Mansands Beach

Just a mile from Brixham lies this stunning secluded beach very few even realise exists. To get there you have a 15-20 minute walk from the nearest car park, there are a few large puddles to negotiate and it can be very muddy if it has rained recently.

You’ll pass a small bird hide overlooking the lake, with information on the walls explaining the sort of wildlife that can be seen.

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When I had the chance to head down with the camera unfortunately I didn’t think about the tide and it was in. The best time to go down would be on a low tide as it exposes the expanse of sand and you can get around to the small cove where there’s a small picturesque waterfall.

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This is probably my favourite beach in the area as it’s usually nice and quiet. At times if your lucky, you can have the entire beach to yourself.

Location/Facts:

Mansands is a stunning secluded pebble beach and is best seen on low tide as it exposes the sand. Behind the beach is a brackish lake, a haven for all sorts of wildlife and a bird hide managed by the National Trust. Grass snakes inhabit the area around the lagoon and can occasionally be seen swimming in the water.

Given its rural location there are no facilities at the beach and swimmers should be aware of possible rip currents on the turning tide.

The Mansands Circular walk is 2 miles and a moderate walk with 2 steep ascents and 1 steep descent.

Getting There:

The approach road can be muddy and does have a few pot holes.

  • By Car, About 1 mile from Brixham. From Hill head heading toward Kingswear past the campsite, take the turning for Coleton Fishacre. Follow this road passing a tree that’s in the middle of the road up hill and around to the left. Take the next left Woodhuish Lane signposted Mansands. Keep driving passing the car park for Scabbacombe, then Woodhuish farm, the car park is just past some barns. From here it’s about a 15 minute walk down to the beach.
  • Walking, This is the only way to reach the beach, it can be muddy and a few large puddles to navigate. It’s located on the South West Coastal Path, so you can approach from Sharkham point or Kingswear, but both of these parts of the path are challenging with steep hills and steps.

Weather:
booked.net
Helpful Tips:

  • The approach road & walk can be muddy and does have a few pot holes.
  • Not recommended for those with mobility problems.
  • There are No facilities.
  • There are No lifeguards.
  • Potential tidal cut-off, strong winds.
  • Dogs allowed all year round.
  • Beach type: Sand and pebbles.

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Preston Sands Beach

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Location/Facts:

Preston Sands is renowned for its many painted beach huts and is one of Torbay’s most popular beaches and a local favourite. It has a green that runs the length of the beach which is ideal for kicking a ball, throwing frisbees or just chilling and lazing in the sun. There is a small playpark in the center of the green to help keep the youngsters amused.

Getting There:

Marine Parade, Preston, Paignton Devon TQ3 2NU. Free parking can be a bit tricky nearby as there’s limited on-street parking.

  • Car, Colin Road Car park is the easiest choice if no on street parking is available.
    • Prices

      Mon-Sun – All day
      1 Hour £1.00
      90 Mins £1.50
      2 Hours £2.50
      3 Hours £4.00
      4 Hours £4.50
      5 Hours £5.50
      24 Hours £10.00
      Overnight £2.50 (In after 10:00pm, Out by 8:00am)

    • Walking, It’s located along the South West Coastal Path.

    Where To Eat & Drink:

    • The Boathouse
    • 2 Kiosks

    Weather:
    booked.net
    Helpful Tips:

    • Toilets are at either end of the green.
    • There are No lifeguards.
    • Potential tidal cut-off, strong winds.
    • No dogs allowed 1st May until 30th September.
    • Beach type: Sand.

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Anstey’s Cove

Tucked away below high cliffs is this small rocky beach with limestone cliffs, interesting rock formations and views across Lyme Bay to the Dorset coast. Accessed from the coastal path, this beach has lovely sea views and a quiet and peaceful atmosphere suitable for fishing.

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Location/Facts:

The beach is very sheltered with excellent water quality, facilities are available with a shop and licensed cafe till 9pm.

Awarded the Quality Coast Award and Good Beach Guide.

