Top beaches to visit in South Devon

There are no better beaches than the ones along the South Devon Coastline! Offering miles of award-winning beaches with their own activities, you won’t be stuck for something to do. We have put together a handy guide about what to expect from the beaches near to us here at Passage House Hotel.


Only a short distance from Salcombe and Kingsbridge, Bantham is easily one of South Devon’s superior beaches and is a family favourite for its stunning bay and ideal surfing conditions. Bantham remains unspoilt, offering panoramic views for miles. At low tide the sea retreats, exposing shallow sandy pools that are perfect for toddlers to paddle in. The surrounding area is a haven for wildlife and with scenic coastal footpaths, the beach is a favourite for avid walkers.

Bantham has previously won awards from the Marine Conservation Society and the coveted Blue Flag, making it a perfect destination for all the family!

Preston Beach

Just a stone’s throw away from Paignton is Preston Beach – a red sand beach with a Seaside Award under its belt. In terms of activities, there’s plenty of opportunity to relax and sunbathe (weather permitting!), or it is a wonderful place to go for a swim. It also offers a great diversity of wildlife, with slugs, shrimps and periwinkles all lurking in amongst the seaweed – perfect to grab a fishing net and explore the rock pools. Preston Green is also nearby for a spot of exercise or a picnic, so you certainly won’t be stuck for something to do.

Goodrington Sands

Another Paignton beach with a seaside award! Goodrington Sands features a long, sandy stretch of beach, so you won’t be stuck looking for a nice spot to relax. It is a prime location for any kind of water sports, with pedalos, paddle boats and even wind surfing available. The beach also has perfect swimming conditions, so you can enjoy the sea, however you decide to tackle it.

Also nearby to Goodrington Sands is the Seashore Centre, where you can find out all about the local wildlife lurking in the rockpools. Perfect for children that like exploring!


Located a mile from Torquay Harbour, Meadfoot is positioned at the bottom of a row of picturesque sandy and shingle cliffs. Located close to Meadfoot is the Agatha Christie Mile, stretching right along Torquay’s seafront. Retrace the steps of South Devon’s most famous daughter and see if you recognise any of the locations from her famous novels!

Meadfoot is a rocky beach, but this won’t stop you from grabbing yourself a deckchair and soaking in the natural surrounding beauty and peaceful atmosphere.

Elberry Cove

On the topic of Agatha Christie, did you know that Elberry Cove was one of her favourite bathing spots? Elberry Cove is located close to Paignton and is a small inlet with a pebble beach. This beach is quite remote, making it a lot more peaceful than other beaches in the area. It also offers a designated water skiing spot, in the crystal-clear water surrounded by beautiful wooded hillsides – you can see why this beach is so well regarded!

Elberry Cove can only be accessed on foot, so park the car nearby and take a stroll along the coastal path. Dogs are welcome all year round, so soak in the natural beauty with your favourite four-legged friend!

Ness Cove

Accessed via the original Smugglers tunnel, Ness Cove is a peaceful, yet stunning and secluded beach. Mainly shingle, Ness Cove has plenty of natural activities to explore, such as swimming and fishing, either for shrimps in the rock pools or fishing straight from the beach. The cliffs above seclude the area, so you won’t find a more relaxing beach around!

Again, dogs are welcome all year round at Ness Cove.

Shaldon Beach

Located at the mouth of the River Teign, Shaldon Beach is a blend of shingle and sand that levels out at the river estuary. Unlike Ness and Elberry Cove, this beach is very popular during the summer months, but it’s a lot quieter during off-peak months. Due to the spectacular coastline, watersports available include sailing, fishing, swimming, canoeing AND rowing!

Shaldon Beach is close by to Dartmoor and Haytor, as well as Shaldon’s Botantical Gardens – so there’s plenty to do in the area!

Want to visit any of these beaches but have nowhere to stay? Book now with Passage House Hotel.

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