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View over Blackpool Sands beach, South Devon

Blackpool Sands Beach in South Devon is a sheltered, golden crescent of fine shingle, situated on the east-facing coast of the region. A recipient of the much-coveted Blue Flag Award, this beach has everything you need for a brilliant day out.

Occupying the northern end of Start Bay, Blackpool Sands Beach is well regarded for both its outstanding facilities and safe and secure environment. As such, it’s 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 paddle boarders. You’ll also find the shingle shores covered in a myriad of ramblers navigating the South West Coast Path, as well as eager anglers hoping to land their dinner.

Read on to discover all you need to know about Blackpool Sands…

Blackpool Sands Beach

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About Blackpool Sands Beach

Blackpool Sands Beach

As a Blue Flag beach, Blackpool Sands Beach achieves the highest standards in terms of its environment and the facilities provided and so it comes as no surprise that it’s one of South Devon’s most popular family beaches. Privately owned, Blackpool Sands Beach is a picturesque crescent of fine golden shingle. Nestled in a sheltered bay, it’s 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. 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 – you will find two large sandpits available during the summer months. What’s more, throughout July and August, you can swim to the bathing raft and have fun jumping in and out of the sea!

Where is Blackpool Sands Beach?

Blackpool Sands Beach 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 Beach car park is TQ6 0RG. The beach is also accessible with the No.3 Stagecoach bus, which runs between Dartmouth and Plymouth and stops just a few yards from the entrance to the car park.

Is Blackpool Sands beach dog-friendly?

Dog-friendly beach

With a large expanse of fine shingles to tread and the South West Coast Path just a stone’s throw away, Blackpool Sands Beach is the perfect location for four-legged friends. Blackpool Sands is seasonally dog-friendly and welcomes canines and their companions at restricted times of the year.

Due to its Blue Flag status, Blackpool Sands is required to have a restrictive policy when it comes to dogs. Dogs aren’t allowed on the beach or in the cafe or car parks during the bathing season; 1st April – 30th September. Outside of these dates, dogs can roam freely on the beach. If in doubt, call the information line on 01803 771800.

Your South Devon holiday wouldn’t be complete without a trip to the beach for both you and your canines. Here at Coast & Country Cottages, we know how much our furry friends love the beach, so we’ve compiled a comprehensive guide to our favourite dog-friendly beaches in South Devon.

Beach Cafe and Takeaway at Blackpool Sands

Previously known as the Venus Cafe, this newly refurbished space is now home to the Blackpool Sands Beach Cafe & Takeaway, and is proving to be extremely popular amongst both locals and visitors. The cafe provides ample seating both indoors and out, and has an endless supply of hot water bottles and blankets to keep you cosy on colder days. As you would expect, given its prime location on the shingle shores, it’s a hotspot for families, primarily because children can freely play on the beach (well within eyesight) whilst parents relax and enjoy the vista.

The menu is varied, ranging from daily specials like fish chowder and Indian dahl to decadent hot chocolates topped with cream and marshmallows. For early risers, the breakfast is particularly sumptuous with a range of options from fresh pastries straight out of the oven to bacon filled baps and burritos – you are sure to find the perfect refuel after a morning dip!

Blackpool Sands Beach Shop / Red @ the Beach

The Red Paddle Co have given the beach shop a significant revamp, and you will now find it stocked with an abundant selection of their very own first class stand up paddle boards. Additionally, you will find all the necessary beach items required for a perfect day out should you need to top up your supplies. At the shop, there is also a popular ‘inflation station’, which means you can effortlessly inflate your paddle board in record time!

Opening hours for the shop do vary. During the colder months of January and February, the shop is open at weekends only (and for the duration of February half term). The shop is open daily from 1st March.

Watersports at Blackpool Sands beach

watersports off South Devon beach

The conditions are often calm and protected in the bay. Crystal clear waters and a gradual sloping seafloor make Blackpool Sands the perfect playground for water sports enthusiasts, with swimmers, kayakers and paddle boarders taking full advantage. Spend your time on and in the water as you explore the bay. For those in search of a challenge, Blackpool Sands Beach offers the perfect starting point for exploring the breadth of Start Bay. Use a kayak or paddle board, and head towards Torcross to discover an abundance of secluded coves and thriving wildlife.

Whilst you can of course bring your own watersports equipment to Blackpool Sands Beach, kayaks, paddleboards and wetsuits (including buoyancy aids) are also available to hire from the beach in the summer months. Sea Kayak Devon is conveniently positioned on the beach, and you will find the team ready to help organise your leisure time with lots of exciting things to do.

