The beach here is a little crescent of sand and shingle backed by thickly wooded cliffs dotted with 1930s villas. There is a small amount of sand shingle on this beach but most of it is rocks and boulders, so be careful with your dogs feet on the sharp rocks. It is ideal for rock pooling and crab hunting. To one end is a small stone breakwater pier which is a popular spot to cast a line if fishing is your thing and very often you can see seals or dolphins just off shore. It’s very popular with sailors with quite a few yachts anchored just off shore. One of which came ashore while we were there and said how beautiful the area was and it was like being on the south of France.
We stopped for a drink in the Cary Arms which has amazing views looking out over Babbacombe Bay beyond to Shaldon, Teignmouth and Lyme Bay. It is a little pricey in here though at £4.50 a pint for the local Bays Devon Dumpling. If you’re particularly hungry then you can indulge in what I imagine to be the most expensive jacket potato in the world for £60.
The promenade itself is level, but there are steps down to the beach making disabled access a little difficult and the road down is very steep with limited space in the Pay & Display car park at the bottom. The hillside behind the Beach is thick with woodland and if you have the energy, you can walk up the steep slope to Babbacombe Downs and Gardens or save your legs and walk the South West Coastal Path along the boardwalk toward Oddicombe Beach, though this can be a little tricky as it’s sometimes slippery in places, then take the Babbacombe Cliff Railway. Built in 1926, this is the quick way up the cliffs and means you won’t be knackered when you get up there! Once you do reach the top you’ll find yourself 300ft above sea level and the views across the bay are breathtaking.
- Babbacombe Cliffs are a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI)
- Look out for seals and dolphins offshore.
- Babbacombe is a popular dive spot and training venue, Its sheltered aspect, clear water and easy sea bed make it ideal for beginners and the more seasoned divers.
- Deep shelving beach
- Tidal cut-off
On February 4th, 1885, John Lee was convicted of the murder of his employer, Miss Keyse, at the Glen, Babbacombe, and was sentenced to die in 19 days later, at Exeter prison. But he went to the gallows three times, and three times the trap failed to work. Lee’s sentence was commuted to life imprisonment, and he was released on December 18, 1907. He married Jessie Bulled, a mental nurse at Newton Abbot Workhouse, and went to Durham, and then America.
- Landing facilities were primitive, until 1889 boats still had to be hauled up onto the beach, the existing breakwater was built in that year.
- Babbacombe Beach Cafe
The promenade itself is level, but there are steps down to the beach making disabled access difficult and the road down is also very steep with limited space in the car park at the bottom. Walking the South West Coastal Path along here can be a bit tricky as it’s steep in places and sometimes slippery.
Beach Rd, Torquay TQ1 3LX. Off Babbacombe Downs, near to Babbacombe Theatre and down a very steep hill.
- Car, the road down is very steep with limited space in the Pay & Display car park at the bottom. You can sometimes be lucky and find free parking up on Babbacombe Downs.
- Bus, the main road is serviced by local frequent buses 32 and 11.
- Cliff Railway, Adults, £2 single or £2.80 return. Child, £1.60 single or £2 return. Then a 10-15 minute walk along the boardwalk.
- Walking, Right on the South West Coastal Path and is a moderate walk from either Anstey’s Cove or Oddicombe Beach.
- The road down is very steep with limited space in the Pay & Display car park at the bottom. You can sometimes be lucky and find free parking around Babbacombe Downs.
- High cliffs tower over the beach giving some protection from the worst winds, but also cast a shadow later in the afternoon so it is not always the best place for sunbathing.
- The beach is completely covered at high tide.
- Look out for seals and dolphins offshore.
- Disabled access quite difficult. The road down is very steep, but there is a car park at the bottom with a promenade that is level.
- Lifeguards: None.
- Potential Hazards: Deep shelving beach, Tidal cut-off.
- Dogs, are welcome on the beach 365 days a year.
- Toilets: there are toilets next to the entrance to the car park.
- Type: Sand and shingle
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