Top North Devon Beaches

By Emma

So many to choose from… We love North Devon. The beaches are so vast and it is easy to head there for an entire day. Picnic, wetsuits and bags overflowing with all the ‘stuff’. You can’t beat it. Here are 5 of our favourites (there are, of course, lots more!)


We adore Putsborough. A beautiful long beach that merges eventually with Woolacombe. It is a beautiful spot, and can definitely feel less crowded than some of the other nearby beaches. There is lots of natural beauty to enjoy here, with Baggy Point providing shelter and views to the southern point of the beach. It is a great place with children, as there are some rocks to climb and explore, lovely shallow waters and acres and acres of lovely sand to pop your blanket down. It is a favourite with our boys; great for ball games, sandcastles and swimming.

Also good for surf if you are looking for something less intense than neighbouring beaches like Croyde.

There is easy parking (with an overflow further up the hill), toilets and a cafe for the all important ice creams.

  • Good to know: (1) There are no life guards at Putsborough (2) Dogs are welcome year round to the right of the car park

Saunton Sands

Over 3 miles of gorgeous sand, this is a beautiful beach to spend time on as a family. The boys love exploring the sand dunes at the back of the beach and it is a great place for some boogie boarding or skim boarding as the surf is nice and mellow. Beautiful beach huts create a classic back drop and you can easily spend the day here.

Good car parking, cafe and beach huts for rent. There is also a surf school here and nearby accommodation if you are looking to stay.

Nearby Saunton Sands Hotel is a beautiful place for a special stay.

  • Good to know (1) Dog friendly all year round


Woolacombe is popular with families and it is easy to see why. It is a beautiful long stretch of sand with great amenities including car parking, snack bars, beach huts and a surf school. Surfing is great here so it really does make the ideal destination for families and groups looking for an adventure-packed day.

You can find out more about this lovely beach and further afield here.

  • Good to know (1) RNLI lifeguard station manned during the summer season (2) Dogs allowed in specific zones, on a lead


Croyde is one of the best surfing beaches in North Devon and as such is a popular year round destination. I would definitely advise heading there early in the Summer to get parked and find your spot. Getting there takes you down some proper Devon roads, but keep going. The beautiful sand and great surf are worth it, especially if that is your thing! There are also lovely dunes for the children to explore, and our boys love rock pooling here and playing in the stream. Car parking, toilets and cafes all available. Find out more about Croyde here.

  • Good to know: (1) Seasonal RNLI lifeguard

Westward Ho!

Westward Ho! is a 2 mile stretch of sand and shingle beach, ideal for exploring with the family. Lots of space to run wild, and loads of options for food and drink, plus toilets and car parking. We like an afternoon of kite flying here! Great for a winters walk too. We often combine this with a trip to nearby Appledore which is a beautiful little village by the sea, with a lovely deli and cafe, plus a couple of great pubs. It is like stepping back in time!

  • Good to know: (1) Great safe beach for playing and swimming (2) Lifeguard at both ends during the summer season
About the author

Hi I'm Emma, mum to two boys, ex-teacher, now on a new career path running my own business. I have always loved to travel and as a big history nerd, love a good city break. We try to travel and spend as much time outdoors as we can with our two little ones, and are passionate about exploring new places with them. Living in Devon provides lots of opportunity to explore, and we are keen to share tips and experiences of travel, days out and good eats. We are a bit obsessed with photography too so will probably have a few of those to share along the way...

Leave a Comment