Escape the crowds heading to the region’s sandy hotspots this summer and find peace at one of these beautiful hidden beaches in North Devon
Broadsands Beach (pictured above)
This little-known shingle cove, tucked away on the rugged North Devon coastline between Watermouth and Combe Martin, is a wonderful alternative to North Devon’s more popular beaches. There’s a catch though, as you’ll need to navigate over 200 steps (then the same back up) to reach the tranquil beach, but it’s well worth it for quiet cave exploring and undisturbed sea swimming.
Wild swimmers have long treasured this sheltered bay for a plunge in the tidal pool amid the wilds of Exmoor. Expect plenty of camera-worthy stops as you zig-zag through the picturesque woods down to Woody Bay. Once there you’ll find sparkling blue sea backed by wooded cliffs and striking rock formations.
Skip past the holidaymakers flocking to Woolacombe Beach and head a little further along the coast for blissful beach lazing at Barricane Beach. We’d recommend going in the early evening, ordering one of the homemade Sri Lankan curries (from the hut at the top of the beach) and tucking in while watching the sun slip behind the horizon.
Lee Bay Beach
This secluded shingle beach backs onto the quaint village of Lee, between Woolacombe and Ilfracombe. Those in the know return to Lee Bay (classed as an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty) to enjoy its sweeping scenery and peaceful environment. The unspoilt beach is popular with families and those looking for a quiet area to go swimming, rock-pooling or stand-up paddleboarding.