Just how many beaches does Ilfracombe have
to choose from?

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You would think it was a straightforward questions. But it is far from straightforward.

 

In Ilfracombe town itself, there are at least seven beaches - Wildersmouth, Tunnels, Harbour (two beaches!), Rapparee, White Pebble, Cheyne and Larkstone. But then there's another couple that can only be reached by kayak. And of course you can't forget Hele Beach! A little further east is Broadsands Beach. But to the west there is Lee Beach and Sandy Cove. So that's a dozen or more to choose from!

And each beach is different - with its own character. And one of them will no doubt become your absolute favourite!

 

Well-behaved dogs are not excluded from any of the beaches listed here with the exception of Tunnels Beaches.

 

Here's our guide to just a few of them...

HARBOUR BEACH

Harbour Beach is a great sandy beach from which to watch what is going on. The comings and goings of all the boats, including the lifeboats, the fishing boats and the tour boats is endlessly interesting. On sunny days, deck chairs are available to hire and, of course, close by there is parking, and also cafes, snacks and public toilets.

WILDERSMOUTH BEACH

Right on the seafront (by the huge 'chimneys' of the Landmark Theatre), Wildersmouth Beach rarely gets crowded. It is a lovely place to sit and sunbathe and dogs love it. With dramatic rocky outcrops all around, there is some fascinating exploring to do at low tide.

LARKSTONE BEACH

Larkstone Beach is currently closed to allow for the building of Ilfracombe's new Watersports Centre. Once complete, this exciting project means that the beach will become the centre of Ilfracombe's kayakaing, sailing and rowing activities. There are two public car parks within a very short walk away.

CHEYNE BEACH

Cheyne Beach is a sheltered sandy beach which is rarely busy. Normally accessed by a set of steps unfortunately, access is tricky currently. We are hoping that the beach will be back in action soon. Cheyne Beach can be found at the back of the Sand Piper pub. Closest parking is by the Harbour.

BROADSANDS BEACH

© Copyright Philip Halling and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence.

Out of Ilfracombe, near Combe Martin, Broadsands is a gem of a beach. Accessible only be steep steps or by kayak, the beach is surrounded by tall outcrops of rock making it feel more like Thailand than North Devon. Loving swimming!

LEE BEACH

Lee is a stunning place and the beach is a wonderful place to see. The water, at low tide, tends to be shallow and calm on a sunny day and excellent for activities like kayaking and paddle boarding. The beach is sandy and a lovely place to sit - and it is also a fantastic place to go rock pooling! The village has public toilets, a small car park and the wonderful Grampus pub.

WHITE PEBBLE BEACH

White Pebble Beach is accessible by kayak, or by a winding steep path and steps from the Torrs Walk. When you have witnessed the steepness of the path, you won't be surprised to find that there are generally very few people on the beach!

RAPPAREE BEACH

Rapparee Beach. This lovely quiet cove is on the outside edge of the harbour. It is a short walk from the Harbour but the descent down onto the beach can only be made by steep steps. It's worth it though! Rapparee is not accessible at high tide - so it is important to check the tide times to ensure it will be safe for you to arrive and leave safely.

TUNNELS BEACHES

Tunnels Beaches are accessed by tunnels which were built by Welsh miners at the behest of Victorian bathers. The tidal pools make for lovely swimming. Tunnels Beaches is a fee-paying beach with cafe and toilets on site.

Dogs are not permitted on the beach.

 

HELE BAY

Hele Beach is a large (when the tide is out) expanse of sand leading to a relatively shallow sea which can make for beatiful swimming conditions on a calm day. Public toilets are next to the beach together with a cafe, a  large pub and a pay and display car park. It is an excellent place to spend a day (or several...!). 

WATERMOUTH HARBOUR

Not a beach for sitting or playing on as it is a working harbour but Watermouth is a  lovely peaceful Harbour and a great stopping place on any walk along the Coast Path. The best vantage point is arguably from the very lovely 'Storm in a Teacup' cafe (pictured above).

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