Award-winning beaches in South Devon you may not know about

With over 50 beaches in South Devon what separates the best from the rest?

The South West boasts the most beaches of any county that have been awarded Blue Flag status, an internationally recognised award considered to be the gold standard for beaches. Although quality of water is one of the criteria (61% of visitors to a beach check this), the Blue Flag is awarded based on a list of 32 criteria.

Blue Flag beaches are constantly monitored and if the beach fails to comply the Blue Flag is withdrawn. Visit a Blue Flag beach and you're at one of the best beaches in the country, if not world!

Award-winning Beautiful Beaches in South Devon

We're lucky to have an abundance of cosy coves and gorgeous expanses of golden sands in South Devon. We've listed five of the lesser-known Blue Flag beaches, all within an hour's drive of Long Barn Cottages — a beautiful base for a self-catering September stay in sunny South Devon.

5 of the best Blue Flag beaches in South Devon

1. Blackpool Beach, Blackpool, Dartmouth 

1 hour from long Barn Cottages
Blackpool Sands is great for watersports
Blackpool Sands could quite easily be mistaken for somewhere in the Mediterranean. A privately owned and managed beach, it has consistently high standards and great facilities.
The sheltered shingle beach sits in a crescent to a backdrop of evergreens and pines in an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB). RNLI Lifeguards are on duty from 6 June – 1 September which is hugely comforting if you decide to hire one of the kayaks or and paddleboards available. Parking is plentiful and the beach is one of only a few with disabled access.
A new cafe is opening soon on Blackpool Sands, which will offer takeaway food as well as a lovely restaurant to eat and enjoy the views from.
There are even some secret gardens to explore hidden at the back of the beach. You can climb the landscape to take in spectacular views of Start Bay and admire the work that has gone into restoring the garden. A small entrance fee applies but the flora and fauna and views are worth it. Please note dogs are not permitted.

2. Challaborough Bay Beach, Kingsbridge, Bigbury

Sat Nav: TQ7 4HZ
60 minutes from Long Barn Cottages 

Challaborough beach near Long Barn Holiday Cottages

Also in an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB), Challaborough Bay Beach at low tide reveals a rock poolers heaven. More into sandcastles? Then the sand at Challaborough won’t disappoint either.

A popular beach with local surfers and bodyboarders due to the onshore swell and occasional breakers and the fact that there’s a small car park. The nearby holiday park makes it popular with families who say they like the sheltered horseshoe shaped cove and picturesque view of the iconic Burgh Island.
Just up the coast from the more lauded beaches of Bigbury-on Sea and Bantham, Challaborough perhaps offers a less hectic and secluded feel once you’ve navigated the tight winding Devon lanes to reach it.
Reward yourself with an ice-cream or a fish supper with a view from Fryer Tucks who operate a handy byo alcohol service.

3. Meadfoot Beach, Torquay

20 minutes from Long Barn Cottages

Meadfoot Beach
can be found just over the headland from the hustle and bustle of Torquay. Park alongside the road under the cliff by the beach which hosts a launch ramp for boats and a row of pretty beach huts hugging the rocks.
The stone and sand beach is overlooked by the friendly Meadfoot Beach Café.  Take coffee with cake early doors and catch the beautiful view out to Thatcher Rock, a popular destination with divers.
Apart from the south-western end, the beach is dog friendly with good clean facilities. Enjoyed by locals and discovered by tourists Meadfoot is one of the more peaceful and tranquil beaches in South Devon. Just check the tide times before you go as there is little beach at high tide.

4. Dawlish Warren Beach, Dawlish

35 minutes from Long Barn Cottages
If you’re looking for great kids entertainment and the traditonal British beach atmosphere then Dawlish Warren is the beach for you. Not only is it a Blue Flag beach, an achievement it has held for 26 consecutive years, it also has 500 acres of a National Nature Reserve. 
Dawlish Warren is very accessible, via the cycle network, bus and train from Newton Abbot along the infamous Dawlish sea wall railway or a short walk from Dawlish itself. If driving, there are also plenty of car parks to choose from.
A good choice for dog lovers, your furry friend is allowed on the beach all year-round past groyne 9. Additionally they’re also permitted between the lifeguard tower and groyne 3 during the off-peak season from 1st October – 30th March.  
Why not hire one of the quintessential beach huts available via Teignbridge District Council and make a day of it? 

5. Breakwater Beach (Shoalstone), Brixham 

30 minutes from Long Barn Cottages

Breakwater Beach wins the accolade for nearest beach to a town. It’s literally minutes from the centre of bustling Brixham which is steeped in maritime heritage and found in the heart of the English Riviera. Combine a meander around the harbourside with some rest and recouperatuon at the beach - deckchairs can be hired.
Breakwater Beach, often referred to as Shoalstone, the name of the surrounding area, is a small intimate beach frequented by scuba divers and watersports enthusiasts due to its calm sheltered waters.
The beach is supervised from 9 – 5 during the summer season and managed in partnership with the Breakwater Bistro, a restaurant with fabulous views across Torbay and a menu packed with local produce like Bays Brewery for a refreshing tipple and delicious Devon crab from The Blue Seafood Company.
Brixham has 5 car parks to choose from or jump on the Stagecoach No. 12 bus in Kingskerswell and hit the top deck to take in the stunning South Devon scenery on the way. 
Long Barn Luxury Holiday Cottages situated in the heart of South Devon come with their own superb heated indoor swimming pool, towel hire and private use booking system for those days when the beach doesn’t beckon. The cottages also have BBQ and outdoor catering facilities, a games barn and a fabulous outdoor adventure play area for the children.