With sheltered sandy beaches on both sides of Salcombe harbour there is something for everyone when it comes to choosing a day at the seaside.
North Sands and South Sands, both on the Salcombe side of the estuary, are easily accessible by car, foot from the town or a short ferry journey with tractor connection out of the sea (South Sands) which is definitely one to try for the experience and a favourite with children. Either beach makes for a perfect day out with all the family and each provide lunch offerings from The Winking Prawn (N. Sands) and Bo's Beach Cafe (S. Sands), toilets, disabled access, watersports and ice creams as the cherry to top off your day. Please note, no dogs allowed on South Sands beach between May - October.
East Portlemouth side of Estuary: A short hop on the passenger ferry from Salcombe’s ‘Ferry Steps’ will take you to the other side of the estuary from where you can explore numerous sandy beaches and hidden coves (Smalls Cove, Mill Bay and Sunny Cove to name a few). The lure of the secluded golden sands won’t disappoint. Refreshments and food are available from The Venus Cafe and there are toilet facilities by the café and further down the beach at Mill Bay.
The village of Bigbury-on-Sea boasts a popular large sandy family beach, Bigbury Bay, with shallow waters for water sports enthusiasts and surfers alike with access to Burgh Island via a causeway on foot at low-tide or sea tractor at high-tide. The Island provides a perfect idyll away from the bustle of the beach where you are able to enjoy a drink at the historic Pilchard Inn, a walk where you may be lucky enough to spot a seal or two, or visit to the art-deco splendour of Burgh Island Hotel – a must for any cream tea lover!
Forming part of the privately owned Bantham Estate, Bantham Beach is a short drive from Kingsbridge and Salcombe and sits at the mouth of the River Avon. With beautiful scenery and panoramic views to Bigbury Bay and Burgh Island it’s no surprise this beach comes highly recommended with a visit to the area.
For those wanting a little excitement and a change from the surfing, paddleboarding, kiteboarding fair, take part in the ‘Bantham Bob’ which can be enjoyed on either the incoming or outgoing tides whereby the water in the channel becomes increasingly fast and carries you at speed in your direction of travel for a short time – a popular with locals!
Thurlestone: Four miles from Kingsbridge is the beautiful coastal village of Thurlestone with a spectacularly dramatic coastline and home to Thurlestone Hotel, Thurlestone Golf Club, The Village Inn, a post office and village shop and two main beaches, Thurlestone Beach and South Milton Sands.
South Milton Sands: An award winning beach from The Marine Conservation Society in recognition of the clean waters and protected natural habitats; the beach is well facilitated with on-site parking, lifeguards, toilets, food and refreshments from The Beach House and water sport equipment and wetsuit hire from Surfin Sam's. At low tide there are lots of shallow rockpools for children and amateur ecologists to explore.
Hope Cove: A picturesque fishing village within the Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty which is sheltered by the dramatic headland of Bolt Tail, Hope Cove is divided into two communities, Inner Hope and Outer Hope, each with respective sandy beaches with seasonal lifeguards, toilets and disabled access. Hope Cove is on the trail of the South West Coast Path and offers a perfect stop-off as a lunch spot for intrepid ramblers to refuel from The Cove, The Lobster Pods or The Hope and Anchor or as a place to enjoy a cream tea at The Cottage Hotel which offers sensational sea views.
Torcross and Slapton Sands: With 3 miles of sand and shingle beach stretching between Strete in the north and Torcross in the south, plenty of parking and amenities, Torcross is the ideal location for a day at the seaside for all the family.
At the Torcross end of 'the line', the road divides the sea from Slapton Ley - a freshwater lake and Nature Reserve, full of wildlife and very popular for birdwatching; check out Slapton Ley field Centre for information on the numerous courses and experiences they provide for all you nature lovers. Located in an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB), the beaches are close to the villages of Slapton and Torcross; home to the popular pubs of The Start Bay Inn and The Tower Inn, some fantastic cafes including The Boathouse and small independent shops. Watersports equipment can be hired locally and Lifeguards are on duty (July-Sept) in Torcross only. Dogs allowed all year.
For local produce, great food and E-bike hire, Stokeley Farm Shop is a great pit stop and in the summer months they hold some fantastic pop-up events with live entertainment.