The 2017 Blue Flag Beaches of Cornwall and Devon

May 2017 – Once again, the South-West has excelled itself in 2017’s Blue Flag awards, with nearly 1 in 5 of the nation’s cleanest beaches being located in the region.  Cornwall and Devon alone account for 18 of the awards but it’s not just about clean water – Blue Flags are only awarded to beaches with the highest standards of water qualitysafety, and beach facilities.  So which beaches have made it onto the newly announced 2017 list?  Read more to find out!

Widemouth Bay, Blue Flag Beach 2017

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.

Cornwall Blue Flag Beaches, 2017

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.

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 – 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.

St Ives – Porthminster Beach, TR26 2BN
Another beach for St. Ives, this pretty bay has stunning views over to Godrevy Lighthouse.  With a great cafe and even a little golf course, this beach has something for everyone.

Westward Ho! Blue Flag Beach, 2017

Devon Blue Flag Beaches, 2017

Bideford – Westward Ho! Beach, EX39 1LL
Not only is this town proud of its exclamation mark, it can now boast of a Blue Flag.  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.

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.

Paignton – Paignton Beach, TQ4 6BJ
Paignton’s main beach is a wide, sandy beach with safe swimming.  It boasts of various family-friendly activities, including pedalos, and you’ll find kiosks and cafes, deckchairs and and a pier – a classic British beach experience.

Paignton – Preston Sands, TQ3 2NU
This is a safe family-friendly beach just a short walk from Paignton.  Ideal for sandcastles and sunbathing, it also offers rockpools at low tide, and a flat promenade with beach huts.  It’s flat nature means its relatively accessible for those with mobility issues

Torquay – Anstey’s Cove, TQ1 3TG
Just a short distance from the bustling seaside town of Torquay, this charming little shingle beach is quieter than  its neighbours.  It is backed by wooden hills which make for a wonderful walk, or make the most of the beach cafe.  Great for paddling.

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.

Torquay – Torre Abbey Sands, TQ2 5JE
Torre Abbey is a popular long stretch of sand that is Torquay’s main beach.  It’s safe and sheltered, and is very accessible with just a short walk from the town centre.  There is a cafe / restaurant, a pier, and even deckchair hire, so as you may expect it gets busy over the summer.

Which is your favourite Blue Flag beach?  Do you think any others should have made the list this year?  Let us know in the comments below!