We’ve all got our favourite beach, whether it’s the glorious sands of Exmouth, the smooth pebbles of Budleigh or the magic of Teignmouth pier. But sometimes it’s nice to discover somewhere new, and nice beaches are worth travelling for…

When it comes to the summer holidays, there’s often no place we’d rather be than down on the beach. Building sandcastles, skimming stones and collecting sea shells are all part of a family day out at the seaside. Living in Devon we’re particularly lucky, with two coastlines to give us even more beachy variety meaning that wherever we are, we’re never too far from the coast.
Ness Cove, Shaldon

Parking: 5 minute walk

Facilities: Toilets at the car park, shops in the town nearby
Dog-friendly? All year round!

This unique, secluded beach is accessed via an original smugglers tunnel that now joins onto the Shaldon car park. Completely enclosed by the surrounding cliffs, you wouldn’t realise you’re just around the headland from the main Shaldon and Teignmouth beaches, and its smuggling history makes it a highly interesting cove to explore. With many steps through the tunnel and onto the beach itself, it’s not suitable for pushchairs or those that don’t want the climb back to the car!

© Derek Harper – Ness Cove, Shaldon

Branscombe Beach

Parking: 1 minute walk
Facilities: Toilets, café and shop at the car park
Dog-friendly? All year round!

Below the picturesque village of Branscombe lies Branscombe beach – a mile long shingle beach that extends to Beer Head. There’s plenty to explore nearby, including Branscombe village with its thatched houses, working forge and watermill and countryside walks. The beach itself is shingle, making it the perfect picnic spot for anyone who wants to enjoy coastal views without getting sand in their sandwiches. http://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/branscombe

© Chris Mason – Branscombe Beach: https://goo.gl/5En6lO

Ladram Bay

Parking: 5 minute walk
Facilities: Toilets, beach café, restaurant, entertainment complex and boat hire
Dog-friendly? Banned all year round

Visually defined by its red cliffs and unique red stacks just off the coast, Ladram Bay offers a beautiful sand and pebble beach with plenty of facilities for a full day out with the family. The red rocks make for an atmospheric sunset, so be sure to take an evening picnic and enjoy the view!

© The Narratographer – Ladram Bay: https://goo.gl/il7bmT

Jacob’s Ladder, Sidmouth

Parking: 2-5 minute walk, plenty in town
Facilities: Connaught gardens nearby with ice cream kiosk, café and toilets
Dog-friendly? Between October 31st and April 1st

Sidmouth is probably already high up on your list of beach spots to visit this summer, but many visitors stick with the main beach along the promenade without venturing along the level raised path to the western end of Sidmouth’s coastline. This mostly pebble beach is nestled below Connaught Gardens, which provides secondary access via the steps that give this beach its name, and stretches far to the west to give a much less crowded beach area, especially in the summer! With plenty of rock pools at low tide, this area is great for inquisitive children.

© Stephen Shellard – Jacob’s Ladder: https://goo.gl/1juq6J

Beer Beach

Parking: 5 minute walk
Facilities: Toilets near the beach, café and amenities in the village
Dog-friendly? Between October 1st and April 30th

Visit Beer and you will find a picture-postcard village with a quintessential Devonshire beach to go with it, complete with a picturesque scattering of working fishing boats moored on the shingle. This natural suntrap is sheltered from the prevailing wind making it perfect for sun-lovers to catch some rays while listening to the sound of the waves ebbing at the shore.

© Ben Grantham – Beer Beach: https://goo.gl/PqUAPZ

Watcombe Beach, Babbacombe

Parking: 10-15 minute walk
Facilities: Toilets and small café near the beach
Dog-friendly? Between October 31st and April 1st

This small cove is nestled just above the town of Babbacombe, just 15 minutes from Newton Abbot. Access to the beach is via a steep footpath (which might not be suitable for buggies), but once on the beach you will be rewarded by a part sand/part shingle beach. The tall trees and large boulders add to the seclusion to give it a unique shipwrecked feel!

© Derek Harper – Watcombe Beach

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