Mill Bay, East Portlemouth, Salcombe, Devon
Mill Bay is a sheltered cove that lies across the Kingsbridge estuary from Salcombe; the beaches this side are much quieter, partly because the access isn’t easy, although Mill Bay does at least have a car park – but it’s charged and it’s not cheap.
Really, getting here is all part of the fun of it; walk along the South West Coast Path and then follow the private access path down to the beach. If you’re over the ‘other side’ in Salcombe and have your own boat, all well and good; otherwise you can hire one from Whitestrand Boat Hire, or get the passenger ferry over to East Portlemouth and walk from there. It really isn’t arduous and you’ll quickly realise that once you’re there, the walk is well worth it because the sands are soft and golden, the waters clear and sparkling. Select your spot, get settled and pass the time as you wish; make sandcastle with the little ones, have a swim, watch the dinghies sailing by, and at low tide head for the rockpools, see if you can a find a little crab or a blenny.
What you need to know is that there are NT loos nearby but apart from that, there are no facilities, so bring a picnic, otherwise you’ll have to walk up the cliff to the Garavan at Gara Rock Hotel or to Venus Café at East Portlemouth. Mind you, that’s not such a bad thing because the views up there are staggering.
Dogs are allowed on the beach at Mill Bay year round, barbecues and fires are not. Ever.
All information correct at the time of writing