Seaton Beach

In Brief

Suitable for: All the family (including the dog)
Location: Seaton, between Looe and Downderry Beach, near Torpoint
Parking: Large car park to the rear of the beach
Dog friendly?: Dogs are welcome all-year-round

Cornish pasty or Devon pasty? Jam first or cream first? Cornwall’s Seaton Beach or Devon’s Seaton Beach? If you agree with the latter part of each of those questions, then begone from our pages and ne’er return! In Cornwall, we invented the pasty, we put the jam on the scone before the cream and our Seaton Beach is much better than that one somewhere up the coast towards London.

Seaton Beach, at the front of Seaton village, itself a few miles east of Looe and at the foot of the winding and wooded Hessenford Valley, is charming, pretty and home to an abundance of activities to make any day out here an action-packed one. The beach, which is made up of sand, shingle and pebbles, sits in a small bay where the River Seaton spills into the sea. Of course, this is party central for kids who build dams and splash about safely in the river. It’s also popular with dogs who are welcome on the beach throughout the year.

There’s plenty of rockpools to explore at Seaton, especially at low tide. But care must be taken when going for a dip in the ocean because there are some hidden rocks under the surface as well as some strong undercurrents in the bay. Lifeguards are on duty during the summer but, well, the message is to be cautious, especially if the waters are rough.

To the east, Seaton Beach stretches towards Downderry Beach and, behind it, the village of Downderry. This is a pleasant walk along the sands at low tide. At high tide, take the path along the sea wall to the rear of the beach if you want to get to the neighbouring village. To the west, and around an outcrop at low tide, you can also follow the sands all the way to Looe some three miles down the coast, although check the tide times before setting off because you could get cut off.

Toilets, refreshment stops, general shops and a pub all sit next to a large car park and open green space at the rear of the beach alongside a brilliant little adventure playpark. There’s even some outdoor fitness equipment here so that kids and adults can both enjoy a workout. Plus, to the rear of the beach, behind the green, is Seaton Valley Countryside Park with its 50 acres of woodland and nature reserve land. This place is home to otters and kingfishers and can be explored on its footpaths and cycle paths. 

So, with adventures to be had left, right, centre and to the rear, we reckon that this southern beachy gem in Cornwall more than holds its own in the battle of the Seatons. The added bonus is, of course, that should you happen to have a cream tea near this fab beach, it’ll definitely be jam first. In Cornwall, you always do it the Proper way.