East Portlemouth beach | South Devon Beach Bible
April 15th, 2016 | By Ross Purdy
East Portlemouth beach is a series of small sandy coves that look out west towards Salcombe and the clear blue water of the Kingsbridge Estuary.
- Location and access
- Our guide to East Portlemouth beach
- Similar beaches
- Properties near East Portlemouth beach
Sat nav users, use the postcode TQ8 8PU.
The easiest way to reach East Portlemouth is via the passenger ferry that runs all year round. Driving to East Portlemouth involves a winding, wonderfully scenic route of around 15 miles.
- Leave Salcombe on Salcombe Road, passing through Malborough and following the signs to Kingsbridge.
- When you arrive in Kingsbridge, take the second exit at the first roundabout onto Ilbert Road.
- At the next roundabout, take the second exit (A379).
- Stay on the A379 (Embankment Road) until you come to village of Frogmore.
- Shortly after you pass @The Bakery on the right, turn right over the little bridge (signposted for South Pool) and keep right immediately after you’ve crossed it.
- Take the first left.
- Turn right at the end of the road.
- Continue on this road until you come to the village of Chivelstone. Follow the road through Chivelstone and then take the first right after you’ve left the village (about half a mile on).
- Continue for two and a half miles until you arrive at the village of East Portlemouth. There is limited on-road parking in the village and a small park. A steep footpath leads down the beach.
- Alternatively, keep on through the village and take a sharp left at the T-junction, which will take you to a small parking area to the beach.
Dartmouth is just under 17 miles from East Portlemouth.
- Leaving Dartmouth up College Way, turn left at the first roundabout, signposted for Stoke Fleming and Strete.
- Follow this road (the A379) through the villages of Stoke Fleming and Strete. The road will wind downhill to Strete Gate, and Slapton Sands will appear on your right.
- About a third of the way along the beach, a right turn will appear, signposted for Slapton. Take this turn onto Sands Road.
- Pass through Slapton village on Sands Road. At the other side of the village, you’ll come to a crossroads. Turn left onto Brook Road.
- Stay on this road until you come to the end. Turn left at the T-junction.
- Go straight on at the roundabout in Stokenham.
- At the next junction, the road will bend sharply to the right. Follow the road around.
- You’ll come to a similar junction. Again, follow the road right.
- Continue on this road until you come to the village of Chivelstone. Pass through the village and take the next right (about half a mile later). Continue for two and a half miles until you arrive at the village of East Portlemouth. There is limited roadside parking in the village and a small car park. A steep footpath leads down the beach.
- Alternatively, keep on through the village and take a sharp left at the T-junction, which will take you to some more parking spaces nearer to the beach.
On Wednesdays the volunteer-managed Coleridge bus stops in the village of East Portlemouth. However, for most people the easiest way to get to East Portlemouth by public transport is to take the Tally Ho 606 bus service to Salcombe (Shadycombe Road) and then take the passenger ferry over the water to East Portlemouth beach.
Taking the East Portlemouth Ferry
Between Easter and October, the East Portlemouth Ferry leaves from the Ferry Pier.
During the rest of the year, boarding is at Whitestrand Quay.
The circular walk from East Portlemouth to Gara Rock is very popular. See the South West Coast Path website for further details.
There are several parking options for visitors to East Portlemouth beach. There is some on-road parking in the village of East Portlemouth as well as a small car park. Getting to the beach from here on foot involves a steep path.
There is more on-road parking by Venus Café (continue through East Portlemouth village and take a left at the T-junction) and a car park at nearby Millbay.
Alternatively, park in Salcombe and take the ferry.
- Passenger ferry
Yes, dogs are welcome at East Portlemouth beach throughout the year.
- Typical family beachside activities are common at East Portlemouth beach.
- Fishing from East Portlemouth is popular when the beach is less populated with swimmers and sunbathers.
On the other side of Salcombe harbour you’ll find North Sands and South Sands, both beautiful sandy beaches with excellent facilities. Alternatively, Millbay is just three hundred metres south of East Portlemouth beach and has its own small car park.
East Portlemouth Beach is an enticing series of sandy coves, visible from Salcombe town centre and accessible by an all-year-round passenger ferry. Being less than 300 metres as the crow flies from the town, East Portlemouth is nevertheless a good 35-40 minute drive from the Salcombe. This may be one reason why the beach tends to be a little quieter and more serene than its local rivals, particularly North Sands and South Sands.
When the tide is out, it is possible (with care!) to walk to Millbay on this dog-friendly beach. Alternatively, simply set out your picnic rug and enjoy the unbeatable estuary views, smooth sands and sparkling water, staying close to the excellent facilities at East Portlemouth. These include a popular Venus Café/beach shop and toilets with disabled access.
Families come to East Portlemouth for ice-creams, picnics, sandcastles and all of the classic beach activities, including rockpooling and beachcombing. The water is clean, shallow and relatively calm, making leisurely dips in the sea an irresistible option for many in the summer months.
If you prefer to keep moving whilst on holiday, make East Portlemouth beach a stop on your walk along the South West Coast Path. East Portlemouth to Gara Rock (three to four miles depending on your route) is one of the most popular walks in the region due to its amazing views.
Shore anglers also make the most of East Portlemouth when the number of tourists drop, either visiting the beach in the evenings or setting up their rods out of season.
For kids in particular, heading over to East Portlemouth from Salcombe on the passenger ferry is part of the fun, especially on sunny, breezy days. The East Portlemouth Ferry leaves from the Ferry Pier between Easter and October, and from Whitestrand Pier during the rest of the year.
Coast and Country Cottages offers a wide range of holiday homes in and around Salcombe, just a short passenger ferry ride from East Portlemouth beach, as well as a handful of fantastic self-catering properties on the East Portlemouth side of the Estuary.
Interested in other beaches in the area?