In fact, Croyde Beach is the site of many a surfing competition. It also attracts a lot of beach volleyball enthusiasts.
Even though Croyde Beach is not as large as some of the other beaches along the northern coast, it is a lively spot that attracts a lot of families and young people, especially in the summer. When the tide is out, you can spot many of the marine wildlife that fills up the rock pools dotted all over the stretch of beach. If you are not in the mood for some salt and water, you can take a small stroll just up the shoreline to Baggy Point. This village is accessible via public footpaths right from the beach itself. Before you leave Croyde Bay, be sure to visit Down End where you will find the perfect background for the perfect holiday picture.
Woolacombe Beach is a 3 mile stretch of glistening sand that extends all the way to the equally popular Putsborough Sands and is a firm favorite with young people and whole families. In 2015, it was voted the No. 1 Beach in the whole of UK by Travel Review website TripAdvisor. It also came 4th in Europe and 13th in the whole world. Woolacombe Beach is dotted with colourful beach huts. It also has a number of surf hire huts, a huge boat swing and a bouncy castle. There is virtually everything for the whole family at Woolacombe Beach. You can sit at any of the beautiful huts and enjoy a BBQ with friends and family or surf on the water. From April to October every year, the beach is patrolled by RNLI lifeguards. This makes it the perfect place to learn how to surf or kayak in safety.
Unlike other places where pets are not allowed, you can bring the family dog along on your trip to Woolacombe Beach as long as you are willing to follow some simple rules.
Saunton Sands is a three mile expanse of golden sand perfect for the whole family. This idyllic beach is backed by the equally impressive Braunton Burrows, the largest system of sand dunes in the whole of England, home to more than 4000 species of dune plants and also home to Crow Point, where the UNESCO Biosphere Reserve is located.
Chances are you have caught glimpses of Saunton Sands on TV as many video films have been shot here – including ‘Edge of Tomorrow and Robbie William’s Angels.
At Saunton Sands, you are free to bring the family dog, so you never have to leave the lovely 4 legged friend at home whenever the family is going on holiday.
If you get bored with the water, you can always join the number of birdwatchers, fishermen and campers who can be found around Crow Point at any time of the year. The whole area is perfect for camping, kayaking, padding and any other fun activity you can think of.
Just a little distance from Woolacombe Beach is Barricane Beach. Barricane Beach is quieter and smaller but it is no less beautiful. Highly attractive to cliff jumpers and sea swimmers, Barricane Beach is known for being more of a haven for adrenaline junkies than where to sun bath. However, with its overhanging cliffs and calm waters, it can also make a pretty decent romantic spot.
Barribane is inspired by the thousands of exotic sea shells that wash ashore several miles from the Caribbean to this rocky inlet on the Devon North coast. These sea shells are not the only attractive feature of this place. Barricane Beach is also surrounded by a number of attractive rock formations and rich rock pools. There are also secluded spots for people looking for a bit of peace and quiet.
Definitely not filled with black sand, Blackpool Sands is said to be South Devon’s most beautiful beach. Made up of shingles or pebbles, this very level stretch of water located just a few minutes from Dartmouth is definitely the region’s most beautiful treasure. Blackpool Sands is surrounded by woodlands that run down to the edge of the beach creating a perfect country and coast picture that very few beaches can achieve.
This privately managed and award winning Blue Flag beach is the perfect place to swim without fear of pollution or diseases. The beach is actually cleaned everyday during the summer season and the water is constantly tested by the environmental agency. On the beach, you will find sand pits, stand up paddle canoes, bathing raft, kayak and a whole plethora of water sports equipment for hire. During the day, swimmers can practice swimming and diving while the beach café stays open far into the night.
Putsborough Sands is at the other end of the 3 mile stretch of sands that come all the way from Woolacombe Sands. The beautiful destination is strategically positioned between Baggy Point and Morte Point and is essentially one of the best sandy beaches in all of South Devon.
Putsborough Sands is exactly the kind of place you want to be if your intention is to avoid the crowd at Woolacombe sands. However, the quietness of the place does nothing to mar its pure natural beauty. The place is dotted with rocks of all sizes, making it ideal for the rock climbing members of the family and there is a quaint wooden café at the top of a hill for a hot drink after a windy walk. While not as popular as Croyde Beach, it actually has a decent swell which makes it attractive to surfers; however there are no life guards available.
Putsborough is also another beach where you are free to bring the family dog so won’t at home all by their lonesome self. A note of caution though, parking at the car park is rather pricey, but the beauty of the whole place will make the cost worth it.