The Beaches of North Devon

Are you heading to North Devon and wondering what the beaches are like? Or thinking about taking a holiday there? Then check out this post with the lowdown on all the beaches of North Devon.

Living so far away from the coast, when we visit family in Devon we make the most of the beaches. Even when it is not the best beach weather. We have been going to Devon for a few years now and so have tried most beaches. 

The Beaches of North Devon

In this post there is Saunton Sands, Woolacombe, Barricane Bay, Westward Ho!, Croyde, Putsburough and Tunnels Ilfracombe. 

Saunton Sands

My favourite beach. If I could go to a beach every day, this would be it. Saunton Sands is huge with a beach that stretches on and on. Even in the busy summer holiday on a sunny, warm day it doesn’t feel overcrowded. The sand is soft and the water is clear. Take a bodyboard, wind tent and pitch up for the day. Parking costs £8 for the day and there are ample toilet facilities and showers not too far away. There is also a cafe, ice cream and a shop. If you want something a bit different the cafe has seating on an upstairs terrace with amazing views.

beaches of north Devon Saunton Sands

Barricane Beach, Woolacombe

This place is so amazing I almost don’t want to tell you about it. We have been here a few times now, mainly in the evening to visit the Sri Lankan curry hut. It’s great for something a bit more unusual. They serve food till 8pm however there was a notice saying 8pm or earlier if run out. It’s a bring your own drinks, seat, blanket and sit on the beach to eat. Minus tired kids I imagine it’s beautiful to stay and watch the sunset, it’s on my to do list one day. This beach is equally as lovely during the day. Quite than its neighborouing Woolacombe beach when the tide and sun is out the beach here is stunning. 


Woolacombe beach

A popular family friendly beach with soft sand and clean sea. It can be busy but if you walk a bit further along from the main entrance you will find it a bit quieter. There are usually ice cream vans along the beach so you don’t have to walk too far to get one. There is plenty of parking up in the town and a shop with a cafe on the beach. 

Putsborough Beach

Beware of the windy roads to this beach but it is definitely worth the drive! This is a close second favourite of mine.Putsborough Beach beach reminds me of Cornwall with plenty of rocks leaving behind large beach puddles which warm up for the kids to play in. There is a shop and cafe serving food. Although a popular beach it doesn’t feel overcrowded. There are toilet blocks up in the carpark which is a bit of a walk and are part of the campsite on the top of the cliff with beautiful views. Parking was £7.50 for the day.


Ilfracombe Tunnels Beach

Ilfracombe tunnels beach has tidal pool making it a completely different experience. You have to pay to use the beach and you access it via a tunnel. The beach itself it stoney so you will need sandals. You can hire deck chairs and there are some rock pools around the corner when the tide is out. The tidal pools are great fun but just as cold as the sea. On the other side of the tunnel there is an outdoor and indoor play area and a nice pub/restaurant for after the beach or if it starts to rain. There is parking in the town centre. 


Westward Ho!

This is a seaside resort in North Devon. There are arcades and activities for the kids to do like crazy golf. We managed to park right by the beach in the centre, but there is parking further down the beach at the burrows nature reserve. If you park here you have to climb over the pebbles to the beach, however you will have a quieter stretch to enjoy. You can get food from up in the town or Wacdonalds at the main beach entrance (yes Wacdonalds). This beach is great for days where the weather is a bit unpredictable as you can always pack up and entertain the kids along the front. 


 Combe Martin

Combe Martin is not the most beautiful beach you will ever see. When the tide is out it can be quite sea weedy. However this beach has a hidden gem, sit and eat fish and chips from the shop up the hill and come armed with a bucket and nets. Then follow the path round to all the rock pools where there is hours of fun to be had. There are even some caves you can explore.

Croyde Beach

We have been to Croyde a few times and if it’s a nice day it is packed! The queue for the toilets is huge, the queue for the cafe is equally huge. If you are going on a nice day I would either take food with you or eat in one of the many places in Croyde before heading down. Croyde is a great beach for surfing with a great atmosphere. You can park in the main beach car park or the national trust car park at Baggy Point and walk down. Baggy Point is worth the walk out to see the views. (Please excuse the retro grainy photo’s for this one!)



I would love to know if you have a favourite beach of North Devon?

2 responses to “The Beaches of North Devon”

  1. Heather Haigh says:


  2. Susan B says:

    What lovely pics. When people think of Devon, they usually think South. However I much prefer the beaches of North Devon for swimming.

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