Top 13 Best Beaches in North and South Devon
Devon has some of the best award-winning beaches in the UK, from family-friendly beaches to beaches popular with surfers.
The coastline in Devon is split in two, one in North Devon and the other in South Devon. Both of Devon’s coastlines are home to an abundance of beautiful beaches, from secluded hidden coves to large well-known sandy bays, with nine stunning Blue Flag beaches.
But, whatever you’re looking for, there’s a perfect beach for everyone who’s visiting Devon. You’ll also find many dog-friendly beaches on both sides of the county.
Spending a day at the beach in Devon is a must during the long summer months, but finding the best beaches is the tricky part. We’ve whittled it down for you, so you can save time searching and more time relaxing at the beach!
So, without further ado, read on to see our list of the top beaches in North Devon and South Devon.
You may also be interested in reading:
- Top 5 Best Beaches in England: UK Beach Guide
- The Top 5 Best Beaches in Torquay, South Devon
- The Top 5 Best Beaches in Brixham
- 5 Best Beaches In Teignmouth
13 Best Beaches in North and South Devon
1. Woolacombe Beach, North Devon
Woolacombe is a spectacular beach situated in the North Devon village of Woolacombe, and is widely known as one of the best beaches in the UK.
Located on Devon’s north coast, between Croyde and Ilfracombe, Woolacombe is a huge sandy beach that stretches south for about two miles.
The beaches is popular for surfing, and families as there are plenty of facilities, a lifeguard service, and parking.
Is Woolacombe Beach dog friendly? Yes, it is dog friendly but there are some restrictions. During peak season (May to October) visitors must stick to the clearly marked dog-friendly zones.
2. Breakwater Beach, Brixham, South Devon
The Breakwater beach in Brixham, on the south coast of Devon, is an award-winning beach along the English Riviera.
The popular shingle beach is a Blue Flag beach, has a Quality Coast Award, and in addition has been recommended by the Good Beach Guide.
Facilities at the Breakwater include a car park, toilets, a shop, and a cafe so it’s a great beach to spend the day for the whole family.
Breakwater beach is dog friendly during the winter but dogs are banned from May to September.
3. Bantham Beach, South Devon
Bantham Beach is a beautiful beach and one of Devon’s best beaches. Situated at the mouth of the River Avon in the South Hams, the large sandy beach is ideal for watersports, surfers, and paddling in the rock pools.
The stunning beach is perfect for all ages, including young children, with facilities that include a lifeguard service, toilets, car parking, a beach shop, and a pub nearby.
Dogs are permitted on the beach next to the estuary all year round, which extends to a huge area at low tide.
4. Croyde Beach, North South
Croyde beach is a well-known family-friendly beach famous for its golden sand and dunes. Located in a small bay in North Devon, Croyde beach is nestled in between Woolacombe and Saunton Sands.
The beach is extremely popular with surfers and is rated one of the best surfing beaches in the world. There’s also plenty of rock pool for young children to play and paddle in, and coastal walks for those who want to explore further afield.
Facilities include a lifeguard service, watersports, surfing lessons, food places, public toilets, shops, and a beach car park with disabled parking.
Dogs are not permitted from the 1st of May to the 30th of September.
5. Torre Abbey Sands Beach, South Devon
Torre Abbey Sands, a ‘Seaside Award’ and Blue Flag winner, is a long red sandy beach perfect for those sunny beach days. Close by is Torquay town centre to explore the harbour, bars, shops, and Torquay restaurants.
The hugely popular beach features Victorian splendor at one end and The Grand Hotel at the other, with numerous car parks located close by.
Torre Abbey Sands does not allow dogs between 1st May and 30th September.
6. Saunton Sands Beach, North Devon
Saunton Sands, located near to the village of Saunton, is a spectacular long sandy beach home to three miles of golden sands.
One of the finest beaches in the UK, Saunton Sands is popular for surfers, dog walkers, and families. The beach is huge so there’s plenty of space for everyone, and the shallow sloping into the sea makes it ideal for young children. There’s also a lifeguard service in the peak summer months.
Facilities include car parking, a shop, public toilets, and food places with disabled access.
Saunton Sands is dog friendly all year round.
7. Bigbury on Sea Beach, South Devon
Bigbury on Sea is a beach located in the South Hams district on the south coast of Devon, England
Just 40 minutes from Dartmouth, overlooking Bigbury Bay & Burgh island, Bigbury on Sea beach is a popular spot for surfers, windsurfing, and kitesurfing. The beach is great for families with its sandy shoreline, shallow waters, and excellent water quality.
