In this country there are two nationally recognised awards which can be used to help you decide what is on offer when you see their flags flying above a beach.

Awards are based on quality of management, cleanliness, water quality and other criteria. The most prestigious being the Blue Flag Awards.

Other awards made to Torbay beaches include the Keep Britain Tidy Seaside Awards and the Good Beach Guide recommendation from the Marine Conservation Society.

Torbay Council strive hard to provide beaches that are pleasant, meet the highest international agreed standards and provide a high level of facilities.  There are a whole range of facilities which the judge’s critical eye appraises before the coveted flags are awarded.


Blue Flag Award

Keep Britain Tidy Seaside Award

Marine Conservation Society Good Beach Guide

Ansteys Cove


Babbacombe Beach


Beacon Cove


Breakwater Beach

Broadsands Beach

Goodrington Sands


Hollicombe Beach


Maidencombe Beach


Meadfoot Beach

Oddicombe Beach

Paignton Sands



Preston Sands


St Marys Bay


Torre Abbey Sands


Watcombe Beach


Both the Blue Flag organisation and the Marine Conservation Society  demand strict standards for their water quality of an award beach.

Blue Flags and Marine Conservation Society Awards are given to beaches where 80-90% of at least 20 water samples taken during the summer season the previous year comply with international standards for safe bathing water.

In addition there must be no gross pollution by sewage or other waste including litter or industrial or urban discharge between high and low water.

The waters in Torbay are tested by the Environment Agency with samples being taken at intervals throughout the bathing season.