A visit to either Devon or Cornwall would simply not be complete without a visit to the spectacular South West coastline. There’s a total of 422 miles to explore, including golden beaches, dramatic cliffs and hidden coves. To help you make the most of your visit to the West Country’s spectacular shores, here are some of the best beaches in Devon and Cornwall.
Woolacombe Beach, Devon
Consistently voted not only as one of the best beaches in Devon and Cornwall, but one of the best beaches in the UK, Woolacombe’s sandy shores stretch for an impressive three miles. It’s a popular spot for surfers, and there’s even a Woolacombe Dunes parkrun – a free 5k run, and notoriously one of the most difficult routes in the country.
Croyde Bay, Devon
Just along the coast from Woolacombe, Croyde Bay is famously one of the best beaches in Devon and Cornwall for surfers, and great for swimming too. It’s spacious and sandy, with endless rock pools to explore, making it perfect for a family day out. There’s a cafe where you can grab a tea or coffee and public toilets with showers. Parking is free for National Trust members at Baggy Point, to the North of the beach, or visitors can park slightly closer at Down End Car Park where there’s a fee.
Barricane Beach, Devon
Located at the far Northern end of Woolacombe, Barricane Beach is popular amongst locals, and for good reason. The secluded sandy bay is surrounded by a rocky outcrop, and is less crowded than nearby Woolacombe and Croyde. It’s sometimes referred to as shell beach as it’s made up of shingle and shells including exotic shells such as cowries originally from the Caribbean.
Blackpool Sands, Devon
Privately owned Blackpool Sands is located in an Area of Outstanding Beauty and is regularly awarded a blue flag, making it one of the best beaches in Devon and Cornwall. It features a gently sloping beach made up of golden shingle. There’s a large fee-paying car park right next to the beach making it accessible to everyone, plus a shop and a cafe serving drinks, cakes and hot food.
South Milton Sands, Devon
This beautiful sandy beach is backed by sand dunes and overlooks the iconic Thurlestone Rock archway. It’s one of the best beaches in Devon and Cornwall for water sports and a great spot to watch the sunset. There’s a fantastic beach cafe too offering incredible seafood, which you can enjoy with a sea view. Four legged friends are welcome all year round and the car park is owned by the National Trust so members can park for free.
Kynance Cove, Cornwall
For one of the most picturesque beaches in Devon and Cornwall head to this magnificent cove on the Lizard Peninsula. Considered a Cornish gem, you can expect turquoise waters, soft white sand and incredible views. Plus, it’s sheltered making it great for swimming. Parking is available in the large National Trust car park, then it’s a ten minute walk down to the beach, where there’s a lovely cafe too.
Whitsand Bay, Cornwall
Stretching to four miles at low tide, this beach is popular with walkers and surfers. Access is via steps and steep paths, but visitors will be rewarded with a stunning beach, scattered with rocks and framed by rugged cliffs. Plus, it’s dog friendly all year round too so the whole family can enjoy it.
Lantic Bay, Cornwall
You likely won’t find Lantic Bay at the very top of most lists of best beaches in Devon and Cornwall due to its remoteness, but this pretty, sheltered cove is well worth a visit. Set within an Area of Outstanding Beauty, it’s about a 20 minute walk through unspoilt countryside from the nearest car park to the beach, and steep at points, meaning that it’s never crowded.
Harlyn Bay Beach, Cornwall
One of the best beaches in Devon and Cornwall for families, the crescent shaped Harlyn Bay features a wide expanse of golden sand and has plenty of rock pools to explore. The waters are perfect for swimming and safe for novice surfers too. Dogs will love the space to run around too, which is just as well as they are welcome all year round.
Somewhere to rest your head
After all the beach fun and fresh sea air, you’ll need somewhere to relax and sleep well, ready for more adventures tomorrow. Our luxury holiday parks in the South West offer the perfect retreat for the whole family, in stunning settings, where you can return sandy-toed and sleep soundly to the sounds of the countryside. Book your getaway today so you can enjoy the best beaches in Devon and Cornwall.