Discover the Top Beaches in North Devon

Discover the Top Beaches in North Devon


Many visitors to Devon come for our world famous beaches and great surf. Melrose Cottage is a great place to explore from. We are centrally placed – on the edge of Dartmoor (you can walk straight on), but also an easy drive to the white sands of the stunning North Devon Beaches.

Our visitors always ask for our insider tips as to which of the North Devon Beaches we recommend, so this is a short guide to give you our locals’ knowledge!

If you’re keen on swimming outdoors, we also highly recommend you check out the wild swimming on Dartmoor, within walking distance or a short drive/cycle from Melrose Cottage.

Widemouth Beach, Bude

Widemouth Bay is a wide, 2-mile-long beach that offers a wild and exposed experience.

It faces the full force of the Atlantic Ocean and offers great conditions for surfing. The beach is also a recent winner of the coveted Blue Flag award and offers a variety of facilities for a family day at the beach. You will find cafes, toilets, shower facilities, ample parking and lifeguards during the summer months. It is also great for rockpooling opportunities.


Sea on the left breaking gently onto the white sandy beach. People stroll along and a few cars are parked in the car park on the right hand side. There is a clear blue sky above.

Braunton Burrows, Braunton

wildflowers on a grassy hill next to the sea
Braunton Burrows by Kate Weld

Braunton Burrows in North Devon is one of the largest and most beautiful sand dune systems in the whole of the UK. As a result it has been recognised as a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve.

The area boasts a rich diversity of plant and animal life, including 470 species of flowering plants, 33 species of butterfly. It is named after the many rabbits that may be found there that help plants and flowers to thrive. If you want to witness a spectacular carpet of flowers, visit between the end of May to August to .

NAVIGATION: Sandy Ln, Braunton EX33 2NX

Croyde Beach

Croyde Bay is a sandy beach located in a small bay on the North Devon Coast. This beach is perfect for you if you are a swimmer, experienced surfer, a sunbather, or all of those things.  It is considered one of the best surfing beaches in the UK.

The beach is equipped with RNLI lifeguard service during peak seasons. You will find good rock pools and scenic walks. Various activities like swimming, surfing, fishing and surfboard/canoe hire are also available. Croyde beach boasts great facilities like food outlets, great shops, toilets, a slipway, and beach car park with disabled parking.

NAVIGATION: Croyde Rd, Croyde, Braunton EX33 1QE

Putsborough Sands

Putsborough is a 3-mile stretch of golden sands located between Woolacombe and Morte Point and Baggy Point, known for its inviting sea, high-quality surf and stunning surroundings. The beach is perfect for walkers and children, it’s quieter than neighbouring beaches and boasts clean, beautiful sands. Popular among swimmers, surfers, windsurfers and sea canoeists, it offers superb bathing and is a surfers paradise.

It offers a beach car park with disabled spaces, surfboard hire and dogs are permitted from October to April, making it a great spot for a day out with all the facilities available you’d expect.

NAVIGATION: Putsborough, Georgeham, Braunton, Devon, EX33 1LB.

Saunton Sands

Saunton Sands Beach, located in North Devon, is a picturesque 3-mile stretch of golden sand surrounded by the UNESCO-protected Braunton Burrows Biosphere Reserve. This beach is known for its exceptional surf. It draws surfers from all over the country. They come particularly for its 8.5m high tidal range and long, slow waves.

The beach offers a variety of amenities.  You can hire surf boards and take lessons. You will also find cafes, beach side grills, toilets, parking, and lifeguards during the summer. In fact, everything you need for a great family day at the beach.

NAVIGATION: Saunton, Devon, EX33 1LQ

Wide beach with breaking waves
Ethan Doyle White, CC BY-SA 4.0 <>, via Wikimedia Commons
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