10) Soar Mill Cove, South Devon:
Dogs: Allowed, no restrictions
Lifeguard Cover: None
Soar Mill Cove is a classic West Country treasure; slightly trickier access means that fewer people make the effort to find it. But if you do take the trouble (about a 1 mile walk along the coast path from the car park at Bolberry) you will not only be able to enjoy the spectacular scenery along the way, but you’re quite likely to have the beach to yourself once you get there.
There is also some parking available at Soar where you can walk the footpath down to the coast, but another, possibly more stylish way to arrive in this cove is by boat or kayak. There are no facilities here at all, so bring along some snacks and drinks if you plan to stay a while. This sandy cove is totally dog friendly but try to time your visit with the low tide to maximise the amount of beach available for running around.
If you love wildlife, then keep an eye out for rock samphire and sea lavender growing on the lower cliffs, and look out to the Ham Stone to see nesting shags, gulls and fulmars. And if you have really keen eyes you may notice the old wheel ruts worn into the rocks above the cove. These are a reminder of times gone by when wagons would have travelled up and down to the beach to collect seaweed and visit the mill, which has now long gone. Nowadays though, there’s no need for any hard work as Soar Mill Cove is strictly for relaxation only!
As we count down our Top 10 beaches we’re sure that you’ll find at least one or two to suit your needs. There are plenty more miles of sand and coastline in the West Country so we’re certain that you’ll have lots of fun exploring the region and deciding which beach is your very own personal favourite.