The English Riviera has a myriad of beaches all with different make ups and facilities. A full list is provided by the council (see the bottom of this page under Awards) however although we have by no means visited them all we have jotted down a quick resume for those very local to us.
One of our 'home' beaches. This beach has blue flag status for water quality. This beach is sand/shingle and, following storms in recent years, some rocky areas. The sand shingle ratio changes depending on the direction of the tide and weather ranging from almost all great sandcastle sand to all shingle better suited to building. At one end there are rocks that are great for exploring or fishing from at low tide and at the other end is a rock fall that is now inaccessible however the fall itself and the remains of the house are quite spectacular. Babbacombe Bay has exceptional visibility and is very sheltered and relatively warm for most of the year so is ideal for snorkelling and most other water sports. The beach can be walked to or you can use the cliff railway to get up and down the hill. Although there is no parking at the bottom you can drop things down in your car and return to the top of the hill to park. Available to hire are deck chairs, beach huts, water sports equipment and you can even have a go on the trampolines during the summer months, in addition to a visit to the Cliff Railway Visitor Centre. There is a seasonal beach shop and café for refreshments.
Our other 'home' beach. This beach generally attains blue flag standard of water quality however can be affected by run off during periods of heavy rainfall yet always maintains a good standard of water quality. There is a small amount of sand shingle on this beach but most of it is rocks and boulders. It is ideal for rock pooling and crab hunting. It is often used for training dives and shore dives by the many scuba diving clubs that frequent Babbacombe due to the sheltered nature of the beach, good visibility and abundance of underwater flora and fauna. You can walk to the beach through Babbacombe woods or around the bay from Oddicombe. Alternatively you can drive down and park in the privately run pay and display car park. There is a toilet and kiosk selling light refreshments or you could always nip into the picturesque Cary Arms for a 'loosener' before the trek back up the hill.
Meadfoot beach is a sand/shingle blue flag beach and has a large section of boulders and rock pools, often used by schools and colleges to teach marine ecology. It is a generally calm sheltered cove ideal for all kinds of water sports from paddling in the shallows to paddling a kayak. There are water sports and equipment available for hire as well as deck chairs and beach huts. The beach café sells a relatively extensive range of food and drinks at one end and the ice cream van remains camped out for the day at the other. There is pay and display parking at either end of the beach and limited free roadside parking on the adjacent sea road. Directly behind Meadfoot Beach is Ilsham Valley, a 800m x 150m stretch of well tended grass common land, ideal for barbecues or kicking a ball around if you get fed up with having sand in your flip flops.