Our beaches of South Devon are some of the best in the country and we’ve selected the cream of the crop for you to enjoy. The beaches along the South Hams offer stunning views and are great to visit all year round. Some are dog friendly and others are best for families, so here is our guide to giving you the best day out on your holiday. Pack your bucket and spade, take a picnic and enjoy all the fun that a beach day has to offer!

South Sands - Salcombe

Located in an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and sheltered by part of a magical cove, South Sands in Salcombe is a beautiful beach to visit. There is a colourful passenger ferry that shuttles back and forth from the beach to Whitestrand Quay, the hub of Salcombe town.

Water sports are on hand here and parking is nearby. A firm favourite with families and walkers.

  • Toilets
  • Disabled access
  • On-site café
  • Car parking

North Sands - Salcombe

A large sandy beach, which is only a 15-minute level walk from the buzz of Salcombe, makes North Sands beach a very popular spot. Incredible views of the Kingsbridge Estuary and beyond ensure a stunning backdrop. Dogs are welcomed all year and it is known for safe swimming and rock pooling due to the nature of the bay. The beach gets totally submerged at high tide so then is the time to pop over the road to the famous Winking Prawn, beachside café. From chips to crab sandwiches, they offer a fun menu in a lively beachside shack. Opposite the beach is a grass area where picnics can be enjoyed too.

  • Toilets
  • On-site parking
  • Disabled beach access
  • On-site café

Mill Bay Beach - Salcombe

A stunning sheltered sandy beach in an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, Mill Bay Beach in Salcombe is hugely popular with families and dogs are welcome all year round. The beach is privately owned with a National Trust car park that is reached from the East Portlemouth side, however, parking is limited. The most convenient and exciting way to get to the beach is by the passenger ferry that runs from the middle of Salcombe over to the jetty at Mill Bay. This South Devon beach will never disappoint whichever season you visit it in!

  • Disabled access
  • Toilets
  • Nearby limited parking

South Milton Sands

Set in an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty South Milton Sands has so much to offer. There is a wetland area that has been designated as an area of special scientific interest. Wildlife can be observed in its natural environment including rare butterflies, migrating birds and much more. Seals and dolphin sightings are fairly common, with the beach having been given an award from the Marine Conservation Society for clean waters and protected natural habitats.

Thurlestone Rock is an arch-shaped rock that comes up from the sea and can be seen from miles away. At low tide, you can walk over sea rocks to explore, while rock pooling on the way! You will often see stand up paddle boards circling the feature along with kayaks. This beach is popular with surfers all year round and dogs are welcomed. The swimming is good here with snorkelling and diving sights from sea life to shipwrecks. There is the Beachhouse Café just up from the beach, great for food and a summer vibe. The coastal path runs along this area and often walkers are tempted to stop off for a quick dip as the water is so inviting!

  • Toilets
  • On-site parking
  • Disabled access
  • Lifeguarded May-September


An award-winning beach with views of Burgh Island and Bigbury Bay (both these in their own rights are worth visiting too, especially to enjoy the tractor ride from Bigbury beach over to the island!) you find Bantham beach in South Devon. It has the coveted Blue Flag ensuring its clean waters which makes it even more popular with visitors.

The expanse of sands and shallow waters are fabulous for paddles of small feet through to surfers and swimming. Families can be assured in the height of the season this beach is patrolled by lifeguards from May to September. There are a couple of food outlets that are based in the parking area and are both highly recommended. Dogs are allowed on the ‘ham’ side of the beach, signs are posted so it’s clear where the boundary is. This South Hams beach is hugely popular so it’s recommended you go early and aim to spend the day there. Access is a fairly narrow lane from the main road with passing places along the way.

  • Access on a level
  • Toilets
  • On-site parking
  • On-site food outlets
  • Lifeguarded May-September

Torcross / Slapton sands

Slapton Sands holds a part of history that is remembered and honoured by a monument that sits proudly just up off the beach. ‘Operation Tiger’ happened back in 1943 when the beach was taken over by allied forces to use as a rehearsal area for the D Day landings. Unfortunately, a combination of live ammunition and poor visibility resulted in the deaths of 749 American servicemen. There is also a Sherman tank on display in the neighbouring Torcross to help remember the historic event that happened here.

Slapton Sands beach in South Devon is safe, calm and beautiful. Dogs are welcomed all year. It stretches for miles and has a flag operating system to show swimmers and water lovers where to swim safely in the main summer months. There is plenty of parking with toilets and lots of options for food and drink located a few miles along the road in Torcross. There is a nature reserve opposite the beach inland – Slapton Ley freshwater lake which gives the most amazing views as you drive along the miles of straight road, lake on one side and sea on the other. Simply breathtaking!

  • Toilets
  • On-site parking
  • Disabled parking
  • Lifeguarded May-September

Blackpool Sands

A privately owned beach with exceptionally high standards makes Blackpool Sands in South Devon a very popular choice for holiday-makers and locals. The waters here are regularly tested to confirm their cleanliness. With such convenient parking, toilets, shops, café and water sports access, not to mention the beautiful scenery of pines, fields and cliffs this beach is a firm favourite.

The shingle beach has man-made sandpits so children can still enjoy making sandcastles and alike. Dogs are not permitted on-site at all (even in the car park) from March to the end of October.

  • Toilets
  • On-site parking
  • Café
  • Disabled access
  • Lifeguarded in high season
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