Summer’s here and North Devon is one of our favourite places for enjoying time at the beach. Weekends with friends, family holidays, hen and stag parties, – it’s a great part of the UK for so many types of groups and who doesn’t love being at the beach?
If you’ve never been to North Devon then here’s our guide to some of the best beaches and even if you’ve visited before, we’ve added a few suggestions that might be of interest too.
Croyde Bay is a beautiful sandy beach with rolling sand dunes behind it – great for shelter, sunbathing or hide and seek. It’s rated one of the top beaches in the UK for surfing and locals would say, it’s definitely the best. So if you’re an experienced surfer it’s the place for you – for beginners, there are better beaches to learn at, but outside of the summer peaks, it’s ok too.
Croyde is popular with swimmers too and there is an RNLI Lifeguard service available from May to September, during Easter weekend, October weekends and October half term holiday. Children love the rock pools at either end of the beach and there’s loads of space for games of cricket, beach hockey and rounders. There are brilliant walks as well, if you have time, walk out to Baggy Point and enjoy the fabulous views.
3 miles of sandy beach to enjoy; sandcastle heaven! Or if you’re into water sports this beach has so much to offer – it’s been a firm favourite with visitors for years and is renowned for its high-water quality. When the North Atlantic waves are rolling in, the surfing and body boarding are excellent and even on calmer days the kayaking and paddle boarding are really fun. Sign up for surf lessons, or hire equipment at the beach, ice-creams and snacks are available too. The beach has lifeguards on duty to ensure safe family swimming usually from Easter to the end of September.
There’s plenty of car parking (enough for 2000 cars) with easy access and with such a long stretch of beach it’s possible to find a quiet spot, even in the height of summer. It’s a very family-oriented beach and dogs are allowed year-round with some restrictions in the summer. The surrounding countryside is managed by the National Trust, so worth exploring and the nearby village has a relaxed and friendly atmosphere with shops, cafes, several pubs and places to buy or hire beach kit, as well as at the beach.
Something of a hidden gem, even though it’s at the southern end of Woolacombe, it’s a quiet oasis. This means it doesn’t have the facilities of it’s busier neighbours, but that means the crowds won’t be there either. There is a carpark nearby, however.
Beautiful golden sand and a large expanse of beach make this an ideal choice, if you already have your picnic and beach equipment with you. Putsborough is on the lee-side of Baggy Point and has the advantage of being sheltered from prevailing south-westerlies – that can sometimes be a blessing for surfers and beach-lovers. The surf is great and the surroundings spectacular, a definite winner in our book.
Barricane is a charming cove, sitting sheltered between rocks on either side. Quite a sun trap and an escape from the wind on a blustery day. You’ll need to be aware of the tides here and plan your visit accordingly. It’s a popular beach for surfing and the rock pools are wonderful and numerous, but be aware, there is no life guard here. If you have young children in your group, they’ll love the cowrie shells that collect upon this small inlet – allegedly having travelled thousands of miles on the tides, from a Caribbean island.
The tiny, quirky café has a fine reputation for food and it’s worth staying on at the end of the day and queuing up for the Sri Lankan curry, in the evening. Take a bottle of wine with you and enjoy your supper, while watching sunset over an exquisite ocean view.
A tiny shingle beach, compared to the long sweeping sands of many north Devon beaches, but all the better for it. Broadsands has a south sea island vibe to it and is delightfully secluded and private. You can hire a kayak from Combe Martin and paddle your way round, which is a fun way to arrive, or count the 200 steps down from the road above. Take you bbq and enjoy quiet evenings here.
If you’re looking for a big house experience to enjoy the delights of the North Devon beaches with your friends or family, or both, have a look at our big holiday cottage in Devon.