Discover the glorious sunshine coast with so many award winning beaches right on your doorstep from Blue Flag beaches, rugged coastline, miles of sandy beaches, sand dunes and coastal walks you will be spoilt for choice.
From the big golden sands at Westward Ho! Saunton, and Woolacombe through to rocky coves and cliffs at Hartland and Clovelly, North Devon offers every type of beach you could wish for.
Surfers love Westward Ho!, Croyde, Saunton and Woolacombe and walkers can enjoy the quieter stretches at Hele, Barricane, Rockham and Putsborough. Instow can be explored by cycling along the Tarka Trail and you can always reward yourself with a refreshing ice cream afterwards. Try rock pooling at Hartland Quay and enjoy a refreshing walk along the cliffs!
Discover anemones, crabs, shrimps and fish in rock pools teeming with life. Check for low tide then head for the beach with your prawning net and bucket. Westward Ho!, Instow, Ilfracombe and Tunnels Beaches, are particularly good spots.
Paddle and play
Visit Victoria Park in Bideford and you’ll discover a great adventure playground and a shallow open air pool that’s free to use. Changing rooms, pool cafe and the nearby Burton Art Gallery all add to a great day out. EX39 2QQ
Take a line and bucket down to the Quays at Bideford, Appledore or Hartland and try the joys of crabbing. Kits can be bought at most sea-side shops for a few pounds but don’t forget your bait – streaky bacon is a crabs favourite!
Head for Braunton Burrows and spend the day exploring the largest sand dune system in England. There are huge sweeps of sand, sandy paths to explore and lots of sun traps for picnics. Parking charges apply. EX33 1LG
Cycle the Tarka Trail
Pack a picnic and head off for a day of adventure along the Tarka Trail. Level cycling with plenty of picnic spots and refreshment areas.
Go seal spotting
Head for Morte Point, just north of Woolacombe for some of the best views in the area and see if you can spot the seals bobbing in the water or basking on the rocks. EX33 1PA
Look for the animals
Head for Wistlandpound Reservoir and a spot of nature watching. The natural play area with wooden tree snakes, mushroom carvings and tree dens is a great area for youngsters to explore. Parking charges apply. EX31 4SJ
So many amazing beaches to discover and explore…
Westward Ho! Beach, Westward Ho!, Nr Bideford, North Devon, EX39 1HN
The beach is patrolled by lifeguards and is one of the safest in the area. It offers vast expanses of golden sands, which makes it ideal for fun family bathing.
Instow Beach, Instow, Bideford, North Devon, EX39 4JN
Instow Beach is a long beach on an estuary very popular for fishing and sailing as well as other beach activities. It is a sandy beach, backed by low dunes, at the mouth of the rivers Taw and Torridge.
Bucks Mills Beach, Nr Clovelly, North Devon, EX35 7TY
Bucks Mills is a pleasant, picturesque and quiet retreat, even at the busiest times of the year. The beach is situated in a rocky secluded cove at the bottom end of the ancient fishing village.
Sandy Mouth, Bude, Cornwall, EX23 9HW
With golden sand, rocks & many rock pools the cliffs surrounding the beach are moderately unstable but provide a great variety of wildflowers. In a Heritage Coast area perfect for walking, however, keep an eye on the tide. Dog friendly.
Crooklets Beach, Bude, Cornwall, EX23 8NF
The small bay at Crooklets is due north of Summerleaze & adjoins it at low tide. Formed by the rocks of Wrangle Point to the north and outcrops of rocks to the south. Due to the small size of the beach it can be conjested in the summer.
Summerleaze (Bude) Beach, Bude, Cornwall, EX23 8HN
This has proved to be one of the most popular beaches of the area & is perfect for all the family. Surrounded by dunes on one side and the canal on the other. Dog friendly.
Widemouth Bay, Bude, EX23 0AW
Situated in an area of outstanding beauty it is ideal for surfing & paradise for children, with a beautiful stretch of golden sand & innumerable rock pools to explore. The Coastal Footpath runs along the cliff-top with panoramic views.
Putsborough Sands, Putsborough, Georgeham, Nr Braunton, North Devon, EX33 1LB
The long sweeping sands of Putsborough are renowned for their cleanliness and beauty. It is very popular with families as it offers vast golden sands as well as plenty of rock pools to explore, ideal for children.
Saunton Sands Beach, Saunton, Braunton, North Devon, EX33 1LQ
Saunton Sands is a three mile long expanse of sandy beach popular with surfers and ideal for families.
Croyde Beach, Croyde, North Devon, EX33 1NU
The stepped beach and the rocks it possesses make Croyde one of the best surfing in Europe suitable only for experts. It is a world famous sandy beach, backed by sand dunes and situated in a small bay on the North Devon Coast.
Woolacombe Beach, Woolacombe, Nr Braunton, North Devon, EX34 7DL
Woolacombe Beach is one of the finest beaches in the West Country with numerous awards. It’s a big favourite for families and surfers, attracting thousands of people each summer.
Combesgate Beach, Woolacombe, North Devon, EX34 7EB
Combesgate is a lovely secluded beach, located at the far right-end side of Woolacombe with some attractive rock pools ideal for children. Beware the beach is only accessible between low and mid-tide. Dog access restricted.
Barricane Beach, Woolacombe, North Devon, EX34 7BT
Barricane beach (also known as Combesgate beach) not only offers a picturesque landscape tucked in between the rocks, but is famous for cowries and other exotic sea shells.
Mortehoe Beach (Rockham), Motehoe, Woolacombe, North Devon, EX34 7EG
Rockham is a quiet beach free from the madding crowds. Visits require a quite difficult walk of approximately 2km down to the sea, but well worth a visit for the fit and able!
Wildersmouth Beach, Ilfracombe, North Devon, EX34 9DT
This ancient cove was a popular bay for smugglers. High sided cliffs drop down to a small rocky bay with shingle and sand. This bay is sheltered and peaceful.
Lee Bay Beach, Ilfracombe, North Devon, EX34 8LW,
A wonderfully secluded beach, Lee Bay lies hidden below the magnificent Lee Abbey, on the Exmoor coast. Historic lime kilns and the monk’s chapel give character and mystery.
Watermouth Bay, Ilfracombe, North Devon, EX34 9EQ
Watermouth cove is a very secluded harbour creating an ecosystem for many rare marine species. Surrounded by rocks the bay is sheltered from wind and tidal forces. Many boats moor here for this reason.
Hele Bay, Hele, Ilfracombe, North Devon, EX34 9RD
Hele is in North Devon, just over one mile from Illfracombe on the A399 towards Combe Martin (about one hour drive from the M5).
Woody Bay Lynton, Lynton, North Devon, EX31 4QX
As it’s name may suggest Woody Bay lies below ancient woodland. This secluded beach requires a steep walk of approximately 500 metres, to reveal a rocky, pebbled beach with some shingle.
Lynmouth Beach, Lynmouth, North Devon, EX35 6EQ
Picturesque harbour set in an area known as ‘The little Switzerland of England’. Lynmouth opens to a pebbled beach with abrupt scenery. Surrounded by beautiful National Park this beach is frequented more often by walkers than sun bathers.
Combe Martin Beach, Combe Martin, Near Ilfracombe, North Devon, EX34 0AR,
Combe Martin is a superb family beach, a favourite of many locals, understandably as it is located within the Heritage Coast and in an area of outstanding Natural Beauty. It boasts some of the finest scenery.