From Victorian times, South Devon has been a major destination for UK holidaymakers looking to enjoy sun, sea and sand. The beaches here are some of the best in the UK with great coastal path walks, beautiful scenery and some great spots for surfing and other water sports.
For one thing, the weather in South Devon is often particularly suited to a good, old-fashioned beach holiday. South Devon does have a slightly milder climate In comparison to other UK holiday locations which means that it’s often sunnier and drier, particularly off season. Even in Autumn and Winter, the climate can feel pretty mild. It’s not the tropics, but it’s the best you’ll get in the UK.
The huge choice of beaches – all within striking distance of the main destination towns and villages for cottages in South Devon – makes it a really appealing destination for holidaymakers.; there are loads of beaches around the South Devon coast – some easy to find, others, like Stare Hole, need a bit more effort to find (but are well worth it). Some beaches, like Bantham (home of a popular surf school) and Bigbury are popular for surfing and other water sports, while others such as Goodrington and Paignton are ideal for families thanks to nearby cafes, toilets and safe swimming.. But despite the popularity of beach holidays in South Devon, there are also plenty of quieter idyllic beaches where you can take life at a slower pace, including Ness Cove under the iconic red cliffs at Shaldon, accessible via a one-time smuggler’s tunnel.
The English Riviera
One of South Devon’s most popular beach destinations is the resort area known as the English Riviera, or Torbay.
Torbay consists of three main seaside towns – Torquay, Paignton and Brixham – and every beach has something different to offer. Torquay is a pretty lively town, although it can feel a little old fashioned in comparison to say, Dartmouth or Totnes, although in recent years it’s had more of a buzz about it with some decent bars, a Michelin-starred restaurant and a swish marina – think amusements, candyfloss, deckchairs and watersports, accompanied by countless bars, restaurants and seaside shops. Torquay has always been famous for its palm trees, as well as its beaches – which can get pretty busy in the summer.
The seaside fun continues over in Paignton, which has plenty of its own sandy, family-friendly beaches, and a pier that dates back to Victorian times and is home to a range of amusements, crazy golf and more. Brixham is a charming fishing town with a long history, a life-size replica of the Golden Hind and the chance to see some coastal wildlife at Berry Head.
Clean beaches, top class attractions
Beaches in south Devon have gained an enviable reputation for their safety and cleanliness, with many being officially recognized with ‘Blue Flags’ for their quality.
If you’ve got the kids with you, a Blue Flag beach gives you the reassurance that the little ones are safe from litter on the beach and potentially harmful bacteria in the water, making them a safer destination. Away from the beach, there is plenty for holidaymakers to do. Great hiking and cycling can be had in the countryside, particularly in the Dartmoor National Park, while there are also lots of historic market towns in the area, steam railways, zoos and other family attractions.
As you would expect with a popular beach destination, there’s also plenty of quality accommodation to go round, and you’ll find no shortage of cottages in South Devon to act as your very own home from home by the beach.