Beesands is our closest beach, within walking distance (remembering it is uphill on the way back!). There is a pub (The Cricket Inn), seafood shack (Britannia), toilets and is all dog friendly. Free Parking.
North Hallsands is totally unspoilt, with no facilities but great for swimming and kayaking. Walk along the coastpath to South Hallsands where you can see the “lost village” which fell into the sea in 1917. There is a viewing platform to look over the lost village and interesting local history information. Free but limited parking.
Mattiscombe is a beautiful beach only accessible on foot. Park at the car park at Start Point lighthouse (parking charges apply in peak season) and walk down to the unspoilt beach. You have a good chance here of spotting seals. The lighthouse is open on some days in the holidays, a tour lasts about 45 minutes and there is a small entrance charge.
Blackpool Sands is set in a sheltered bay surrounded by evergreens and pines and is one of South Devon’s most beautiful natural treasures. An award-winning, privately managed ‘Blue Flag’ family beach with turquoise blue sea giving it an almost Mediterranean feel. The beach is shingle, as are all the main beaches in Start Bay and located 3 miles West of Dartmouth. There is a sand pit, a bathing raft, kayaks and paddle boards for hire, a range of delicious hot and cold food from the venus cafe and a beach shop. It has something for all the family. There is a lifeguard on patrol in the summer, dogs not allowed in the summer months. There is a charge for parking.
Torcross and Slapton Sands On top of being an extremely picturesque and popular beach it also has an interesting history. In 1943, the beach was taken over by the 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. You can visit a stone monument which was set in place on Slapton Sands to commemorate the ill-fated ‘Operation Tiger’, along with a Sherman Tank at nearby Torcross. There are numerous beachside cafes, disabled access to the beach and toilets. The beaches are dog friendly all year round. Both have large carparks, charges apply.
Mill Bay (south of the village of East Portlemouth and opposite Salcombe) is a privately owned sandy beach popular with families because of the very safe and clean bathing conditions . At low tide there are rock pools to explore. There is a charge for Parking (but free to National Trust members). It is possible to get a small ferry boat over to the town of Salcombe. Dogs allowed all year round.
Bigbury on Sea is ideal for families. A safe, sandy beach with shallow seas, dotted with rock pools. Dog restrictions are in operation from May-Sept. The most famous landmark at Bigbury is Burgh Island. Home to a wonderful Art Deco luxury hotel, the setting of some Agatha Christie novels including “And then there were none”. Burgh Island is accessed by sea tractor (at high tide) but it is possible to walk over at low tide. A wide variety of water sports are available from the Discovery Surf School. Some dog restrictions in the summer. Good facilities including cafe, showers, toilets and a beach wheelchair available to hire from the Venus cafe (call first to book). There is a charge for the car park.
Bantham is a crackingly good beach! Bantham is shallow and sandy so it’s great for families with kids who want to do a little swimming, paddling or sand castle building. At low tide there are plenty of shallow pools that warm up quickly in the sun and are perfect for crab hunting. Dogs are not allowed on the beach between May and September. There is a charge for Parking. Good facilities including toilets, a surf school (possible to hire equipment) and a wonderful Gastrobus serving hot and cold drinks and great local food.