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South Hams beaches you must visit

Views towards Burgh Island as seen from Bantham Devon England - one of the South Hams beaches

If you’re holidaying in Devon then there’s a good chance you came to dip a toe in the sea. And who could blame you? We have some of the country’s most swoon-worthy sections of coastline. We are particularly fond of our South Hams beaches here in South Devon and want to share some of our favourites with you.

If you’re looking for a base for your holiday then take a look at our cottages in South Devon.

Now, here’s some coves and bays you have to see to believe:


Bantham Beach - a South Hams beach

This surfers’ paradise just beyond Kingsbridge is a wonderful spot for a beach day and water sports. At low tide there’s sand for castle making and shallow water to allow children to paddle and bodyboard easily. 

There are toilets in the car park. Dogs aren’t permitted on the main beach from May to September but are allowed all year round on the estuary to the west. 

Be prepared for a drive down narrow Devon lanes to get to Bantham and have cash ready for the car park.

Don’t forgot your beach towels and some sun shade in the warmer months. Here’s some more essential things to pack for a holiday in Devon.

Slapton Sands

View of Slapton Sands beach and Start Bay in Devon

With three miles of shingle, you’ll be spoilt for choice when picking a spot to roll out your picnic blanket at Slapton Sands. As well as somewhere to swim, play and fish, this is a great place for a walk. Backing on to the beach is Slapton Ley Nature Reserve where you can spot birds and other wildlife.

There are three pay and display carparks along the bay. You can find toilets and cafes at Torcorss to the south end of the beach and toilets and a snack van at Strete Gate to the north of the beach.

Find out more about Slapton Sands.

Blackpool Sands

A sunny seascape with people enjoying the beach at Blackpool sands near Dartmouth in Devon

We’re lucky to have one of the country’s top beaches in the South Hams: Blackpool Sands. When you see it for yourself you will understand why. This shingle bay is nestled in a long sweeping cove at the bottom of a valley and comes with rock pools and a fresh water stream. The main beach shelves away steeply so keep an eye on young children.

You can hire deck chairs, paddle boards and other water sports equipment at the beach shop during the summer months. In the winter this becomes a dog cafe. Dogs are allowed on the beach from the end of October to beginning of April.

The Venus Cafe offers sit down dining and a takeaway, and there’s a toilet block in the car park. Bring cash for parking.

Find out more about Blackpool Sands.

Salcombe North Sands

North Sands beach at Salcombe in the South Hams district of Devon South Devon England UK Europe

This tidal cove has a taste of the Mediterranean about it in the summer. The tree-lined cliffs hug the small sandy beach which stretches out into Salcombe Estuary and the sea beyond. If you enjoy paddle boarding or kayaking its a good place to launch as the beach slopes slowly in to the water. 

If you want to sit and soak up the view visit the Winking Prawn restaurant across the road for summer barbecues, buffet breakfasts and hot chocolates piled high with cream and marshmallows.

There’s a pay and display car park beside the Winking Prawn and a few free parking spaces on the road by the beach. Dogs are allowed on Salcombe North Sands all year round.

Read more about dog-friendly holidays in Devon.


Beesands beach in the South Hams, Devon

If you’re looking for a quieter beach that’s good for a walk then Beesands will not disappoint. You can join the South West Coast Path here and use it as a starting point for a hike. The village of Beesands is right on the beach so you’ll find somewhere to stop for lunch or an ice cream. There’s also a playground for kids.

Parking is free at Beesands and dogs are allowed all year round.

Find out more about Beesands.

Don’t forget to check out our holiday cottages in Dartmouth, Kingswear, Dittsham and the surrounding areas. We even have dog-friendly cottages on offer.

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