These are some of our favourites. If you find any special places you’d like to recommend to others, please let us know so we can add them.


Woolacombe, Croyde & Putsborough
(sandy, surfing, kids) are all great surfing beaches offering all the facilities for hire. They all get very busy at weekends though. 30-40 mins drive

Saunton Sands,
Braunton Burrows (sandy, surfing, kids). Mile upon mile of flat golden sand. You can hire boards on the beach at Saunton. For less crowds, head to the massive sand dunes of Braunton Burrows. The second largest dune system in the UK, Braunton Burrows is considered one of the most important in the northern hemisphere. 25-30 mins drive.

(sandy, kids, very safe) sits just inside the Taw & Torridge estuary so it is sheltered from the Atlantic waves that pound the other beaches. Perfect for young children. 15 mins drive.

Westward Ho! & Northam Burrows
(sandy, surfing, kids) is another stretch of golden sand, this one backed by a 2 mile pebble ridge. This beach has become popular with kite surfers and sand yachts. The Northam Burrows end is definitely the nicer. 15 mins drive.

Welcombe Mouth
(rugged, unspoilt) is just one of the outstanding natural beaches along the North Devon Heritage coast. Only sandy at low tide, but the rock pools, stepping stones and wonderful cliff walks make up for it. And a lovely pub at the top of the hill serving great food. 30 mins drive (on the Cornish border).

Speke’s Mill Mouth
(rugged, unspoilt) is a little walk from the car but well worth it. Down the cliff path to a beach with great rocks to climb, rock pools full of life and caves to hide in. always popular with climbers, it has recently become a popular surf spot too (for experienced surfers only). 20 mins drive (just past Hartland Quay).

Sandy Mouth
(rugged, sandy, kids) has everything – sand, surf, rock pools, beautiful cliffs. Be careful though, the tide comes in fast here. Worth the extra drive if you make a day of it (it’s in Cornwall). 45 mins drive.