Not too long ago Monkey turned to me after a day trip to the seaside and told me it was his ‘best holiday ever’. Never mind the fact at the tender age of four, he’s already been on countless expeditions spanning four continents.
But that’s the appeal of the British coastline, sometimes home is best. Give us Brits a dose of sunshine, a bucket and spade, an ice cream and a portion of chips, and we’re very happy. Young or old, time spent by the sea can certainly blow away the cobwebs and gives a person a renewed sense of wellbeing.
And the best thing is we don’t have to travel too far to find them. There’s so much to explore in our own backyard and we’re extremely fortunate to have hundreds of stunning beaches – 169 of which are award-winning – from West Wittering in West Sussex to Ruby Bay in Fife in Scotland.
The hard part is choosing which region to holiday in. In my humble opinion, however, some of the best beaches can be found in the South West of the UK – and Devon in particular.
I fondly remember our family holidays in Torquay and Paignton – those carefree days of paddling in the sea, playing crazy golf with my parents and breaking my teeth on sticks of rock. I can’t wait for Monkey to enjoy more of these unforgettable experiences, too – minus the rock…
With beaches galore, you’ll be in for a treat wherever you visit. There’s also a whole host of attractions from national parks and historic towns, as well as first-class hotels, self-catering accommodation, campsites and holiday parks.
It’s pretty difficult to narrow down the beach choices in Devon – which is why MTM has done it for you! Just don’t forget the sun cream…
With its magnificent stretch of sand and natural beauty, it’s no wonder Woolacombe in North Devon has been voted the best UK beach for the second time running. Described by visitors as ‘Three miles of heaven. In wild weather, it is beautiful. In good weather, it is a delight.’ it’s located in an area of outstanding natural beauty and is also a surfing hotspot. Woolacombe Bay Holiday Parks in North Devon offer award-winning accommodation and facilities right on the doorstep of this fantastic stretch of beach.
Blackpool Sands in Dartmouth is a crescent-shaped beach, framed by pine trees and rolling countryside. Despite its name, the beach is in fact formed from the smoothest little pebbles, which makes the water crystal clear. In the summer, watch as kids dive off into the water from the floating pontoon. Meanwhile, the Venus Café serves up fresh, local seafood to hungry bathers.
Tunnels Beaches, Ilfracombe
For the fun and adventure alone, access to this sheltered beach and tranquil rock pool is via four tunnels built in the 1820s. The rock pool itself is teeming with aquatic life – fantastic fun for the whole family and voted the third best rock pool in the UK. My husband has very happy memories of Tunnels as a small child…
If you want wild, rugged and unspoilt, get yourself down to Lannacombe beach. Although it’s a small beach in comparison to some of the more expansive beaches further up the coast, Lannacombe is perfect if you want to leave the crowds behind and experience some of the best scenery in the area. Top tip: pick up a tide timetable so you won’t get caught out.
There are several beautiful beaches worth visiting around the yachting town of Salcombe, but Mill Bay’s safe and seaweed free bathing conditions means that it’s particularly brilliant for families. Plus at low tide, there’s are several rock pools to explore, as well as quieter coves if you head further up the coastal path. Parking spaces are limited, so the best way to arrive is via a short ferryboat.
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