CHRISTMAS OFFER Subscribe to Devon Life today CLICK HERE

Five hidden coastal gems in Devon

PUBLISHED: 14:09 20 August 2015 | UPDATED: 14:09 20 August 2015




Devon offers everything you would want for a short break: beautiful clean beaches, preserved wilderness areas and excellent produce. But it’s worth veering away from the well-trodden tourist’s path and stay in one of Devon’s smaller seaside towns, for a more authentic holiday experience

Bigbury Sea TractorBigbury Sea Tractor, the world’s largest search engine for holiday rentals, has selected 5 of Devon’s hidden coastal gems, where you can rent a holiday home just footsteps from beautiful coastline.

1. Brixham

Brixham, part of the English Riviera, is situated on the South Devon coastline. With a long, rich history as a fishing town. Every day, fishermen unload their latest catch of crabs, lobsters, squid, mussels & plaice. Much of the seafood is bought by top-class restaurants around the country, but visitors can get an even fresher taste and one of Brixham’s excellent seafood restaurants. Having a pint and one of Brixham’s many fishermen-filled pubs are a clear sign that you are getting the authentic Devon experience! A must-see is the area of Berry Head, South East of Brixham. Berry Head’s limestone plateau is a National Nature Reserve, which is a hotspot for rare and threatened species who rely on its limestone soils and mild climate. Limestone has been quarried from Berry Head for around 300 years and and was even used in the construction of forts during the Napoleonic Wars.

Weekly prices for a group of 4 to stay in Brixham in August start at £350.

Hartland AbbeyHartland Abbey

2. Bigbury

Bigbury, on the South Devon coast, is a perfect family holiday destination with sandy beaches, coastal walks as well as a wealth of sports activities including windsurfing and canoeing. For golf lovers, midway between Bigbury and Bigbury-on-Sea lies a challenging 18-hole course at Bigbury Gold Club. The town is most famous for Burgh island, overlooking the beach. The island can be reached in times of low tide with a ride on the unusual ‘sea tractor’. Bigbury on Sea beach has also been awarded Blue Flag for its beach’s high standards and its initiative to make the beach accessible to everyone.

Weekly prices for a group of 4 to stay in Bigbury in August start at £350.

Lynmouth HarbourLynmouth Harbour

3. Hartland

The stretch of Hartland Peninsula has been designated an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) because of its unique character and biodiversity. For a taste of Devon’s wilder natural side, visit Hartland Quay and see the power of the waves hit the the cliffs and shore. In low tide, visitors can explore the sandy beaches and find numerous unexpected rock pools scattered about. History buffs should pay a visit to Hartland Abbey, built in the 12th century. Its grounds are open from the end of March until October. Visitors can meander down the beautiful valley until they reach a remote cove, which was the setting for the BBC adaptation of ‘Sense and Sensibility’. Hartland is also a great point to explore the rest of North Devon. Not far away is the Docton Mill, which traces back to Saxon times. The working watermill is also accompanied by beautiful gardens and a tea room, an ideal place to taste Devon’s finest cream teas.

Weekly prices for a group of 4 to stay in Hartland in August start at £290.

4. Lynmouth and Lynton (Exmoor national park)

Sidmouth BeachSidmouth Beach

Lynmouth is perched on the coastal end of Exmoor National Park in North Devon. The Exmoor coast is simply spectacular. It boasts the highest coastline in England with rugged cliffs and a long expanse of coastal woodland. Lynmouth is a small picturesque village with its own rocky beach. Further uphill from the coast lies Lymouth’s sister town Lynton with breathtaking views of the sea below. Lynmouth is also a great place to explore the rest of Exmoor park, whether it’s spotting red deer, horse riding or marvelling at the astronomical delights in the sky on a clear night. Craft-lovers can also indulge in some locally made products at Lyn Valley Art and Crafts, where around fifty local traders from Devon and Exmoor sell an extensive collection of ceramics, pottery, jewellery among many other delights.

Weekly prices for a group of 4 to stay in Lynmouth and Lynton in August start at £300.

5. Sidmouth

Poet John Betjeman perfectly captured Sidmouth as one of the most alluring seaside towns in England with the following lines:

“Farewell, seductive Sidmouth by the sea

Older and more exclusive than Torquay, Sidmouth in Devon

you’re the town for me!”