At low tide, Bigbury on Sea opens up a natural causeway which stands as the only walk-in access to Burgh Island. At high tide, there’s a tractor ride you can take across!
The beach has some great facilities including a cafe serving local produce, public toilets, watersports to hire, and a lifeguard service from May to September during the summer season.
Bigbury on Sea beach is dog friendly all year round.
8. Blackpool Sands Beach, South Devon
Blackpool sands beach, located in Dartmouth and close to the nearby village of Blackpool, is a crescent-shaped shingle beach with a backdrop of the rolling English countryside.
It’s one of the most popular beaches in the area and is privately owned so maintained to a high standard.
The Blue Flag beach is ideal for all of the family with watersports available and sandpits for children but it’s worth noting that the waves can be powerful. Facilities include parking, public toilets, watersports, a beach shop, and a cafe.
Dogs are not permitted on the beach from 1st April through to 31st October.
9. Goodrington Sands, South Devon
Goodrington Sands, located on the English Riviera in the south of Devon, is a huge sandy beach just outside of Paignton.
The beach is divided into two parts – the north and the south side and is ideal for people of all ages. Highly accessible, the beach has also won a Blue Flag Award for cleanliness and each day it’s raked for pebbles, seaweed, and stones.
Activities are endless at the beach with watersports for those seeking adventure, rockpools for young kids to paddle in, and Quaywest Waterpark is virtually on the beach.
Facilities include a lifeguard service, car parking close by, toilets, watersports, beach hut hire, and deck chair hire.
Dogs are only permitted on the north part of the beach from 1st May to 30th September.
10. Maidencombe Beach, South Devon
Maidencombe Beach is an award-winning sandy, rocky beach located 15 minutes from Torquay by car.
This beautiful cove, surrounded by deep red sandstone, has stunning views of the Torbay coastline with lots of rock pools at low tide for kids to play in. The sheltered cliffs make this beach perfect for swimming and enjoying the beautiful scenery.
The beach has won awards for ‘The Seaside Award’ and the ‘Good Beach Guide’.
Facilities at the Breakwater include a car park, toilets, and a cafe so it’s a great beach for the entire family to spend the day. Although, there are some steep steps to access the beach after a smaller path.
Maidencombe beach is dog friendly all year round.
11. Anstey’s Cove, South Devon
Located along the coast path between Torquay and Babbacombe is Anstey’s Cove. This charming cove is a peaceful place to visit surrounded by limestone cliffs and spectacular rock formations with stunning views across Lyme Bay.
Anstey Cove has won awards for the ‘Good Beach Guide’ and the ‘Seaside Award’.
Facilities include a shop, toilets, and a lovely beach cafe that rents out kayaks, deck-chairs, and stand-up paddleboards.
In addition, Anstey’s Cove is dog friendly all year round.
12. Fishcombe Cove, South Devon
Located along the coast of Brixham and the English Riviera is the spectacular Fishcombe Cove. This charming cove is surrounded by red cliffs on all sides and is a stunning place to visit.
The sheltered cliffs make this beach perfect for swimming and enjoying the beautiful scenery.
Fishcombe Cove is a shingle beach with rocks and cliffs. Facilities include toilets and a cafe at the top of the beach which is open during the summer months. The Freshwater car park is a 5-minute walk away.
Is Fishcombe Cove dog friendly? Fishcombe Cove beach is dog friendly all year round.
13. Beer Beach, South Devon
Beer Beach is a popular beach that sits at the bottom of the picturesque village of Beer. The sheltered cove is protected by the white limestone cliffs that surround the beach.
The family-friendly shingle beach is close to Seaton town and forms part of the 95-mile stretch of the Jurassic Coast World Heritage Site.
Facilities include car parking opposite the beach and public toilets.
Dogs are not permitted on the western part of Beer beach from 1st May to 30th September.
Summary of the Best Beaches in North and South Devon
If you fancy a day at the beach, you’ll be spoilt for choice with the stunning beaches across the north and south coastlines of Devon. We hope our guide to the best beaches in Devon has given you some inspiration for your next day trip away or holiday staycation.
Related Posts about Beaches in Devon:
- Top 5 Best Beaches in England: UK Beach Guide
- 5 Best Beaches in Torquay
- 5 Best Beaches in Brixham
- 5 Best Beaches In Teignmouth
- Best Beaches in Paignton