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Due to coronavirus (COVID-19) travel advisories, some destinations may be unavailable for certain dates. Find out more.
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Babbacombe Beach

This unspoiled cove was once the home of fishermen and smugglers. Now it’s a popular beach on the English Riviera coastline.

Relax and soak up the sun on the shingle sands of Babbacombe Beach. Take the 1920s Babbacombe Cliff Railway to the top of the cliffs and walk along the highest promenade in England. Fish from the breakwater, take a sailboat out on the waves or scuba dive beneath them.

Babbacombe has been settled since before records began and was historically known as a smuggler’s haven. It was also the home of John “Babbacombe” Lee, a local who became known as “the man they couldn’t hang” after three attempts to hang him for murder. With the decline of the fishing industry, the area capitalized on its unusual history and beautiful scenery, becoming a popular tourist resort in the early 20th century. See the caves where the smugglers hid their wares and enjoy a beach walk or day on the sands.

While tourists flock to Torre Abbey Sands, Babbacombe is the more popular spot with locals. Relax and enjoy the sun in the summer, sunbathe on the sands or swim in the ocean. In the colder months take long walks while the beach is at its quietest. Enjoy fishing and sailing in all weather or pull on a wetsuit and try scuba diving. With its sheltered location and interesting underwater features, the beach has become a popular scuba training venue.

Stroll up the steep hillside to Babbacombe Downs or take the Babbacombe Cliff Railway, which was built in 1926. Enjoy the ascent from inside a tram-like funicular cart. Walk along the promenade atop the 240-foot (73-meter) red-clay cliffs, the highest in England, and enjoy spectacular views of the bay. Sample local specialties, from Devonshire cream tea to Brixham crab sandwiches, at the local cafés and restaurants.

Babbacombe Beach is in Torquay, roughly 24 miles (39 kilometers) south of Exeter and 32 miles (51 kilometers) east of Plymouth. Get here with local bus services or by car, with a parking lot available near the beach. Local accommodations are available in Babbacombe itself, with a range of options including hotels, cottages and guest houses. The beach has an on-site café, restrooms with disabled access and dog-friendly sections.


Guide to Exploring Babbacombe Beach


Top Hotel Deals

See all 1,853 Properties near Babbacombe Beach
BELGRAVE SANDS HOTEL & SPA £110
BELGRAVE SANDS HOTEL & SPA

BELGRAVE SANDS HOTEL & SPA

2 Belgrave Rd, Torquay, England
     
    4.0 out of 5.0 Stars

    Located in Torquay City Centre, this spa hotel is within a 10-minute walk of Torre Abbey Sands and Princess Theatre. Babbacombe Beach is 2.2 mi (3.5 km) away. Torquay Station is 10 minutes by foot and Torre Station is 16 minutes.

    The Imperial Torquay £89
    The Imperial Torquay

    The Imperial Torquay

    Park Hill Road, Torquay, England
       
      4.0 out of 5.0 Stars

      Located in Torquay City Centre, this spa hotel is within a 15-minute walk of Living Coasts and Princess Theatre. Babbacombe Beach is 2.1 mi (3.5 km) away. Torquay Station is 25 minutes by foot.

      Cary Arms
      Cary Arms

      Cary Arms

      Cary Arms, Babbacombe Beach, Torquay, England
         
        5.0 out of 5.0 Stars

        Nestled on the beach, this Torquay inn is within 1 mi (2 km) of Babbacombe Model Village and Gardens and Babbacombe Beach. Princess Theatre is 2.1 mi (3.4 km) away.

        Coombe Court hotel £79
        Coombe Court hotel

        Coombe Court hotel

        67 Babbacombe Downs Rd, Torquay, England
           
          4.0 out of 5.0 Stars

          Located in Babbacombe, this hotel is within 1 mi (2 km) of Babbacombe Model Village and Gardens and Babbacombe Beach. Princess Theatre is 1.9 mi (3.1 km) away.

          The Trecarn Hotel £30
          The Trecarn Hotel

          The Trecarn Hotel

          Palermo Road, Torquay, England
             
            3.0 out of 5.0 Stars

            Located in Babbacombe, this hotel is within a 15-minute walk of Bygones Victorian Museum and Babbacombe Beach. Princess Theatre is 1.7 mi (2.8 km) away.

            The Downs Babbacombe
            The Downs Babbacombe

            The Downs Babbacombe

            Seafront, 41 - 43 Babbacombe Downs Road, Torquay, England
               
              4.0 out of 5.0 Stars

              Located in Babbacombe, this beach bed & breakfast is within a 10-minute walk of Babbacombe Beach, Babbacombe Model Village and Gardens and Bygones Victorian Museum. Kents Cavern Prehistoric Caves and Princess Theatre are also within 2 mi (3 km).

              Headland View B&B
              Headland View B&B

              Headland View B&B

              37 Babbacombe Downs Road, Babbacombe, Torquay, England
                 
                4.0 out of 5.0 Stars

                Located in Babbacombe, this guesthouse is within 2 mi (3 km) of Torquay Golf Club, Genting Casino and Princess Theatre. Living Coasts and Paignton Zoo are also within 9 mi (15 km).

                The Babbacombe Hotel £80
                The Babbacombe Hotel

                The Babbacombe Hotel

                The Sea Front, Babbacombe Downs Road, Torquay, England
                   
                  3.5 out of 5.0 Stars

                  Located in Babbacombe, this hotel is within a 10-minute walk of Babbacombe Model Village and Gardens and Babbacombe Beach. Princess Theatre is 1.9 mi (3.1 km) away.