An icy Christmas Day swim in South Devon has been a tradition for some time now, but in the...
Blackpool Sands in South Devon is a sheltered, golden crescent of fine shingle, situated on the east facing coast of the region. Occupying the northern end of Start Bay, Blackpool Sands is well regarded not only for its outstanding facilities, but also for it’s safe and secure environment, and is one of South Devon’s most popular family friendly beaches. Regularly frequented by outdoor enthusiasts, expect to find the crystal clear waters peppered with swimmers, kayakers and paddleboarders, and the shingle shores a myriad of ramblers navigating the South West Coast Path and eager anglers, hoping to land their dinner. The centre of the beach, also home to the Venus Cafe, is the most vibrant, and the perfect spot to tuck into sumptuous food and drink, with quieter spots accessible at the far ends of the bay. A recipient of the much coveted Blue Flag Award, if you’re looking for a beach with everything you need for a brilliant day out – take a trip to Blackpool Sands. Find out more about this iconic South Devon beach in our comprehensive guide to Blackpool Sands.
– Blackpool Sands Beach
– Is Blackpool Sands dog friendly?
– Watersports at Blackpool Sands
– Venus Cafe Blackpool Sands
– Blackpool Sands parking
– Blackpool Sands events
– Holiday cottages near Blackpool Sands
As a Blue Flag beach, Blackpool Sands Beach achieves the highest standards in terms of its environment and the facilities provided, so it comes as no surprise to us that it is one of South Devon’s most popular family beaches. Privately owned, Blackpool Sands is a picturesque crescent of fine golden shingle, nestled in a sheltered bay that is surrounded by towering evergreens and pines. The beach itself is wide, especially on a low tide, and provides the perfect environment for gentle exploration. The rocks, situated at either end of the beach are popular with those who love to scramble and search in nooks and crannies, and the shoreline is rife with marine treasures, so be sure to keep your eyes peeled for mermaid’s purses. If you’re bringing children with you, and they’re craving a sandy beach then fear not, because you will find two large sandpits available during the summer months. What’s more, throughout July and August there is also a bathing raft which is brilliant fun to swim to and jump in and out of the sea. Known for being welcoming and spacious, Blackpool Sands Beach is also widely reputed as being both safe and secure, and enjoys ample space to spread out and have fun. You certainly won’t find yourself short of things to do when visiting Blackpool Sands – it’s a hive of activity boasting a wonderful cross section of ramblers exploring the South West Coast Path, beach explorers and their canine companions, and avid water sport enthusiasts.
The excellent facilities at Blackpool Sands Beach make it a favourite destination for families, and also for dog owners when the seasonal restrictions allow. Parking is plentiful (and situated next to the beach!), the toilets and showers are well maintained and there is a lifeguard team on duty throughout the summer months. The popular Venus Cafe is open year round, and their shop sells all the beach-related goodies you will need, including buckets, spades, inflatables and swimwear, and what’s more, equipment hire (kayaks, paddleboards, bodyboards etc) is also available through the summer months. There is very much a feeling that no stone – or perhaps we should say no grain of shingle – has been left unturned to provide a fantastic day out!
The conditions are often calm and protected in the bay, and combined with crystal clear waters and a gradual sloping sea floor Blackpool Sands provides the perfect playground for water sports enthusiasts, with swimmers, kayakers and paddleboarders taking full advantage. Spend your time on and in the water either exploring the bay, or for those in search of more of a challenge, it’s the perfect starting point for further exploring Start Bay – head towards Torcross and discover an abundance of secluded coves and thriving wildlife.
Whilst you can of course bring your own watersports equipment, kayaks, paddleboards, bodyboards and wetsuits (including buoyancy aids) are available to hire from the beach in the summer months, and you book onto a guided tour should you prefer a little guidance. Run by Venus Watersports, the ‘Venus Riders Watersports programme’ is extremely popular, so we advise calling ahead to check availability. We have detailed the prices below, which were correct at the time of writing and are subject to change.
|½ hour||1 hour||2 hours|
|Stand Up Paddleboard||£10||£18||£30|
Blackpool Sands is seasonally dog friendly, and welcomes canines and their companions at restricted times of the year. When restrictions allow, Blackpool Sands is the perfect location for four legged friends, with a large expanse of fine shingle to tread, and the South West Coast Path just a stone’s throw away. Blackpool Sands is required by the Blue Flag programme to have a restrictive policy when it comes to dogs, and as such, dogs are not permitted in the car parks or on the beach from mid-March through until the end of October. Dogs are permitted outside of these dates but if in doubt, please call the Blackpool Sands information line on 01803 771800. At Coast & Country Cottages, we love dogs, and we also love the beach, so we’ve compiled a comprehensive guide to the best dog friendly beaches in South Devon.
