Woolacombe Bay

Top 5 best beaches to visit in Devon this summer

30 July 2021

Do you want to know one of the best things about living in Devon? It’s the stunning coastline. Reserve a new build home in this beautiful county and you are pretty much always less than an hour’s drive away from the beach. No wonder Devon secured a spot in the top 10 UK staycation destinations as ranked by’s 2021 survey!

With miles of coastline to explore, it can be hard to know where to start if you are new to the region. Here, we reveal our top five favourite beaches in Devon that you must visit this summer to get you started.

1. Salcombe

A hotspot for holidaymakers and second homeowners, Salcombe is the gem of the South Hams. Popular for its panoramic views of the Kingsbridge-Salcombe Estuary, its golden sands, independent boutiques and its famous seafood, this little town has it all.

Enjoy not just one but five golden beaches when you visit Salcombe: South Sands, North Sands, East Portlemouth, Mill Bay and Sunny Cove. Two handy foot ferry services which take beachgoers from the centre of Salcombe to either East Portlemouth or the Blue Flag award-winning South Sands make exploring this beautiful coastline a breeze.

With its collection of restaurants, pubs and cafes which celebrate the town’s famous sweet crab and other delights, it’s very easy to spend the whole day here. Salcombe even has its own self-guided Food and Drink Trail which includes over 20 sampling and dining experiences.

Want to know the best thing about Salcombe? It’s only seven miles away from our new homes site in Kingsbridge, Applegate Park.

2. Ness Cove

Tucked away across the water from Teignmouth is Ness Cove, a lesser-known beach accessed via a Smugglers tunnel. It’s popular with the locals as it’s dog-friendly all year round and tends to be quieter than neighbouring Teignmouth.

This shingle beach is perfect for swimming, paddle boarding, rock pooling and even fishing and is completely enclosed by the cliffs above, making it a great base for a day filled with activities.

The Smugglers tunnel provides a fun way to get to the beach and is popular with kids due to its dark, windy passageway that leads to a picturesque treat at the other end. Just 11 miles from our Bovey Tracey site, Longston Cross, you could even enjoy a morning on the beach and then head to Shaldon Zoo just next door to say hello to its monkeys, lemurs and meerkats!

3. Dawlish Warren

There’s lots of family fun to be had at the Blue Flag award-winning Dawlish Warren beach. Plenty of space is on offer with its one and a half mile stretch of sandy beach, sheltered sand dunes and crystal-clear waters.

For wildlife spotters, Dawlish Warren is a hub of activity. Its protected nature reserve is one of the most important areas in the country for wildfowl and wading birds. In the winter, thousands of birds can be spotted as they come to feed and are surrounded by 600 types of flowering plants in the dunes and grassland.

In addition to its beautiful nature reserve and its gorgeous beach, Dawlish Warren has plenty of family amusements on offer including arcades and free summer entertainment as well as classic seaside refreshments including fresh doughnuts, delicious ice cream and The Boat House Bar & Grill right beside the beach. All this is just 25 miles away from our Crediton site, Tarka View!

4. Woolacombe Bay

If you are travelling up to North Devon, the impressive Woolacombe Bay is a must-see. Recognised as the most Googled road trip destination for summer 2020, Woolacombe Bay is nestled between Morte Point and Baggy Point and offers a three mile stretch of golden sand and crystal clear waters, perfect for swimming in.

Woolacombe is well-known amongst the surfer crowd. Thanks to its reef break, the surf produces some outstanding waves which can be surfed in all tides. You won’t be short of refreshments as Woolacombe offers a wide range of pubs, restaurants, tea rooms and cafes including three Michelin starred restaurants all within a 30 minute drive.

This popular area of North Devon is also fantastic for dog walking. The beach itself welcomes dogs all year round with some restrictions between May and October where walkers will need to stick to the dog-friendly zones. You can also enjoy scenic routes along Potters Hill, the South West Coast Path and the Old Railway Line.

5. Saunton Sands

Finally, we would recommend a visit to North Devon’s Saunton Sands. This stretch of sandy beach may look familiar as it is a popular filming destination for major films, TV shows and even music videos. It has been featured in the 2018 film ‘The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society’ and in Robbie Williams’ 1997 music video of ‘Angels’ to name just a couple.

This three-mile sandy beach is backed by Braunton Burrows, the largest sand dune system in England, and is ideal for family activities and dog walking. Novice water sport lovers flock to Saunton Sands as the surf is more suited to beginners and intermediate surfers compared to other North Devon beaches.

Whether you want to take a dip in the stunning blue waters, sunbathe on the soft golden sand or indulge at the popular Beachside Grill, Saunton Sands is sure to provide a fantastic summer day out.

We hope you found our blog on the top 5 best beaches in Devon to visit this summer useful. Of course, there are so many more beautiful beaches in this wonderful county to explore, but these are the beaches that are our personal favourites!

Which Devon beach is your favourite? We would love to see your beach photos this summer! Remember, you can share them with us on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram.