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Westcombe Beach, South Devon Beach

Westcombe Beach is located within an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty on the west coast of South Devon, and is one of the most isolated beaches of its size in the region.

Situated between the popular beaches of Bigbury-on-Sea, Challaborough, Ayrmer Cove and Mothecombe Beach it’s wild and rugged in its beauty. The beach consists of a long and grey sandy stretch, with an abundance of rock pools that are exposed at low tide.

Boasting a dramatic landscape, thriving wildlife, a year round dog-friendly beach and immediate access to the South West Coast Path. It comes as no surprise that it is one of South Devon’s most loved secluded beaches.

Surrounded by towering, jagged rock formations and backed by green and pleasant rolling countryside, you will enjoy such a contrast of scenery in a relatively small space. And from certain aspects, you can even view Burgh Island in the background!

This secluded spot embraces its rugged charm. It is perfect for those who thrive in an environment that is a combination of space, stunning scenery and seclusion.

Westcombe Beach

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Facilities at Westcombe Beach

Facilities at Westcombe Beach

Westcombe Beach is a remote, unspoilt beach and as you would expect, it has no facilities.

However, the lack of amenities are counterbalanced with natural beauty, and this is a trade off visitors are happy to make, especially if it means escaping the crowds!

Our best advice when visiting the beach is to go prepared. And be sure to pack a delicious picnic jam packed with South Devon delights so you can dine al fresco.

An important safety aspect to note is that the beach is not supervised by lifeguards. So always take care when swimming and ensure someone knows where you are heading if you are planning to cover a significant distance.

If you do forget something, don’t worry too much as you can always hike to the nearby beaches of Challaborough and Bigbury-on-Sea where you will find an abundance of facilities. Or alternatively, head to the village or Ringmore and visit The Journey’s End Inn for an array of sumptuous refreshments.

For most people, Westcombe Beach is not a bolthole from which you would spend the entire day. But instead, a great spot to take a hiking break, enjoying a spot of lunch or simply bask in the stunning surroundings.

Is Westcombe Beach dog friendly?

Views of Westcombe Beach

Westcombe Beach is dog friendly year round and is an extremely popular spot amongst dog walkers.

Isolated in its nature, you can relax in the knowledge that your dog can run wild and free without having to navigate a myriad of picnics and beach rugs.

What’s more, the beach is perfectly placed to explore the South West Coast Path. So expect to find a constant flow of ramblers enjoying the beach part way through their adventure.

At Coast & Country Cottages we love dogs, and in equal measure we love the beach, so for the full lowdown on the best beaches to visit with your canine companion read our guide on dog friendly beaches in South Devon.

Things to do at Westcombe Beach

Despite its remote geography, you won’t find yourself short of things to do when visiting Westcombe Beach.

You will find those visiting amongst the more hardy and seasoned beach enthusiasts. And as such, the activities underway include rock climbing, wild swimming, sea glass collecting, dam building and even miniature raft building.

When exposed by the tide, you will find the rock pools teeming with wildlife. On a full low tide, the main beach leads through a gap in the rocks to a second (even more secret) beach boasting views across to Bigbury-on-Sea and Burgh Island.

The water quality in this area is second to none and is both clean and crystal clear, providing the perfect environment for swimming, snorkelling, paddle boarding and kayaking.

Access to the beach with a vessel can prove to be a little tricky, however, seasoned water enthusiasts enjoy paddling to Westcombe Beach from Bigbury-on-Sea. Sometimes the adventurous navigate a more challenging and somewhat lengthy route from the beaches of Hope Cove and Thurlestone.

The terrain is uniformly rockier towards the water. So unlike nearby Challaborough, there is no clear sandy path beating its way to the waves. Therefore, it’s not ideally suited to shallow paddling as other beaches, but Westcombe Beach makes up for this with its rugged charm and wonderful seclusion.

Wildlife at Westcombe Beach

Westcombe Beach and the surrounding area is a haven for wildlife. The rich and thriving farmland that backs the beach is positively bursting with birds, butterflies, thick hedgerow and countryside fauna.

Whilst on the beach, the rock pools are teeming and the ocean thriving, providing the ultimate natural environment. Sometimes, if you’re lucky, pods of dolphins will dance their way across the bay which can be quite a spectacle.

