The summer holidays are here and that means Devon’s beaches will be jam packed with families, but how about those secret beaches that the locals like to keep for themselves? Where are they? Load up the car with windbreaks, fill the boot up with a picnic and set-sail for a day of sun, surf and solitude and go enjoy these four lovely beaches which Woolacombe Bay Holiday Parks recommended to us…
1. Mouth Mill Cove, Clovelly
An hour’s drive south from Woolacombe is Mouth Mill Cove – a small, isolated cove that has forever been associated with piracy and smuggling. You can reach this little beauty spot by a gentle woodland path which leads down from the National Trust carpark at Brownsham. At the cove you can still see the remains of an old limekiln, although the exact location of the old working mill here is unknown. You’ll also be able to see the striking Blackchurch Rock, a huge triangular rock arch which juts out into the sea.
2. Rockham Bay, Mortehoe
Just two miles north of Woolacombe on the coast path, Rockham Bay Beach is the perfect day out for families with kids with a sense of adventure. There are countless rock pools to explore and clamber over as well as the remains of an old shipwreck that has been fused to the rocks and reclaimed by nature.
3. Woody Bay, Martinhoe
Just 40 minutes north of our lovely campsite at Woolacombe Bay, Woody Bay is a a wild, rocky place that has something for even the most sedate of beach goers. There’s a tidal pool where lounging in sea-water without current and rip-tides is absolute bliss, a crashing waterfall and the old remains of a grand resort scheme to explore. Perfect!
4. Ladram Bay, Otterton
Down on the other coast, Ladram Bay is like something out of the travel magazines. The beach itself is what dreams are made of, with golden sand perfect for dipping your toes into whilst slurping on an ice-cream. But the beach isn’t the draw to Ladram, but the imposing red-stone stacks which sit in the sea just a few metres from the shore. The coast line here absolutely begs to be discovered by kayak, and you can hire them from a kiosk at the bottom of the slipway.