County Gate

Beaches along the Exmoor and Quantocks Coast

Starting in the eastern most part of this area, starting at Kilve in West Somerset and going westerly through to Ilfracombe in North Devon:

Kilve beachKilve beach
Kilve beach is famed for being the Jurassic coast on the Bristol Channel. Kilve is a perfect location for collecting ammonites and reptile remains. Vertebrae's are as common here as ammonites.  The beach is also ideal for rock pooling, set in tranquil surroundings and ideal for all the family to enjoy.
Dogs allowed all year.

Blue Anchor and Dunster beachesDunster beach
Both these beaches are large sand and shingle beaches with some flat-rock becoming more muddy at low tide with some rock pools. The West Somerset Railway comes close to the beach near here adding extra interest. There is plenty of parking for both beaches.
Dogs allowed all year.

Minehead beachMinehead beach
Minehead has a sweeping sandy beach with small areas of pebbles and shingle. The bay ends in Minehead harbour with its high harbour wall protecting the few boats that take shelter there. A promenade and sea wall goes along the full length of the beach.
No dogs from 1st May to 30th September each year.

Porlock beachPorlock shingle ridge
Porlock Bay is home to an impressive shingle ridge which partly protects Porlock Marsh behind it. The marsh is now a salt marsh after a storm breached the shingle ridge in 1996. You can see the results of this by walking the coast path and seeing the ghostly outlines of dead trees killed by the salt invasion. The beach is most accessible at Porlock Weir, about 1.5 miles west of Porlock. A most picturesque village where you can find accommodation and refreshments.
Dogs allowed all year.

Lynmouth beachLynmouth harbour
The high cliffs of Exmoor then dominate the coastline until reaching Lynmouth. Lynmouth has another stony and rocky beach good for rock pooling. The attractive small harbour is tucked close in to the pretty village and overlooked by the Rhenish Tower. The East and West Lyn Rivers flow alongside the harbour cutting a narrow channel out to sea.
Dogs allowed all year.

Lee Bay, near LyntonLee Bay near Lynton
Lee Bay is on the coast road reached through the Valley of Rocks from Lynton. This beach is rocky at high tide with sand becoming exposed at low tide. There is a picnic site above the beach with a toilet block. Lee Abbey overlooks this most attractive sheltered corner.
Dogs allowed all year.

Heddon’s Mouth beachHeddon's Mouth
This is another sheltered and rocky beach accessed along the deep Heddon’s Mouth Cleave. Having parked at Hunter’s Inn, a fairly easy walk alongside the Heddon River brings you to the beach. A restored lime kiln overlooks the beach, harking back to the days when limestone was burnt to create quicklime for spreading on the local fields to sweeten the acid soil. This enabled a crop to be grown. The limestone was brought by barge from Wales and with culm, a mix of low quality coal slack and lime. The boats were reloaded with oak for pit props and refloated on the next tide.
Dogs allowed all year.

Combe Martin beachCombe Martin beach
Combe Martin has a sheltered beach which is pebbles at high tide, gradually becoming a delightful sandy beach at low tide. This beach is renowned for its excellent rock pools, trapped in the rocky outcrops on the right-hand side of the beach. There is a large car park, toilets, information centre, museum and shops to the back of the beach.
No dogs from 1st May to 30th September each year.

Watermouth CoveWatermouth Cove
Overlooked by Watermouth Castle, this cove is very sheltered with a narrow entrance to the sea. This makes it a perfect haven for boats which take up much of this harbour. It is a mix of shingle and sand with a stream running along it. An old lookout tower watches over the entrance and a campsite is to the back of the harbour.
Dogs allowed all year.

Hele BayHele Bay beach
Hele Bay, on the outskirts of Ilfracombe, has a delightful small beach, shingle at high tide becoming more sandy as the tide goes out. This is a quiet beach, ideal for relaxing with a few rock pools. There is a large car park above the beach with toilets and refreshments. Hele Corn Mill is close by where you can see the restored mill and get a cup of tea at the same time.
Dogs allowed all year.

Ilfracombe beachesIlfracombe Harbour
Ilfracombe has several beaches, all quite different. Rapparree Cove is a small secluded beach mainly of shingle, next to the Ilfracombe harbour and backed by the high cliffs of Hillsborough. Ilfracombe harbour has a sandy beach among the moored boats with the splendid Ilfracombe Life Boat Station to the rear of it with a long slip into the harbour. Wilder beach is along the coast beside the Landmark Theatre. This is a rocky beach becoming more sandy as the tide goes out. This is more central to the town and closer to refreshments.

The Tunnels beach is unique. So called because the beach is accessed through tunnels dug by the Victorians. There are two beaches here, one used to be for gentlemen and the other for ladies. There is a sea-water swimming pool here and refreshments. There is an entrance fee to these immaculate shingle beaches.
No dogs from 1st May to 31st October each year.



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