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  • Harriet Taylor

The Ultimate Beach Guide: Salcombe Best Beaches

Welcome to Salcombe, where the turquoise waters meet golden sands and every beach tells its own story of relaxation and adventure. Whether you're a local looking for a quick getaway or a visitor seeking the perfect seaside retreat, Salcombe’s beaches offer something for everyone. Join us as we explore the finest spots to soak up the sun and sea in this charming corner of South Devon.

N O R T H S A N D S: A Family Favorite

Let’s start our beach journey with North Sands, a beloved destination for families. This expansive sandy beach boasts calm waters thanks to its sheltered bay, making it ideal for swimming and paddling with little ones. Just a leisurely 15-minute stroll from Salcombe town, North Sands is easily accessible without needing a ferry ride, although arriving by boat adds a touch of maritime charm. The backdrop of Kingsbridge Estuary frames this picturesque beach, offering stunning views that stretch from Sunny Cove to Wolf Rock in the distance. After a morning of sandcastles and splashing about, recharge at The Winking Prawn for a delicious lunch or a refreshing drink. Plus, with dog-friendly status year-round, North Sands ensures every member of the family can enjoy the seaside fun.

S O U T H S A N D S :

Water Sports Haven

For those craving a bit more action on the water, South Sands is the place to be. This flat, sandy beach is flanked by hotels, a beach cafe, and a watersports center ready to outfit you for adventures in paddle-boarding or kayaking. To arrive in style, catch the South Sands Ferry from Salcombe—a scenic journey that adds to the allure of your beach day.

While dogs need to wait for the off-season to join in (from 1st October onwards), the range of activities and amenities makes South Sands a top choice for active beach-goers and families alike.

S M A L L S, M I L L B A Y, F I S H E R M A N ' S C O V E : Tranquil Escapes

Crossing over to the East Portlemouth side via ferry reveals a trio of tranquil beaches: Fisherman’s Cove, Smalls, and Mill Bay. Each offers its own unique slice of coastal paradise, with golden sands perfect for sunbathing and crystal-clear, calm waters ideal for a relaxing swim. At low tide, Mill Bay expands into a spacious playground, perfect for group activities and beach games. Access to Smalls is limited to the beach path or by boat, so it's essential to keep track of the tide to avoid being stranded from the ferry landing.

There are two public loos available on this side—one behind Mill Bay and another above the ferry landing. However, there are no nearby cafes, so be sure to pack a picnic for the day to enjoy on the beach. The dog-friendly policy year-round means your four-legged friends can explore alongside you.

S U N N Y C O V E :

Serenity by the Estuary

Nestled near the estuary mouth lies Sunny Cove, a peaceful retreat appreciated for its quieter atmosphere and breathtaking sea views. Though slightly more challenging to access, either by passenger ferry and a short walk along the south west coastal path or your own boat, Sunny Cove rewards visitors with soft sands and clear waters reminiscent of Mediterranean shores. It's an ideal spot for those seeking tranquility and a bit of rugged coastline to explore.

T H E H I P P L E:

A Hidden Gem at Low Tide

Last but not least, The Hipple—alongside Limebury—emerges as a hidden gem only during low tide. These small, rocky coves are a haven for rock pool enthusiasts and young adventurers eager to explore nature's miniature wonders. During exceptionally low tides, a sandy spit appears, creating a natural playground for bodyboarding and wave jumping, making it a favorite among families seeking a bit of adventure off the beaten path.

Whether you're drawn to the family-friendly shores of North Sands, the active waters of South Sands, or the tranquil beauty of Sunny Cove, Salcombe’s beaches promise a day of relaxation and adventure. With each beach offering its own charm and allure, the only question left is: which of Salcombe’s stunning beaches will you explore first?

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