A hidden gem at the end of the Heddon Valley, where the huge cliffs of Exmoor plunge into the sea, Heddon’s Mouth beach is a perfect place for skimming stones. This pebbled cove is reached by a gentle one mile walk along the tranquil Heddon Valley.
Perhaps the best known of North Devon’s beaches, Woolacombe rightly deserves its popularity. Flat golden sands stretch out along sand dunes and the beach is still accessible at high tide. Woolacombe is a haven for surfing and body boarding, plus plenty of rock pools to explore.
A well-kept secret on the Hartland coast, wander down the lovely Peppercombe Valley and you will come upon Peppercombe beach. Rocky but with sand at low tide, Peppercombe is the perfect spot for a mid-walk picnic. Look along the beach and you will see the 280-million-year-old striking red sandstone cliffs, the only ones in the region.
A secret beach that is worth exploring Bideford Bay and Hartland to reach, Welcombe Mouth has more to offer than first meets the eye. Hop over the stepping stones and walk down to the beach where sand stretches out from the rocks after mid tide. Waterfalls and rock pools are waiting to be explored amongst the dramatic geological rock formations.
Fantastic for a family day out, the shingle beach at Branscombe is part of the famous Jurassic Coast. Enjoy a dip in the water, see how far you can skim a stone, or see what hidden creatures you can discover in the rock pools.
If you're looking for a quiet beach away from the busyness of nearby Paignton and Torquay, why not check out Scabbacome or Man Sands beaches? Tucked away off of the South West Coast Path near Coleton Fishacre, these beaches are secluded, dog friendly and perfect to blow away those cobwebs.
Little Dartmouth's coast path loops around Compass Valley, then descends seawards, bearing right at the bottom and over a stile; a detour, right, takes you down to the cove, where you can find historical links to the Channel Islands.
A sheltered sandy beach on the Salcombe estuary, Mill Bay is an excellent starting point for coastal walks and beach days appreciating this Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. With a number of little coves along the estuary, you're sure to find a great spot to sink your toes into the sand.
A small sandy cove that can only be reached on foot or by boat, Soar Mill Cove is best visited at low tide, when there is plenty of beach, and rocks to climb and explore. If you're lucky, you might spot seals fishing.
This popular beach - a long sweep of golden sand and rockpools - edges a sheltered bay of crystal clear waters and looks out over the iconic Thurlestone Rock archway. A popular place for dog walkers, this beach offers fun-filled days and quiet sunset strolls, with watersports and refreshments on hand, too.
From Bolt Tail, wander down the coast path until you pass through the narrow woods. With just a couple of steps down, you'll find yourself standing on the sandy Hope Cove, a blissful sun trap to rival many.
Walk on from Noss Mayo and explore the small, sandy beaches and the cove of Cellar Beach, once used by farmers using fishing as a sideline business.
One of the top wildlife spots in the UK, the rockpools are thriving with an array of marine life. Whether you want to ride the waves, search for wildlife along the coast path, or simply enjoy sweet treats in the cafe, Wembury beach is a seaside haven just a short drive from Plymouth's city life.
From rock pooling on beautiful beaches to finding the perfect picnic spots and exploring colourful gardens, there's plenty to keep the family busy during the school holidays this summer. A la Ronde, Arlington Court, Buckland Abbey, Castle Drogo, Coleton Fishacre, Greenway, Killerton, Knightshayes, Lydford Gorge, Overbeck's and Saltram are all open: please book ahead of your visit.