Beaches of the South Hams
Start Bay Beaches, Dog friendly
You’ll be spoilt for choice as Start Bay stretches for about 3 miles from Hallsands to Beesands, Torcross, Slapton Sands, Strete Gate and beyond! You can fish for mackerel and bass, skim stones, swim and kayak, and during the summer you’ll find the Slapton Ley Beach Trailer for activities and wildlife information. Pop over the road to the Ley for some birdwatching from various hides around the lagoon, or stop at Torcross to read up on the D-Day landing practices which took place during World War II. There’s free parking at Beesands and Hallsands too! Find out more about Start Bay on Ruth’s Blog.
Bantham & Bigbury, Dog friendly with partial restriction during the Summer
For magnificent pure sand and a chance to bodyboard and surf, Bantham and Bigbury fit the bill. They sit opposite each other with the beautiful Avon river gliding between. Both have large beach car parks and toilets, and are dog-friendly with a partial restriction in the summer. Take a picnic, or try the Gastrobus or Sloop Inn at Bantham, or Venus Cafe at Bigbury. At low tide you can walk out to Burgh Island from Bigbury, but watch the tide as it comes in quickly over the flat sands!
Mill Bay & Sunny Cove, Salcombe, Dog Friendly
This is a great choice for families with small children. These beaches are situated along the estuary opposite Salcombe, with soft sand perfect for making sandcastles, or for paddling along the gently shelving edges of the water. A small stream spills onto the beach at Mill Bay, good for dams! You can take the small ferry across to Salcombe for a spot of lunch or shopping too! Read Julie’s blog about Mill Bay.
Thurlestone & South Milton Sands, Dog Friendly
This is good rockpooling territory, with lots of manageable rocks exposed at low tide for the budding explorer. The beaches are made up of shingle and sand and all are dog friendly. South Milton Sands looks out over the large stone called Thurlestone with a good stretch of beach, a National Trust car park, the Beach House Cafe, and toilets. Around Thurlestone Golf Course there are several more beaches to choose from.
Hope Cove, Dogs allowed on main Beach
Hope Cove, once a traditional fishing village now boasts a small shop, Hope Cove Hotel, the Hope & Anchor pub and The Cove cafe. You can park here and make your way along the South West Coast Path over Bolt Head and Bolberry taking in so many fabulous views, then dropping down to the sandy inlet which is Soar Mill Cove.
Many of our local beaches have been awarded the Blue Flag for water quality and there is lifeguard cover at several of the more popular ones. Nearly all the beaches have the South West Coast Path running through them, so if your preference it to walk beside the sea then you can do this for many miles. Whichever part of the coastline you choose to explore you’ll find along your route a small beach-side cafe serving coffee and cream teas, or a coastal village where you can eat the freshest seafood, and drink beer or cider from local microbreweries. Click on the Welcome to South Devon website for a list of our local beaches and facilities.
Beaches which don’t accept dogs in the Summer months but are family-friendly are: Blackpool Sands a shingle beach in a sheltered bay surrounded by evergreens and pines, and North Sands near Salcombe, a beautiful sandy beach at the mouth of Salcombe Harbour, a mile out of town, accessible by car and by ferry from Salcombe town.
The shingle beach at Slapton is accessible for dogs with a lovely little snack trailer on the north end. Wonderful walking area locally.
Bantham beach is worth a visit with its lovely sandy beach and friendly atmosphere.
Just sitting in your garden taking in the beautiful landscape will take your breath away, but if you wish to travel further afield, Slapton sands and nearby Beesands are great beaches.
South Milton beach (sandy) was superb and dog friendly.
Beesands is great for walking on the flat and dog friendly and there is a good restaurant on the beach.
Dog friendly beach (North Sands) near Salcombe was lovely with the Winking Prawn restaurant for food/drinks!