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East Portlemouth Beach - accessible beaches in South Devon

Here in South Devon, the stunning coastline never fails to impress, with its rugged, breathtaking scenery and dramatic seascapes – and the best part is, there are many accessible beaches in South Devon to explore, meaning everyone can experience it first-hand! 


Featuring some wheelchair accessible beaches, sandy shores that allow assistance dogs and coves with disabled toilets, our blog details the accessible facilities at a range of South Devon beaches. Use the quick links below to find out about a particular beach or continue reading for our complete guide:


5 Accessible Beaches in South Devon

Bantham Beach

Bantham Beach - accessible beaches in South Devon

With exceptional views towards Burgh Island, parking for up to 1000 cars, and a designated dog area, this is one of the finest sandy beaches in the area. Listed in the Lonely Planet guide as one of Europe’s best beaches, this bay is famous for its fabulous surf, and you happily lose track of hours here watching watersport enthusiasts catch a wave. The beach also has lifeguards in season and boasts ample eating options too, with the Gastrobus in situ, and The Sloop Inn a short distance away in the main village.

Accessible Facilities at Bantham Beach:

  • Disabled access toilets
  • Life guarded in season
  • Dog friendly

Blackpool Sands

Blackpool Sands - accessible beaches in South Devon

Situated on the Start Bay coastline, within a short drive of Dartmouth in one direction and Torcross in the other, this pebbly beach is Blue Flag awarded and provides the perfect setting for a beach day out. From the hard standing of the disabled car parking area, there is easy level access to the onsite amenities including the exceptional Venus Beach Café, serving delicious food made from locally sourced ingredients. There is also a takeaway hatch, and bench style picnic tables along the concreted promenade where you can easily park a wheelchair and enjoy your refreshments whilst admiring the sea views and breathing in the salty air. There is also a beach shop selling everything from beach toys to local produce to supplement your packed lunch if required!

Accessible Facilities at Blackpool Sands:

  • Disabled toilets and parking
  • Ramped, concreted access to the beach with handrails
  • Assistance dogs permitted year round
  • Disabled access to the café
  • Promenade area adjacent to beach is wheelchair friendly
  • Full access statement available

Thurlestone and South Milton Sands

South Milton Sands - accessible beaches in South Devon

Thurlestone is a traditional picturesque village, home to a number of beautiful beaches. The largest is Thurlestone Sands, which is split in to two beaches by a rocky outcrop. To the south end, towards South Milton, is the main larger beach home to the iconic Thurlestone Rock, whilst closer to Thurlestone is a smaller – but equally desirable – stretch of sand. Both are naturally very picturesque, providing wildlife spotting opportunities from the rock pools, not to mention safe shallow waters for swimming. At the south end, National Trust parking is available just meters from the beach with four disabled parking bays. From the car park, board walk ramps lead down to the beach over the sand dunes, however beach access is not suitable for wheelchair users.

Accessible Facilities at Thurlestone and South Milton Sands:

  • Lifeguard (in season)
  • Disabled toilets (South Milton end)
  • Disabled parking (South Milton end)

East Portlemouth Beaches

East Portlemouth Beach - accessible beaches in South Devon

Like Thurlestone, East Portlemouth isn’t home to just one beach, but rather several smaller coves dotted along the coastline. The largest and best known is Mill Bay, a National Trust beach comprising both sand and rocks, with around 60 parking spaces, and benefiting from disabled toilets, a seasonal café and foot passenger ferry access to Salcombe. Ideal for swimming and windsurfing, this pretty beach has disabled access down a slipway, leading on to the soft sand. Making for a quiet and peaceful retreat, with superb views across to the sailing town of Salcombe, this is a delightful spot to spend a day soaking up the sunshine, with the waves lapping on the nearby shoreline.

Accessible Facilities at East Portlemouth:

  • Disabled access
  • Disabled toilets

Torre Abbey Sands, Torquay

This blue flag awarded, long and sandy beach is situated on the seafront in Torquay, and is an idyllic spot to spend a memorable day at the seaside. With safe swimming waters, and the opportunity to build sandcastles galore, plus a host of nearby attractions like Princess Pier and the Royal Terrace Gardens, there is so much to do.

For those less mobile, this is also a very desirable option. There is good disabled access on to the beach, and there are disabled toilet facilities open all year around. The only thing to be aware of is there is no designated car park, with the nearest public cark parks of Abbey Car Park or Shedden Hill Car Park, both around a five minute walk.

Accessible Facilities at Torre Abbey Sands, Torquay:

  • Disabled access to the beach
  • Disabled toilet facilities
  • Dog friendly out of season (1st October – 30th April only)
  • Nearby cafés with al fresco dining and wheelchair friendly access from the promenade

Planning a getaway to the South Devon coastline? View our collection of South Devon holiday cottages situated near the region’s stunning beaches, attractions and more. For individual accessibility requirements, please contact the office before booking.

Book your South Devon holiday today