Fishing in South Devon is a popular pastime, particularly within Start Bay. Blackpool Sands is a great place to fish, not only because of the range of species you can pull in from this compact cove, but also because of the reliable conditions. Our favourite fishing spots at Blackpool Sands are situated close to the rocks located at either side of the beach, and from here, expect to reel in wrasse, possibly pouting, whiting, dabs, plaice, garfish, bull huss, lesser-spotted dogfish and if you’re lucky, perhaps bass! In the summer evenings, it’s a fantastic place to feather for mackerel too.
As you would expect, Blackpool Sands is an extremely popular beach, not just on the shingle shores, but also in the water, and in the summer months it is rife with water sports enthusiasts, so during the summer months, shore fishing is only permitted in the evening. Outside of the main holiday season, fishing is permitted at any time. For those in search of a little more space to spread out, consider the nearby beach of Slapton Sands which stretches for three miles and offers similar fishing conditions.
The Venus Café at Blackpool Sands is a much-loved establishment amongst both locals and visitors, and is proud of its thriving community of beach lovers, regardless of the season, rain or shine. With ample seating both indoor and out, there is also a popular separate dog friendly café, complete with cosy beds and blankets for canine companions. In the busy summer months, in addition to the café, there is also a separate takeaway area serving all the beachside classics you would expect to find, ice creams and cheesy chips included! The Venus Café is not a typical ‘chips-in-a-cone’-style beachside kiosk and the menu consists of fresh, locally sourced dishes boasting organic meats, juicy salads and sumptuous seafood. The coffee served is organic and fairtrade, and for those after a tipple of two, there is an extensive selection of beers and wines. You can visit the café for dinner as well as breakfast and lunch, provided you book in advance.
Blackpool Sands is located in the heart of the South Devon Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, at the northern end of Start Bay, between the villages of Stoke Fleming and Strete. By road, you will find this fine shingle cove on the A379, around four miles south of Dartmouth.
For sat nav users, the postcode for Blackpool Sands car park is TQ6 0RG. The beach is also accessible by bus, with the No. 3 Stagecoach bus service running between Dartmouth and Plymouth, stopping just a few yards from the entrance to the car park.
There is ample parking found at Blackpool Sands, and the car parks are located parallel to the beach so there is no need to worry about carrying beach equipment for long distances! From mid-March to the end of October, the car parks are manned by attendants and there is a charge which varies throughout the season (you can check the current rate by calling the information line on 01803 771800). From November to mid-March parking is free. There are no vehicle height restrictions, so it’s a great spot if you have a campervan, but overnight parking and camping are strictly forbidden.
The team at Blackpool Sands host various events throughout the summer, from the popular music festival of Tunes on the Sands to an open air cinema club, not forgetting the gnarly (but equally popular) triathlon. Blackpool Sands is proud to have created an extremely inclusive community, so you’ll be sure to find something perfect for all the family to enjoy…
The ever popular Tunes on the Sands music festival occurs every Summer. The event has seen famous performers such as Billy Ocean take to the stage and always presents a fantastic line up, as well as showcasing a Tarquin’s gin terrace, art installations, cocktail bar, silent disco and much more. Visit their website to buy tickets and keep an eye on who will be performing at the next event.
Every year throughout the months of July and August, Blackpool Sands invite you to their shores to enjoy a cinema experience like no other with Open Air Cinemas. You can expect to choose from a variety of family film favourites, having previously shown Grease, Moana, The Lion King and so much more. This is always an extremely popular event, in fact, we would go as far to say the experience has become a much-loved staple of the South Devon summer! Bring your own picnic, camping chair and blanket, and snuggle down beside the sea for a highly unique experience. Or, if you would rather, The Venus Café serve hot food, hot and cold drinks, snacks and ice creams. It is essential to book ahead, visit the Open Air Cinemas website to book your ticket for the next event.
South Devon is the ultimate playground for beach lovers, and the region boasts not only shingle bays but also secluded coves and large sandy expanses, perfect for exploring. Within close proximity to Blackpool Sands you will find the beaches of Slapton Sands, Beesands, Hallsands and Strete Gate. A little further afield, for something completely different, head to the sandy stretches of Bantham Beach and Bigbury-on-Sea. At Coast & Country Cottages we love the beach and have detailed the ins and outs of where to visit – read through our beach related blog posts for more inspiration.
Our holiday cottages near Blackpool Sands are perfect for those looking for a coastal retreat that puts you in the heart of South Devon’s Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. We have a wealth of holiday cottages throughout Start Bay, including country escapes, coastal cottages and luxury getaways. Start Bay is an ideal location for a dog-friendly holiday, and we also boast an enviable collection of pet-friendly cottages.