South Sands, Salcombe | South Devon Beach Bible

March 30th, 2016 | By Ross Purdy

South Sands is an unspoilt sandy cove just south of Salcombe, with facilities for a range of watersports and a popular beach café.

South Sands, Salcombe - beach cafe


Aerial shot south sands north sands

Above showing North Sands beach on the right, and South Sands beach on the left.

Looking for specific information about South Sands, Salcombe?

Location and access

By car:

As parking is limited at South Sands, if you’re visiting in the summer, consider leaving your car in Salcombe and either walking or taking the passenger ferry from Whitestrand Quay. North Sands Car Park (managed by South Hams District Council) is half a mile away along Cliff Road.

Sat nav users, use the postcode TQ8 8LH for South Sands.

From Salcombe:

South Sands is 1.5 miles from Salcombe town centre.

  1. Join Sandhills Road from either Main Road or Bennet Road. (Following Devon Road south will take you on to Main Road. Turn left onto Main Road and then take the first right for Sandills Road.)
  2. Follow Sandhills Road as it loops downhill. At the bottom, where you are directed to turn left onto Beadon Road, you’ll see North Sands beach ahead of you.
  3. At the end of Beadon Road, turn right onto Cliff Road.
  4. Stay on this narrow road, keeping to the left when the road forks (signposted to South Sands).
  5. After a few hundred metres, you’ll arrive at South Sands beach.


From Dartmouth:

Dartmouth is a little over 20 miles from South Sands.

  1. Leave Dartmouth on the A3122, going straight on at the roundabout (Townstall Road).
  2. After seven miles you will come to a T-junction by a garage. Turn left, joining the A381.
  3. Turn right at the roundabout to stay on the A381.
  4. Turn right at the next roundabout, staying on the A381.
  5. You’ll pass through the village of Churchstow and after that you’ll reach a roundabout. Turn left.
  6. Turn right at the T-junction, staying on the A381. You’ll come to the village of Malborough.
  7. Pass through the village and continue straight until you reach Salcombe. Stay on this road as Salcombe Road becomes Main Road.
  8. You’ll come to a crossroads with a brown sign that points right for North Sands and South Sands. Take this right onto Sandhills Road.
  9. Follow Sandhills Road as it loops downhill. At the bottom, when you turn left onto Beadon Road, you’ll see North Sands beach ahead of you.
  10. At the end of Beadon Road, turn right.
  11. Stay on this narrow road, keeping to the left when the road forks (signposted to South Sands).
  12. After a few hundred metres, you’ll arrive at South Sands beach.

By bus:

The nearest bus stop is Shadycombe Road in Salcombe, around 1.5 miles from South Sands. The Tally Ho 606 service runs from Kingsbridge to Salcombe from Monday to Saturday.

Once in Salcombe, either head to Whitestrand Quay to board the seasonal South Sands ferry or walk.

On foot:

South Sands is easily walkable from Salcombe town centre. It is about 1.5 miles from Fore Street. Continue south down Fore Street until it becomes Cliff Road, and follow this winding coastal road until you pass North Sands on your left. Follow the road around to the right, following the sign for South Sands and Overbecks.

The road will then wind back on itself as you climb the hill. Stay on Cliff Road until you come back down the hill and see South Sands beach appear in front of you.


There is limited parking (privately owned) at South Sands. Many visitors use the passenger ferry from Whitestrand Quay in the summer months or choose to walk.

Alternatively, there is a National Trust car park nearby (about five minutes on foot).


  • Toilets
  • Café/restaurant
  • Hiring of kayaks, paddleboards, etc.


Yes, dogs are welcome from November to March.


  • Its sandy beach and clear waters make this beach ideal for traditional family beach activities like sandcastle-building and swimming.
  • Sea Kayak Salcombe, based at South Sands, offer watersports equipment for hire as well as guided kayak tours and lessons.

Similar beaches

North Sands is a similarly popular and unspoilt sandy cove, half a mile north towards Salcombe. East Portlemouth beach, which faces Salcombe across the estuary, is slightly quieter but similar beautiful, and served by a popular Venus Takeaway.

Our guide to South Sands beach

South Sands’ proximity to Salcombe only partly explains its popularity – the rest of it is down to its beautiful surroundings, crystal-clear waters and excellent facilities, not to mention the fine sand that makes it ideal for kids and their sandcastles.

The sandy, level beach at South Sands

At only a few hundred metres long, you’d be surprised at the range of activities provided on this little strip of sand. Sea Kayak Salcombe is based at South Sands, giving you the opportunity to hire sea kayaks, stand-up paddleboards, wetsuits and buoyancy aids. They also provide kayaking courses and clinics to help you whether you’re starting from scratch or looking to upgrade your skills.

Next door you’ll find Bo’s Beach Café, a popular place to pick up a coffee or a quick bite to eat. This is also the place to go for beach accessories, toys and so on.

A stone’s throw from the beach, Beachside restaurant, part of the South Sands Hotel complex, is open to residents and non-residents seven days a week. Here you can order locally sourced dishes, including lots of seafood options, and there’s also a children’s menu.

The privately-owned car park accommodates around 30 cars and sits about 50 metres from the beach. Access to the level beach is via a concrete ramp or small set of steps, making South Sands one of the more accessible beaches in the South Devon area.

The southerly view from South Sands, Salcombe

The South Sands Ferry


Make the journey part of a fun day at South Sands by travelling from Whitestrand Quay on the colourful passenger ferry. As of March 2016, the fares are as follows:

  • Children under 3: Free
  • Children 3 to 16 years old: £2.60
  • Adults: £3.60

In 2016, the ferry will run from Saturday 23rd March to the 29th October 2016 (subject to sea and weather conditions). The first trip from Salcombe is at 9:45 am and then every 30 minutes until 5.15 pm (except at 1.15 pm).

South Sands Ferry

Departing South Sands, the first ferry leaves at 10 am then sails every half hour until 5.30 pm  (except 1.30 pm).

The exceptions are:

  • during August, when an extra sailing is introduced, meaning the last departure from Salcombe will be at 5.45 pm and the last from South Sands at 6 pm.
  • during October, when the last sailing from Salcombe will be at 4.45 pm, and the last from South Sands will be 5 pm.


6 Tarifa High Res 1South Sands beach is just a short hop from delightful Salcombe, the perfect base for your South Devon break. Have a look at our extensive range of holiday homes in and around Salcombe here.

Discover more about South Devon’s wonderful beaches with our South Devon Beach Bible.