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Top 10 South Devon beaches perfect for a family day out

Updated: Feb 20, 2021


South Milton Sands
South Milton Sands

Here at The Seaside Nanny Agency we love nothing more than a day at the beach in any weather! With such a fantastic selection of beaches to choose from, here is our tried and tested guide to the ‘Top 10 South Devon beaches perfect for a family day out'.

1. Blackpool Sands

This Blue Flag Award-Winning beach is a short drive from the charming harbour town of Dartmouth. The golden shingle and crystal-clear blue water could fool anyone into thinking they were enjoying a day in the med! Blackpool Sands offers excellent facilities including on site parking, toilets and showers, a cafe, and bean shop.

Top tip: Hire a paddle board and head out on to the water on a calm and sunny summers day!


2. Slapton Sands

Offering history, nature, and stunning scenery, this three mile long stretch of South Devon coastline is the perfect location for a family day out during your stay in South Devon. Enjoy an ice cream from the traditional ice cream van, visit the fascinating Slapton Ley Nature Reserve, and end your day with some authentic fish and chips on the beach - the perfect seaside day out!

Top tip: A walk along Slapton Sands is the perfect day out at any time of the year, feel the sea breeze on your face and stretch your legs even on the chilliest of days!


3. North Sands, Salcombe

One of many of Salcombe stunning beaches, North Sands really has it all! Easy parking, a fabulous beachside cafe and takeaway, toilet facilities, and ideal conditions for heading out on the water, all available close by to the picturesque and vibrant harbour town of Salcombe!

Top tip: North Sands can get very busy during the summer holidays, make sure to check your tide tables as at high tide the beach completely disappears!


North Sands, Salcombe
North Sands, Salcombe

4. Mouthwell Sands, Hope Cove

The charming little fishing village of Hope Cove is an idyllic and beautiful spot located on the South West Coast Path. Featuring shallow waters, a rugged backdrop, and charming stream this beautiful little beach is the perfect place to set up camp for the perfect summer beach day. Close by you’ll find parking, a selection of cafes and restaurants and a convinient village shop.

Top tip: Head up along the South West Coast Path towards Bolt Tail to enjoy the most impressive views of Hope Cove and across Bigbury Bay.


5. South Milton Sands

South Milton Sands is the perfect beach for a family day out in South Devon. Offering plenty of parking in the National Trust car park, a rustic beach cafe, and toilets this large, sandy beach has plenty on offer to keep you entertained all day, ending with one of its stunning sunsets before heading home. Explore the rugged rock pools, hire paddle boards and head out into the sheltered bay, or simply stay on the beach building sandcastles, South Milton offers something for everyone.

Top tip: Sometimes the beach is divided where the Ley meets the sea….and sometimes it isn’t! This beach can look so different from one day to the next.


South Milton Sands
South Milton Sands

6. Bantham Beach

Beautiful Bantham Beach is a true family favourite! A haven for water sports enthusiasts, this large, sandy beach is the ultimate spot for a family beach day at any time of the year. Grab your wetsuits (or hire them on the beach) and head out on the water, depending on the conditions, Bantham is great for paddle boarding, body boarding, surfing, kite surfing, kayaking, and of course swimming. The beach has a large car park, toilets, a food and drinks van, as well as wetsuit, equipment hire and surf school on the beach.

Top tip: The burgers from the ‘Gastrobus’ and delicious! Or if you fancy warming up by the fire in a charming cosy pub after a chilly surf, book a table at ‘The Sloop’ just a the entrance to the beach car park.


Bantham Beach
Bantham Beach

7. Bigbury-On-Sea

This fascinating beach is great for exploring with all the family. Relax on the beach, surf the gentle waves, or head over the causeway and up to the top of Burgh Island to take in the sunning views! Featuring a large car park, beach shop, cafe, toilets, surf school and equipment hire, Bigbury-On-Sea is a very convenient option for a family day out.

Top tip: Time your tides right and head across the causeway on the famous ‘Bigbury sea tractor’, explore the island then walk back across to the beach once the tide has turned.


8. Challaborough

Blue Flag Award-Winning beach Challaborough is a convenient and charming destination for a family day out during your stay in South Devon. A great spot for surfing, this sheltered beach features golden sands and stunning views out towards Burgh Island. This beach offers a selection of eateries within the ‘Challaborough Bay Holiday Park’, as well as a small car park, toilets, and village shop.

Top tip: Nearby Bigbury on Sea is within walking distance, along a hilly but steep section of the South West Coast Path, if your feeling adventurous why not enjoy two beaches in one day!

9. Mothecombe

Beautiful Mothecombe is a picturesque spot on the stunning South Devon coastline. The shallow waters make it a great place for paddling with little ones, and the golden sand is perfect for sandcastle building or enjoying a picnic with the whole family. There is a large car park which is accessed by a long, narrow path,and a delightful cafe next to the car park, however, there are no public toilets available at Mothecombe.

Top tip: At low tide head walk the fantastic circular route from the car park, down to Mothecombe beach, along the sandy shores of The River Erme then back up the quiet lane towards the car park.

10. Wembury

On the outskirts of Plymouth, Wembury beach is the perfect family beach with views out to the Mewstone. There is a wonderful little café, The Old Mill, which sells all the essentials for a day at the beach as well as delicious cakes. The Marine Centre run free rock-pooling rambles to help you discover limpets, anemones, crabs, starfish and lots more! As well as rock pooling the beach is also popular with surfers and is fantastic for kids to try body boarding. The beach has toilets and a large car park but it can fill up quickly.

Top Tip: The best time to visit is at low tide as it exposes a large stretch of rock pools on either side of the sandy beach. Ideal for letting the kids have a splash about in the shallow water.


Wembury Beach
Wembury Beach

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