This is the beauty of living by the coast. A misty day turned into glorious sunshine once the cloud cover broke. In half an hour we’d packed up baby kit, swim kit, slathered in sun lotion and we’re back on Meadfoot beach.
When plan B fails, there’s always the pub car park…
‘it’s packed, shall we try somewhere else?’
The day started as a visit to Ansteys Cove. However on arrival the car park proved to be in full peak tourist mode so we ended up driving North to check out Maidencombe in the hope that it wouldn’t be so busy…
It was a nice enough idea, however Maidencombe wasn’t just packed in te car park, it was standing room only on the beach. Well we’re here now!
Maidencombe is another one of these smaller beach / coves and it’s also got it’s own lovely cafe looking straight out to sea. I’d have linked it in here but sadly it doesn’t seem to have a web presence. It does have great ice cream (Bec’s) and home made patty beef burgers (me!). So we took in the view, ate and let Huey continue to sleep in the sling.
As we’d driven into Maidencombe I’d spotted the thatched pub and adjacent pretty grassland so suggested we take Baxter and de-camp there instead. So another mission back up the hill to the pub. It was worth it; set up Baxter and the gang in the dappled shade to finally chill.
As it turns out the pretty grassland I mentioned was actually an overflow car park. I appreciate this wouldn’t inspire you to come here, but look at the picture, it was idlylic. Thatched pub, rope swing, space, sun…Thatched Pub!
Quintessential, family, day at the beach in Devon. Except for one detail…
If you’re looking for a family friendly, hassle free day at the beach in South Devon, this is possibly the place. It’s got easy grass parking, cafe, shop, restaurant and toilets that have won ‘loo of the year’. It’s a Blue Flag beach so the water is crystal clear and has the watchful eye of lifeguards throughout the season. It occupies a beautiful, crescent shaped stretch of coastline framed from above by lovely tall pines; it sounds perfect doesn’t it?
From afar this beach is a magnificent expanse of golden sand and there’s the problem. Blackpool Sands has no sand, none whatsoever. Instead it’s home to millions of lovely, weather – worn, golden pebbles. Except they aren’t lovely either, they are absolutely villainous. With beach kit in hand we were drawn on to the ‘sands’ and the torture began. Within a hundred yards I was prancing about making more fuss than you’ll see from people walking on fire. I am known to be prone to a whinge, so I suspected, was it just me? I looked back to see if Bec’s was fairing any better but no, she too was making a song and dance of the journey.
Interestingly, she too had abandoned her flip-flops as had I. You’ll remember from your science days that a smaller surface area equals a greater pressure. To illustrate this point , your flip-flop, flips a pebble under your foot and then the prancing turns into a full on painful dance as you try and get it out! What you absolutely need here is Jellies, or the foot-hugging ‘aqua shoe’. Both types are available for a modest sum at the beach shop, but I bought neither. Having made the one journey to set up camp I decided to ‘tough it out’, a decision largely regretted later having made return journeys for food, ice-creams, the loo, etc etc…
Foot torture aside, we still had a fantastic day. Blackpool Sands holds a special memory for us as it was Huey’s first physical contact with the sea, via my dangling him and his little feet into the water. Our arrival on this roasting August day was accompanied by a merciful coastal breeze. As we walked to meet the sea the breeze lofted Huey’s sun hat and his grin was quite literally ear to ear. Nothing spoils a day as happy as this.
So please, do not be put off by the lack of sand. A few pounds will get you the appropriate footwear for a fantastic, family day out.
Venus Cafe Blackpool Sands
I have seen the Venus cafe now at a number of locations in South Devon but at the time had no idea it was something of a chain. The Venus holds a captive audience at Blackpool Sands, but they’ve clearly invested in its look and produce. It’s not bad at all. Adjacent the takeaway counter is a proper restaurant boasting a fresh sea food menu which I really wanted to try, but sadly as we were timetabled to get Huey home for bed we did not try. Another time.