Beaches in the South West
The South West is one of the first places people turn to for a holiday brimming with beach experiences. It’s easy to see why, with the coastline in this part of the country unrivalled in beauty.
The South West is perfect for a bit of staycation sun. Being home to the English Riviera (and a few palm trees too), it’s not surprising that the area is the hottest in the UK. In the summer, temperatures reach an average of around 21°C. Each South West county brings its own amazing set of sandy beaches into the conversation. From the wealth and wonder of Dorset’s south coast all the way down to some of the country’s most untouched shores in Cornwall. Uninterrupted Atlantic waves crash against the region’s shores, generating a water quality that rises above the rest of the country.
Looking for the cream of the crop? Check out our list of the best beaches in the South West.
Beach walks: A hiker’s paradise
Want to give your hiking boots a workout? Then check out the South West Coast Path. It’s England's longest waymarked footpath, running all the way from Poole Harbour in Dorset, along the beaches of Devon and Cornwall, all the way to Minehead in Somerset. It’s a whopping 630 miles long and was voted Britain's Best Walking route twice in a row by readers of The Ramblers' Walk magazine. Don’t worry, you don’t have to hike the whole 630 miles, just dip in and out when you want. It’s the best way to enjoy the rugged natural beauty of the South West’s coastal area.
Beach history: As seen on screen
The beaches in the South Westaren’t just beautiful, many have their own claims to fame too! If you’re a fan of the BBC’s Poldark series, you’ll no doubt have seen Cornwall’s Holywell Bay, Porthcurno and Kynance Cove (that pure white sand!) beaches on your screen. Now it’s time to see them with your own eyes.
The South West’s beaches were also a favourite of Daphne de Maurier, and frequently featured in her novels. If it’s a bit of history you’re after, then head to Brixham. It’s here that William III landed with a coalition of troops in 1688, kicking off the Glorious Revolution. The town is also home to the Brixham Pirate Festival, which spills out onto its beaches. Enjoy dress-ups, re-enactments, music and a treasure chest full of other stuff that’s sure to shiver your timbers. If you’re heading to Devon or Dorset, then there’s plenty to enjoy on the area’s Jurassic Coast. Hunt for fossils, join a dinosaur safari trail, or hike the trails and enjoy the incredible nature.
Beach attractions: action-packed adventure
Of course, we can’t talk about beaches in the South West without mentioning the surf. Everybody knows about Newquay, but there’s so much more besides. Woolacombe in Devon is a great spot for beginners, so why not book yourself onto a lesson. Perran Sands is another wave-riding favourite that’s always buzzing with surfers during the high season. But there’s so much more for the thrill-seeker to enjoy in the South West. If you’ve tried our climbing wall and want to test your skills on the real thing, there are plenty of seaside cliffs to climb in the area - book yourself a class and get scrambling. You can also find kayaking, paddle-boarding and so much more all along the coast for an action-packed holiday.
So, whether you’re looking for relaxed fun, to let your hair down, or a beach as a backdrop to your action-packed adventure, you’re sure to find it in the South West. All you need is a base to explore everything the region has to offer.