You can hire sit-on-top kayaks, Stand-Up Paddleboards (SUPs), wetsuits and buoyancy aids from the Venus Company at Blackpool Sands (seasonal).
SUP prices are available for £15 per hour or £20 for two hours, including buoyancy aids. You can also hire an SUP for the day for £40, or £140 for a week*.
*Prices are correct at the time of writing.
For sit-on-top kayaks, the price depends on the size of the kayak. All costs include buoyancy aids.
Beyond hiring equipment, kayak tours can also be arranged for groups up to 10. Call 01803 712648 for details.
An at-a-glance guide to Blackpool Sands
Here in the South Hams, we are lucky to have some of the best beaches in the country on our doorstep. With such a stunning coastline, it can be difficult to choose where to go for the perfect day out.
Blackpool Sands, which has been awarded a prestigious Blue Flag, is one of the most popular beaches along the South Devon coastline, particularly with local residents. Blackpool Sands is just under four miles from the centre of Dartmouth, found between the villages of Stoke Fleming and Strete. This is a fantastic beach for families with a Summer lifeguard patrol, beach shop and the Venus café situated right on the beach.
It should also be mentioned that the Venus café is not a typical ‘chips-in-a-cone’-style beachside kiosk. While you can find all the casual classics you’d expect in their takeaway menu, there are also organic meats, a fine range of salads and some enticing seafood options in the café. The coffee served is also organic and Fairtrade. You can visit the café for dinner as well as breakfast and lunch, provided you book in advance.
Given the beach’s historical name, some may be surprised to read that Blackpool Sands is in fact a fine shingle beach. In many ways, this is actually a bonus – no sandy sandwiches and scratchy towels to worry about! Fortunately, if you’re bringing children with you, there are two large sandpits during summer months so that they won’t have to miss out. During July and August there is also a bathing raft which is brilliant fun to swim to and jump in and out of the sea.
The beautiful turquoise sea is fantastic for swimming, kayaking and other water sports as it is often very calm and protected in the bay with a gradual sloping sea floor. You can hire wetsuits, kayaks, paddleboards and much more at the beach, which adds something extra to your day and gives you the opportunity to try something new.
One of the nicest things about the beach, aside from the breathtaking views, is the attention paid to the facilities, which are some of the best in the area. The toilets and showers are well maintained and the shop sells all the beach-related goodies you’ll need, including buckets, spades, inflatables and swimwear.
The ample car parks are located right next to this beach so there is no need to worry about having a long walk from the car. The beach is also accessible by bus: the No. 3 service runs between Dartmouth and Plymouth and stops just a few yards from the entrance to the car park. Blackpool Sands also has disabled access onto the beach as well as disabled toilets, so 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 to every visitor.
So, if you are looking for a beach with everything you may need for a brilliant day out – take a trip to Blackpool Sands!
Blackpool Sands fishing
In the summer during the day, Blackpool Sands’ popularity amongst swimmers, Stand-up Paddleboarders and other visitors means that shore fishing is only permitted in the evening but do please take all your hooks and nets away with you to avoid injuries the next day to beachgoers. Outside of the holiday season, it’s a great place to fish, both because of the nice range of species and conditions you can encounter from this compact cove and because of the fantastic views of Start Bay to enjoy.
Close to the rocks at either side of the beach, wrasse are plentiful, but most of the UK’s southern shore-dwelling species are caught here: pouting, whiting, dabs, plaice, garfish, bull huss, lesser-spotted dogfish and bass are frequently reeled in from Blackpool Sands.
In the summer evenings, it’s a fantastic place to feather for mackerel too. For a little more space to spread out, consider nearby Slapton Sands which stretches for three miles and offers similar conditions.
Blackpool Sands and dogs
Blackpool Sands is required by the Blue Flag programme to have a restrictive policy when it comes to dogs. In the words of the owners:
“Dogs are not permitted in the car parks or on the beach from mid-March to the end of October”. Dogs are permitted outside of these dates but if in doubt, please call the information line on 01803 771800.”
Dogs are permitted with some restrictions outside these dates. If in doubt, please call the Blackpool Sands team on 01803 771800.
Venus Café at Blackpool Sands
As well as a much-loved place for lunch throughout the year, Venus Café and Takeaway at Blackpool Sands is also a popular venue for weddings and receptions.
The menu consists of fresh, locally sourced dishes, from Devon Cream Teas to fish cakes and succulent beef burgers. There’s even an extensive selection of beers and wines, and many of the food and drink options are organic and/or Fairtrade.
Venus Café is a great example of what’s special about South Devon – it’s a world away from sandy sandwiches and chips in a cone!
Blackpool Sands sits at the northern end of Start Bay, a 15-mile stretch of coastline incorporating expansive fine-shingle bays and little unspoilt coves, as well as hours of wonderful walks on the South West Coast Path.
Home to top restaurants like the Laughing Monk at Strete and an array of popular pubs such as the Start Bay Inn in Torcross, this is a wonderful region for a break.