Regardless of whether you want to hire a kayak and paddle away or hop on a stand-up paddle board, Sea Kayak Devon are on hand to give you as much (or as little) help as you need – you can hire wetsuits here too if you don’t have one. Sea Kayak Devon also organise guided coastal kayak trips, which is an incredible way to see the coast and marine life.

Blackpool Sands Beach Sauna

The Sauna on Blackpool Sands Beach

Newly installed for 2023 is the beach sauna on the sand, the views from which are second to none! Available to book online, you can choose from a public or private session for you or a group of friends. Weekends in particular do get busy, so be sure to book ahead and secure your spot.

Fishing at Blackpool Sands Beach

Fishing at Slapton Sands

Fishing in South Devon is a popular pastime, particularly within Start Bay. Due to its reliable conditions and range of catch, Blackpool Sands Beach is a great place to fish. Our favourite fishing spots at Blackpool Sands are situated close to the rocks located on either side of the beach. From here you can expect to reel in wrasse, 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.

During the summer months, the beach becomes a popular spot, not just on the shingle shores, but also in the water, so be aware that at this time shore fishing is only permitted in the evening. Outside of the main holiday season though, fishing is permitted at any time. For those in search of a little more space to spread out, consider fishing at the nearby beach of Slapton Sands.

Parking at Blackpool Sands Beach

There is ample parking at Blackpool Sands, and the car parks are located parallel to the beach, so carrying beach equipment for long distances is never a problem.

There is a new parking system at the beach as of 2023, with ANPR cameras which recognise when you enter and leave the car park. This means you no longer have to faff about with times and how long you need to park for – just enter your number plate and pay on exit for a seamless experience. The charge to use the car parks varies throughout the year, but you can check the current rate by calling the information line on 01803 771800.

There are no vehicle height restrictions, so it’s a great spot if you have a campervan, but bare in mind that overnight parking and camping are strictly forbidden.

Blackpool Sands Beach events

The team at Blackpool Sands Beach host various events throughout the summer, from a challenging (but popular!) triathlon to the popular music festival of Tunes on the Sands. 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. Take a read of the upcoming events below, or visit the events section of the Blackpool Sands website for further information…

Dartmouth Triathlon | Blackpool Sands Beach

Dates: 8th & 9th June 2024

Head on down to Blackpool Sands Beach for the annual Dartmouth Sprint Triathlon. Watch and support participants as they take on 750m and 1500m sea swims on the first day, followed by a Triathlon starting at 7am, which consists of a 750M swim, a 20k bike ride and a 5k run on the second day. There is also a shorter Supersprint version for those who fancy it at 8am. Plus the Aquabike option which starts at 7am and sees a 750m swim and a 20k bike ride. It’s guaranteed to be a fun day out for the whole family!

Check out Sportiva’s website for more details

Tunes on the Sands | Blackpool Sands Beach

Dates: 12th & 13th July 2024

The ever-popular Tunes on the Sands music festival occurs every summer. The first acts for 2024 have already been announced, including two fantastic headliners, Feeder and Razorlight. Check the Tunes on the Sands website to see the full line up and the other exciting acts in store! Tickets are now available to buy for both daily and weekend/camping visits, so book soon if you plan on attending!

Rockpool Ramble at Blackpool Sands Beach

Dates: TBC 2024

We know everyone loves a free activity, which is why the Rockpool Ramble is brilliant. Bring your family down to the ‘Blue Flag’ flagpole on the promenade and meet the local wildlife ranger, Martin Summers. You’ll be able to discover anemones, strange clingfish, and maybe even a fierce velvet swimming crab. Your children will love this event just as much as you. While the event itself is free, normal parking entry charges apply.

‘Professor’ Elfic presents ‘Sort it Out!’

Dates: TBC 2024

With bundles of magic, circus tricks, puppetry and comedy, ‘Professor’ Elfic tackles the serious issues of what we can do with our waste. He explores the nature of different materials in an entertaining way. This event is great for families with young children, so head on down to Blackpool Sands Beach to see ‘professor’ Elfic perform. This event is free of charge and normal parking charges apply.

Similar beaches to Blackpool Sands

Bantham Beach

Looking for more stunning beaches for your break in the South West? South Devon is the ultimate playground for beach lovers, with shingle bays, 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.

For something a bit different, head to the sandy stretches of Bantham Beach and Bigbury-on-sea. At Coast & Country Cottages we love the beach, so we’ve detailed the ins and outs of where to visit in our beach-related blog posts.

Holiday cottages near Blackpool Sands

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, from country escapes and coastal cottages to luxury getaways and dog-friendly holidays. We also have an enviable collection of pet-friendly cottages, so your waggly-tailed friends can enjoy the fun too!

Why not make South Devon your next adventure? Browse our selection of holiday cottages in South Devon and book your holiday cottage near Blackpool Sands today.