2018 Blue Flag Beaches in Cornwall and Devon: The Full List

The announcement of the year’s Blue Flag winners is always highly anticipated, and this year the South-West has done it again, scooping more Blue Flags than any other region of the UK.  To read the full list of winners in Cornwall and Devon, read more.


Firstly, please note that although the criteria to be a Blue Flag beach are very stringent, it also costs more than £800 to even apply.  This means that councils don’t always have the funds to enter every deserving beach into the Blue Flag scheme.  The moral is, just because it doesn’t have a Blue Flag, doesn’t mean there is something wrong with it!  Click Here to find out more about the Blue Flag scheme.

Bude – Widemouth Bay Beach, EX23 0AW
Widemouth Bay, our closest sandy beach, is a mecca for families and surfers alike.  Wide, sandy, and easily accessible, Widemouth has finally gained the recognition it deserves!

Falmouth – Gyllyngvase Beach, TR11 4NA
This pretty crescent shaped beach is just 10 minutes’ walk from Falmouth town centre.  Excellent accessibility along with plenty of facilities and a great beach cafe makes this one of Cornwall’s most popular beaches.

Newquay – Great Western beach, TR7 2NE
This new entry to the 2018 Blue Flag list is popular among families and surfers alike, and is one of the quieter beaches in Newquay.  The impressive cliffs that surround it provide some protection from the elements, although long shadows can cause issue for sun-bathers!

Padstow – Trevone Bay Beach, TR8 4BU
With golden sand, rock pools, and cosy rocky alcoves, Trevone is a great North Cornwall beach to explore, and the excellent cliff-top walks give spectacular views over the bay.

Polzeath – Polzeath Beach, PL22 6TB
Just north of the Camel Estuary, Polzeath is a wide sandy beach at low tide – a haven for beginner surfers.  At high tide, the beach shrinks to a comfy little area just in front of the sleepy little village. 

Porthtowan (St Agnes) – Porthtowan Beach, TR4 8AD
This huge sandy beach is another favourite among surfers, but families will love exploring the dunes, playing games on the flat expanses of sand, and visiting the playpark.  At low tide, you can walk to Chapel Porth.

St Ives – Carbis Bay, TR26 2NW
Carbis Bay is a lovely beach almost a mile wide, nestled under tree-topped cliffs, with plenty of facilities to suit families.  It gets very little surf, but is great for families and a little gentle swimming.St Ives – Porthmeor Beach, TR26 2BN
Tucked under St. Ives, a minute’s walk from the Tate Art Gallery, this cosy little beach is a popular spot for families wanting a picnic or a rest from their exploration of the town.  A must-see if you’re ever in St. Ives.

Devon Blue Flag Beaches – 2018


Bideford – Westward Ho! Beach, EX39 1LL (Pictured above)
Not only is this town proud of its exclamation mark, it can now boast of a Blue Flag and the only one on the north coast of Devon.  Its 2 mile beach, a mixture of sand and shingle, is long enough to find your own spot of peace and quiet, and the local beach shops and cafes make it an accessible and convenient way to spend a sunny day.  This year, it’s the only beach on the North Devon coast to get its own Blue Flag.

Bigbury – Challaborough Beach, TQ7 4HZ 
Challaborough is a popular horse-shoe shaped beach with fine sand and shingle.  At low tide, it’s great for rockpooling.

Brixham – Breakwater Beach, TQ5 9AF 
Nestled next to Brixham’s pretty harbour and long breakwater, Breakwater’s shingle beach is very accessible and popular with day-trippers.  Watersports fans also come here, and in particular the scuba diving is supposed to be excellent.

Dartmouth – Blackpool Sands, TQ6 0RG
Blackpool Sands is a gorgeous beach and a newcomer to this year’s list.  It’s surrounded by tall pine trees that give a scent to the air.  It also offers great facilities.  The fact that it’s very sheltered means it’s a very popular beach.  Dawlish – Dawlish Warren Beach,  EX7 0NF 
Located at the west side of the River Exe, this huge sandy beach stretches for 1.5 miles and is a haven for wildlife.  Its sandy dunes are great for exploring, and an itinerary of events through the summer months means there’s usually something to see.

Exmouth – Sandy Bay Beach, EX8 5BT 
Sandy Bay is a sandy bay (no surprises), and though it feels cosy at high tide, when the waters retreat it stretches nearly 2 miles to Exmouth.  With great swimming and rock pools, it’s popular with families, and its accessibility from Exeter means it becomes very popular in peak season.

Torquay – Meadfoot Beach, TQ1 2EL 
A small but popular, Meadfoot is a shingle beach nestled underneath imposing cliffs just a mile from Torquay.  If you avoid the peak times, you can find some peace and quiet on this cosy little spot.

Torquay – Oddicombe Beach, TQ1 3LU 
Oddiscombe is a shingle beach sheltered at the bottom of red sandstone cliffs.  The gentle shallow waters are great for paddling, and the steep cliff walk or cliff railway are an added attraction.