A family photography session on the beach at Westward Ho! with parents swinging three children in the air and blue skies

The best Devon beaches for family photography

I’ve been photographing families on location in Devon for over a decade, so I’ve got a very good idea of the best beaches for family photography. The South West is such a beautiful area. There are so many amazing beaches, as well as the moors, forests and general countryside, and it provides so many options for family photos. We are lucky enough to have two coasts to choose from, which offers such a range of beaches. When it comes to selecting a location for your family photo session, the beach is, unsurprisingly, a really popular option in Devon. It’s certainly one of my favourite choices!

But different beaches have very different looks, and the South West has so many options. Logistics are also important, and most of these options have parking, toilets and more. These are some of the best Devon beaches for family photography:

  1. Saunton Sands, North Devon
  2. Beer, East Devon
  3. Bigbury, South Devon
  4. Westward Ho! North Devon
  5. Budleigh Salterton, East Devon
  6. Croyde, North Devon
  7. Mothecombe, South Devon

There are countless other options, but these are definitely some of my favourites. Let me tell you a bit more about each of them.

Saunton Sands

A toddler running away from a family group photo at Saunton Sands

Saunton Sands is a fabulous beach. It’s a really big area of sand, wide and flat, with plenty of space to get away from everyone else, which is perfect for family sessions. Nobody wants to be surrounded by other people in their photographs, and Saunton Sands provides plenty of room to do this comfortably. There are lots of facilities in and around the car park, and pretty beach huts at the top of the beach. The wide, flat sand is just amazing for photographs, so it’s worth working with the tide to get the most out of this. I also love the sand dunes at the top of the beach for something a bit different, and they are great fun for children to play in. It really is one of the very best beaches for family photos.


A mother smiling and cuddling her young child

I think that Beer beach is one of the prettiest in East Devon. It has a very particular look. Beer is a fishing village, so you can always expect to see boats pulled up on the shingle. Plus, there is a lovely line of beach huts at the back of the beach. Both of these offer something extra as a backdrop to your images. It’s often really lovely to have a pop of colour and gives something different to just the sea and beach. One of my all time favourites for family photographs, I’ve had many sessions here over the years and always loved them!


A family photography session on a beautiful Devon beach with two parents and a young child squatting in the sand

South Devon has so many beaches that work well for family photos, but Bantham is particularly lovely. It also has a huge car park, with all the general facilities that you might need. It’s a sandy beach, with tons of space, and wide, flat expanses of wet sand when the tide is out. There are lovely views across to Burgh Island and the iconic Burgh Island Hotel. Plus lots of rock pools for little ones to explore and have fun with. Perfect for creating a fun environment that leads to natural family photographs of you all enjoying yourselves.

Westward Ho!

A family photography session on the beach at Westward Ho! with parents swinging three children in the air and blue skies

Like many other North Devon beaches, Westward Ho! (exclamation mark is officially part of the name!) is a great option. It’s absolutely enormous when the tide is out, so you have all the space in the world to get away from the crowds. There is also a pretty golf course on the sand dune area at the top. It’s always lovely to have the option of a different backdrop during a family photography session. You can walk around the golf course to find some really beautiful estuary views here as well. If you want a family photography session where you can get away from everyone else, then this is one of the best beaches for that.

Budleigh Salterton

Budleigh Salterton beach is one of my regular haunts for family photography. It’s one of those beaches where you just can’t go wrong. The pink and grey pebbles seem to work so well, whatever the weather. It could be a golden sunset like the family group photo above, or a blustery day with grey skies. It always just looks beautiful. Access is easy from a large car park, but the pebbles do take a bit of scrambling over to get down to the sea.


Croyde is a really popular beach, and it’s easy to see why. It’s a large sandy cove in North Devon, hugely popular with surfers and families. There are lots of rock pools to explore, sand dunes at the top of the beach and space to splash in the waves and have fun. It’s a particularly pretty beach, surrounded by green headland. If you are feeling energetic, there are incredible views on the coast path walk to Baggy Point.


There are so many really wonderful beaches in South Devon, but Mothecombe is an absolute delight. It has to be one of my all time favourites. It’s a sandy cove with rockpools, creating a wonderfully family friendly option. And it’s really pretty, which means you have a beautiful backdrop for your family photographs. There is a short walk from the car park to the beach, and there is not much there in the way of facilities. But this also means it tends to be slightly quieter than some other options, particularly during the week. It’s just such a pretty spot, and worth the extra effort for your family photography!

So these are some of the best Devon beaches for family photography. In my opinion, anyway! I hope that this has been helpful to read. There are lots of other options in Devon beside beaches, so you might also like to look at this blog post about different locations in Devon.

If you’d like to find out more about booking a photography session for your own family then you can read more about it here. Or please do just get in touch for a chat, I’d love to hear from you!

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