Below is a personal list of mine (Lauren) and Paisley’s favourite beaches in South Devon. These may change as we begin to explore the South Devon coast even more and find more hidden gems on our way, making memories and finding our favourite places! If you have any suggestions of where we need to visit then make sure you leave a comment at the end of the post we do our best to check out all the locations suggested.
So here we go our favourite beaches in South Devon:
This is our favourite at the moment! The beach is easily accessible and you can park either on the Thurlestone side or in the National Trust South Milton Sands car park. The beach itself is a mile long of pure golden sand, with a little bit of shingle right by the shore. Perfect for swimming, sunbathing and water sports. There is even a place to hire out a variety of water sports equipment on the beach during the busier times and it is popular with paddle boarders, kayakers and spear fishermen.
What else do you need to make it one of the best beaches in South Devon?
Well… Thurlestone is an ‘outstanding area of national beauty’ and if you are after a beautiful place to relax and unwind then this is for you! Paisley and I, have spent several evenings watching the sunset, swimming and chilling out. We often head to the beach later in the day during the summer as it is a lot quieter, a bit cooler and you know…sunsets!! During the day Thurlestone can get very busy as it has so much to offer!
Bigbury has everything you need for a sensational day out. Surf, sand, rock pools and even Burgh Island to adventure; there’s also a surf school,shop, pub and hotel. Bigbury really does have everything. For me it is great as I have so much to adventure, explore and take photos of. Whilst for Pais it’s great as it has everything to keep me entertained so she can have a moment to relax.
We often head down late evening to make the most of the near empty beach and golden hour. Setting ourselves up with a BBQ and some music it’s the perfect way to spend our evening. As the beach is tidal and Burgh Island gets cut off it also adds a sense of danger, adding to the experience. If you do find yourself cut off by the tide you can always get on the sea tractor which is always a fun experience for all and only costing £2 each way is not too expensive.
Fancy spending a few nights at Bigbury? We recommend Beacon Cottage. A beautifully converted barn with fantastic views.
Why Burgh Island puts it on our list of the best beaches in South Devon:
Burgh Island itself can give you something to explore for an hour or two. On the top of the island are ruins which are said to be the remain of an old chapel. We love heading up to the top of the island, it adds a different perspective and is another great photo opportunity spot! There’s also the Pilchard Inn which is perfect for an evening drink and some food. One of our favourite pubs due to the location and a few date nights we have spent there!
Wembury has so much to offer! Hiking, sunbathing, water-sports, rock-pooling and it even has a café if you are after a bite to eat. It is one of our favourite spots due its diversity and the beauty of the place. If we feel like exploring we can walk along the coastal path and see what we can find, whilst rock-pooling along the way. If we want to chill out we can spend hours sunbathing on the beach and then visit the Old Mill Café for some delicious homemade cake!
Also, there are wild ponies wandering around, when Paisley and I first stumbled across them it was a wonderful surprise! We didn’t even know they roamed Wembury. If you head up the coastal path, towards the top of the cliff you will often see them there. The walk itself is steep in places but not too hard so is accessible for most. If you struggle with the cliffs you can always head to Wembury point which has an easy to access tarmacked path.
The photography opportunities got it on to our best beaches in South Devon list:
For me it is the perfect spot to take photos, the Great Mewstone Island gives a focal point to photographs during the daylight and during the golden hours. The only time we haven’t been down to shoot yet is during the night, but from experience the stars you can see there are phenomenal. You’ll have to visit yourself to understand why it really is an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.
This beach is only one of our favourites in the off-season or later in the evening. During the holidays it can get so busy and we are not a touristy beach couple! We love visiting here as it is a mile and half long beach of golden sand, being so long and separated by the groyne’s you can have your own spot all to yourself. It is the perfect beach for a date night. Although you are unable to BBQ on the beach, which is part of the conservation there, you can still take a picnic and chill. Or grab some food from any of the amenities they have on the promenade.
Dawlish Warren’s uniqueness gets it on our best beaches in South Devon list:
The beach itself is only one part of the Dawlish Warren Nature reserve, it also includes sand dunes, mudflats, grassland and is situated on the mouth of the River Exe. Wandering through the sand dunes is a real experience, you feel like you are lost in a desert! The depth of the sea also varies along the coastline and often islands of sand will appear in the ocean, which are great to explore. Just be careful of the current!
Our best beaches in South Devon:
So, these are our favourite beaches in South Devon at this moment in time. We will add to the list as we explore more of the coast. As we work our way down the North Devon coast in the future. If you have any suggestions of where we should visit then leave us a comment below and make sure you tell us why it is your favourite beach!