Only two Devon beaches feature in “Times Top 50”

Bigbury and Beer, rated seventh in the South West.

It seems the judges were very taken by the carpets and deckchairs with fold-up canopies. 

Budleigh, Exmouth and Sidmouth are going to have to work harder on their “retro” images (and water quality)! – Owl 

Beer, Devon

7. Beer, Devon

The pebbles run for 40 miles from Portland Bill in Dorset to Sidmouth in Devon: a rattling strand of rounded flint and chert. But while other resorts are resigned to living with the aggregate, the fishing village of Beer has tamed it by laying down carpets so visitors can comfortably reach the deckchairs on what might be England’s most organised beach. It’s a popular spot with swimmers of both the wild and less showy varieties, and with fishermen who rent boats or cast from the shore. The chalk cliffs behind the beach — garlanded Babylon-like with hanging vegetation — reflect the sunlight, so the deckchairs have fold-up canopies to protect the back of your head. Catering is similarly well conceived: breakfast and afternoon tea can be had at the lovely Chapples Tea Hut on the beach, where you can rent a beach hut and two deckchairs for £15 a day. For a posh lunch, pre-order a platter from Beer Fisheries at the back of the beach (£55; Dogs are welcome at the East Ebb end.

Toilets; café; accessible; dog-friendly; water quality: excellent