A Devon retreat is not complete without exploring the gorgeous spectrum of beaches on offer in the South West, yet again proving you needn’t hop on a plane to find holiday worthy beaches! With so many to pick from, we have rounded up a variety of our favourite beaches and coves to suit varying preferences and locations. All the beaches offer something unique, be it the scenic backdrop, serenity, mouth-watering beachside café‘s, or being slap bang on the coastal path…
Mattiscombe, start point
If you park at Start Point and don’t mind a ten-minute walk, you will stumble across this breathtaking beach, set against a backdrop of rolling hills that warns of the less intrepid beach enthusiasts. With the picturesque granite rocks creating secluded inlets, and the short walk protecting you from a throng of tourists, Mattiscombe is the ideal beach to enjoy an uninterrupted beach day in the height of summer, surrounded by Devon’s coastal path. Come prepared as there is nothing close by!
If sandy beaches aren’t to your taste, Elberry is a great alternative. This shingle beach is nestled away from the bustle of the nearby towns and oozes tranquillity, especially in the evenings. This is not only a great swimming and watersports spot, but offers coastal walks to either side if you want to stretch your legs. This cute cove offers lovely sunsets for a disposable BBQ setting, is dog-friendly and you can avoid getting sand all over you!
East Portlemouth, Salcombe
A trip to Salcombe is a must during your South Devon staycation, as this beautiful estuary town is an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty brimming with yachts, boutique stores and great seaside restaurants. If you are Salcombe side, get the ferry over the estuary, placing you are a short walk from East Portlemouth beach. If the tide is out you can beach-hop, but if not there is an alternative route. This golden-sand beach overlooks the colourful town, so you can sunbathe while gazing at the sailing boats. When you are ‘beach-ed out’, make sure you grab a Salcombe ice-cream on your way back!
Slapton Sands is a bucket-list beach with historical significance, being the rehearsal area for D-Day. This epic 3-mile stretch of golden shingle beach presents the opportunity to enjoy a large area to yourself, and is a sought after spot for swimming, kite-surfing and kayaking. Navigate the country lanes and soak up the scenic coastal path views as you drive to this beach, and don’t worry about running out of food as there are places to buy refreshments if needs be.
If you are keen on surfing, this is your beach, boasting a swell range of 2-12 feet! If not, it is still a tropical oasis with delicious food trucks, rockpools and grassy dunes. Often cited in every write-up in Devon as a ‘must-visit’ beach, it is easy to see why it can never be missed of the list! The unspoilt stretch of beach and coastline never seems too busy, as the tide goes right out leaving a huge stretch of sand to spread out on and set up for the day!
This sandy beach is a picturesque spot in Dartmouth, recently voted the second most beautiful town in the UK. Blackpool Sands is a great social spot in the summer, hosting Open Air Cinemas, live music and even a festival, which is a treat with this beautiful backdrop! The luscious landscape, Venus Café and crystal clear waters make Blackpool a desirable Devonian destination all year round.
For the peace-seekers searching for a lesser known beach, Mothecombe is an idyllic spot tucked away from towns and flanked by rocks. The rugged coastline hugs the sandy beach, and the calm sea invites you to swim at all hours. This unspoilt beach is a playground for the children who want to frolic in rockpools, and is adjacent to a lovely stretch of coastal path leading you through vast meadows with panoramic sea views.
For more destination information on Devon, check out our 5-day itinerary blog.Back