Sidmouth’s beauty lies in its old-fashioned charm; where the rush of modern life seems to come to a halt. It is a perfect town to wander and admire the quaint beach-side homes adorned with summery hanging baskets. The town has two beaches: Sidmouth Town Beach Jacob’s Ladder Beach. Both beaches are mostly pebbled and are an excellent place for young children to paddle.A great activity for kids and adults alike is a visit to the nearby Babbacombe Model Village in Torquay. Visitors will be delighted whilst exploring four acres of award-winning gardens with hundreds of whimsical model scenes, vehicles and people through the decades.

Weekly prices for a group of 4 to stay in Sidmouth in August start at £300.


Welcome , please leave your message below.

Optional - JPG files only
Optional - MP3 files only
Optional - 3GP, AVI, MOV, MPG or WMV files

Please log in to leave a comment and share your views with other Devon Life visitors.

We enable people to post comments with the aim of encouraging open debate.

Only people who register and sign up to our terms and conditions can post comments. These terms and conditions explain our house rules and legal guidelines.

Comments are not edited by Devon Life staff prior to publication but may be automatically filtered.

If you have a complaint about a comment please contact us by clicking on the Report This Comment button next to the comment.

Not a member yet?

Register to create your own unique Devon Life account for free.

Signing up is free, quick and easy and offers you the chance to add comments, personalise the site with local information picked just for you, and more.

Sign up now

More from Out & About


Now is the perfect time to head for the bright lights of Exeter, where you can hunker down in one of the city’s many pubs, cafés and indoor attractions. Here’s our pick of the best places to keep warm, dry and entertained | Words: Chrissy Harris

Read more

From cosy pubs galore to winter beach walks, there’s plenty to enjoy in Devon at Christmas. We list 19 reasons you should come visit us this December.

Read more
Wednesday, November 28, 2018

Devon is particularly stunning at this time of year and so we’ve picked out 18 stunning pictures that encapsulate the county during the festive period

Read more
Wednesday, November 28, 2018

Devon is a joy to explore with its beautiful beaches, pretty woodland and charming towns and villages. Made even more magical under a blanket of glistening frost, we pick 12 walks to blow away the cobwebs in the county this winter

Read more
Tuesday, November 27, 2018

A South Devon walk along a wreck-rich coastline with SIMONE STANBROOK-BYRNE

Read more
Tuesday, November 20, 2018

In the latest of our 24-hour tours of Devon’s best locations, we head to Britain’s Ocean City

Read more
Tuesday, November 13, 2018

With breathtaking beaches, rolling countryside, stately homes and unique villages, it’s no wonder high-profile film productions flock to Devon - how well do you know the movies that have set up camp here however?

Read more
Tuesday, November 13, 2018

Whether it’s on our beautiful beaches, in our magnificent moors or within our stunning stately homes, film productions are constantly setting up in Devon. Here are 16 that you might not know used the county as a filming location

Read more
Friday, October 26, 2018

From angry spirits to headless horses and ghoulish monks, Devon has more than a few supernatural stories to get your skin crawling. We have picked 11 haunted places in the county

Read more
Tuesday, October 23, 2018

October is the perfect time to discover the joys of Exmoor. Jennette Baxter of Visit Exmoor suggests five great ways to enjoy autumn on the moor

Read more
Tuesday, October 16, 2018

Wild camping can be one of the best ways to escape the crowds for a night or two and lose yourself in the landscape - SOPHIE PAVELLE chooses her five favourite places to ‘wild-life’ camp in Devon

Read more
Tuesday, October 9, 2018

From sandy beaches and lighthouse-topped cliffs to views of the Jurassic Coast, the Devon coastline offers many perfect locations for a seaside walk. We pick 10 of the prettiest routes to take

Read more
Tuesday, October 2, 2018

Take our quiz to find out how well you really know Devon

Read more
Tuesday, October 2, 2018

As the weather starts to warm up and the Devon countryside beckons, LIZZIE JANE of the National Trust in the South West offers plenty of walk ideas for you to try. Whether you want a relaxed Sunday stroll or a more strenuous hike, here are 10 walks across Devon (and beyond) to help you escape the crowds and head off the beaten track

Read more

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to the following newsletters:

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Our Privacy Policy

Topics of Interest

Food and Drink Directory

Subscribe or buy a mag today

subscription ad

Local Business Directory

Property Search