Outdoor enthusiasts

For the adrenaline seeking outdoor enthusiasts, the nearby village of Bigbury is home to a golf course, and is also the centre in South Devon for surfing. When conditions allow, you can enjoy kayakingpaddleboarding and even wild swimming around Burgh Island.

Dartmouth and Plymouth are just a short drive away should you want to venture further afield and experience something a little more cosmopolitan. South Devon is the ultimate playground, regardless of where you visit. So be sure to read our guide on things to do in South Devon for more information and inspiration.

Beaches near Westcombe Beach

Bigbury Beach

This stretch of the South Devon coastline is well known for its variety of world class beaches. You won’t ever find yourself far from sandy shores that are perfect for exploring.

Similar beaches near Westcombe Beach include those of Ayrmer Cove, Challaborough Beach and also Wonwell beach (found adjacent to Mothecombe Beach).

Just a short distance along the coast are the beaches of Bigbury-on-Sea and Bantham, which are well regarded for their abundance of space and consistent surfing conditions, proving popular with those eager to ride the waves.

If remoteness and seclusion is your preferred environment, read our article on secret beaches in South Devon for some of the region’s most magical beaches. For a broader, more extensive guide, read our article on the best beaches in South Devon.

Where is Westcombe Beach?

Where is Westcombe Beach

Westcombe Beach is situated on South Devon’s west coast, nestled between Ayrmer Cove and Wonwell Beach, and just a short distance from the villages of Kingston and Ringmore. There’s no easy way to reach Westcombe Beach without a moderately strenuous walk, so in short, if you want to visit be prepared to put the effort in!

The nearest parking available is found at Challaborough Beach, postcode TQ7 4HZ, and costs £5 per day. Do be aware that spaces are limited to approximately 20, so it’s best to avoid arriving at busy times.

From Challaborough, it is a 1.25 mile walk along the South West Coast Path. A hike which involves some steep climbs. To head to the car park at Challaborough Beach, use the interactive map below to find directions from your location.

You can also park at the National Trust Ayrmer Cove car park in Ringmore, postcode TQ7 4HR, for £2 per day. Getting from this car park to the cove involves a relatively level 0.5 mile walk, followed by a more challenging 0.75 mile coastal hike. To head to National Trust Ayrmer Cove car park, use the interactive map below to find directions from your location.

If you’re a seasoned hiker you might wish to make your way here from further afield. Hope Cove is around six miles from Westcombe Beach. It would make for a challenging walk, but is well worth it for the stunning scenery you encounter. Including Hope Cove itself, Thurlestone Rock, beautiful Burgh Island and several other beauty spots.

Walks from Westcombe Beach

It is no secret that South Devon is a walking wonderland. This stretch of coastline enjoys some epic walks that tread both coast and countryside. Situated just a stone’s throw (quite literally!) from the South West Coast Path, there are a wealth of varied walking routes to enjoy. Be warned however, these are arduous and not for the faint hearted. Expect to navigate many hill climbs and uneven terrain.

A popular circular route starts from the National Trust Ayrmer Cove car park. It passes Westcombe Beach, out onto the headland towards Mothecombe Beach ahead, where you head inland to the village of Kingston and then onto Ringmore – full details can be found here.

The walk to Hope Cove is also a popular route. Or for a gentler, shorter distance, perhaps head to Bigbury-on-Sea via Challaborough and hunker down with a hot chocolate to watch the waves.

At Coast & Country Cottages we love walking, so much so, we’ve created a comprehensive walking guide detailing varying routes, suitable for all ages and abilities. For more inspiration, download our walking guide today.

Holiday cottages near Westcombe Beach

Seaspray Holiday Cottage, South Devon

At Coast & Country Cottages we boast a wealth of self catering holiday cottages in South Devon, near Westcombe Beach.

From country escapes nestled in rolling green Devon fields, to coastal cottagesholiday cottages near the beach and luxury cottages situated on the waters edge, many taking in sweeping sea views. There really is something for everyone, including dog friendly properties that are simply perfect for those wanting a walking holiday in the area.

You’ll be amazed with the natural beauty just waiting to be discovered. So be sure to book your holiday cottage near Westcombe Beach today.

Browse our South Devon holiday cottages