Things To Do:

  • Coasteering.
  • Hire a kayak, single £10, tandem £16 per hour.*
  • Paddle Board, £10 hour or £6 30 mins.*
  • Rock pooling
  • Sunbeds and deckchairs
  • Swimming/bathing

*Kayaks must stay in the cove and buoyancy aids provided must be worn.

Getting There:

Down behind the Palace Hotel, the beach is located across from the car park off the South West Coast Path.

    • By CarPay and display parking, ¼ mile 5 minutes walk to the beach.
      • Prices, Mon-Sun – All day
      • 2 Hours £1.00
      • 12 Hours £2.00
      • 24 Hours £3.00
    • By Bus, Get off at the Palace Hotel and walk down Anstey’s Cove Road.

Weather:
booked.net
Helpful Tips:

      • It’s a fairly steep hill with some steps on one side with a hand rail.
      • There are No lifeguards.
      • Dogs are welcome all year round.
      • Beach type: shingle, rock.

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Goodrington Beach

The soft, golden red sand and calm shallow water make this beach a favourite destination for locals and tourists, especially in the summer. It has supervision during the summer months making it much safer for families and at low tide the rock pools are exposed which are great to explore.

The local steam train can also be seen running along the back of south sands beach.

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Location/Facts:

The North Sands (promenade end) is tidal and come high tide the sea will cover the entire beach up to the sea wall. South Sands has a much larger expanse of sand and the sea rarely reaches even over  ½ of the beach.

It is currently awarded the Good Beach Guide and Seaside Awards.

Sun loungers, parasols, wind breaks and beach huts are all available to rent.

Dogs are Not allowed on the South beach from 1 May – 30 September.

Getting There:

Goodrington Sands Tanners Road, Paignton, Devon TQ4 6LN.

  • Car, free on street parking can be a bit of a trek but usually found around Youngs ParkRoundham Ave, Alta Vista Rd or failing that parking is available in the Young Park car park, 130 spaces, TQ4 6LP.
    • Summer – Mon-Sun 8:00am – 10:00pm
      Winter – Mon-Sun 8:00am – 8:00pm
    • 1 Hour £1.50
    • 90 Mins £2.00
    • 2 Hours £2.50
    • 3 Hours £4.00
    • 4 Hours £4.50
    • 5 Hours £5.50
    • 24 Hours £10.00
    • Overnight £2.50 (Overnight: In after 10:00pm Out by 8:00am)
    • Disabled spots
    • No height restrictions
  • Bus, No. 12 & 120.

Nearby:

Where To Eat & Drink:

  • Cantina Kitchen & Bar
  • Inn on the Quay
  • Picnic
  • North Sands kiosk
  • South Sands Cafe

Weather:
booked.net
Helpful Tips:

  • Access is easy, level areas throughout. There is a slipway to the beach. A beach wheelchair is available from the Beach Office.
  • Supervised during July and August.
  • The beach is split into two: North and South. Dogs are Not allowed on the South beach from 1 May – 30 September.
  • Beach type: Sandy with rock pools.

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Oyster Cove

A lovely little secluded beach to chillout, very popular with the locals and dog friendly. Situated just 500 metres from Goodrington Sands Beach and just a stones throw to Saltern Cove around the corner.

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Sit back and watch as the steam train passes under the bridge on the approach to the cove.

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Location/Facts:

Oyster Cove is one of the coves which make up the local area known as ‘Three Beaches”. It lies within a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI).

Torbay Council is not responsible for this beach. It is run by the Torbay Coast & Countryside Trust.

Getting There:

The beach is located along the South West Coast Path and is accessed by crossing a stone bridge over the steam train railway, then over a field and down a steep set of metal steps.

  • By Car, For free parking try around Oyster Bend, Horseshoe Bend or The Saddle and use the small walkway where Oyster meets Horseshoe or failing that the car park in the nearby Cliff Park Road car park with 41 spaces.
    • Mon-Sun 8:00am – 10:00pm
    • 1 Hour £1.50
    • 90 Mins £2.00
    • 2 Hours £2.50
    • 3 Hours £4.00
    • 4 Hours £4.50
    • 5 Hours £5.50
    • 24 Hours £10.00
    • Overnight £2.50 (Overnight: In after 10:00pm Out by 8:00am)
  • By Bus, get off the No. 12 at the shops and walk down Barn Road and turn right then left down a small pathway and across the railway bridge.
  • By Walking, via a field across a stone bridge over the steam train railway from the South West coast path.

Weather:
booked.net
Helpful Tips:

      • Free parking try around Oyster Bend, Horseshoe Bend or The Saddle.
      • There are No lifeguards.
      • There are No facilities.
      • Dogs are welcome all year round.
      • Beach type: cove, shingle, sand, rock,

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Watcombe Beach

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A beautiful little secluded beach and an enjoyable 20 minute walk through the forest to get down. You just have to remember that you have to get back up, it’s a fairly steep hill so be prepared.

Surrounded by ancient woodland and cliffs that shelter the beach from the wind, makes this place a suntrap in the day, great for swimmers and perfect for stargazing at night.

Location/Facts:

It’s about a 20 minute walk through the woodland to get down from the car park.  It has lifebuoys, a cafe and toilets which are open from May till September.

Getting There:

Parking at Watcombe car park is free and has 50 spaces. From here your walking down a very steep hill with uneven paths through woodland with some steps. Boat is the only other way to reach this beach.


Weather:
booked.net

Helpful Tips:

  • There are No lifeguards.
  • Dogs are welcome all year round.
  • Beach type: cove, sand

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Elberry Cove

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Sometimes spelt Elbury, this is a quiet beach with fantastic views. It’s just a short walk from Broadsands car park around the golf course along the coastal path. There is a Water skiing lane, so swimmers please avoid this!

Location/Facts:

Shingle beach surrounded by woodland and fields, that lies between Brixham and Paignton in Devon and part of the South West Coastal path.  It is important for its eelgrass beds, breeding grounds for native seahorses, as well as mussels that are farmed in the waters nearby. At its eastern end are the ruins of Elberry bathhouse, which was built for Lord Churston in the 18th century. Standing three stories high, with the ground floor being flooded when the tide rose, the lord could swim into the sea through a gated doorway, preserving his dignity. The buildings also held a “hot-bath” room where seawater was heated and pumped in.

Getting There:

  • Car, free parking is tricky, you might be lucky in Brunel Rd, if not parking is available in the nearby Broadsands car park with 1000 spaces, TQ4 6HX.
    • Mon-Sun 8:00am – 10:00pm
    • 1 Hour £1.50
    • 90 Mins £2.00
    • 2 Hours £2.50
    • 3 Hours £4.00
    • 4 Hours £4.50
    • 5 Hours £5.50
    • 24 Hours £10.00
    • Overnight £2.50 (Overnight: In after 10:00pm Out by 8:00am)
  • Walking, with uneven paths and some steps or by boat is the only way to get down to the beach itself.

Weather:
booked.net
Helpful Tips:

      • Ample parking is available at nearby Broadsands. From here it’s just a short walk on the coastal path around the golf course.
      • There are No lifeguards.
      • There are No facilities.
      • Dogs are welcome all year round.
      • Beach type: cove, shingle, pebbles, rock,

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Visit Santa Monica

I’ve wanted to visit the idyllic oceanfront city that is Santa Monica with its long beach ever since watching the hit series Baywatch as a kid. The huge expanse of sand, the boardwalk and with many lovely ladies I was hoping I might even just bump into a Yasmine Bleeth while I was there (wishful thinking I know).

We parked up in a car park near the famous Muscle Beach and took a stroll toward the Pier. There’s actually a fair bit to see and do on the Pier itself. First things first we made our way out to the very end to check out the views and randomly to find there was a parked up cop car.

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solar powered Ferris wheel

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