More beaches than ever in the South West have achieved the highest bathing water standards this year according to the Marine Conservation Society's 'Good Beach Guide'.

173 out of 195 (88.7%) received the top standard for excellent water quality.

The region was particularly hard hit by the wet weather experienced in summer 2012 which led to a lower number of beaches being recommended in last year’s Guide.

Thanks to the much drier summer in 2013 there has also been a reduction in the number of beaches failing to meet the minimum standard – from 16 (8.2%) to one (0.5%).

The only beach to fail the minimum standard was Instow in Devon.

The Good Beach Guide's standards, from best to worst water quality:

  • RECOMMENDED - excellent water quality (Guideline bathing water standards were met, but with the addition that 100% of samples did not exceed 2,000 E.coli per 100ml and sewage discharges are appropriately treated.

  • GUIDELINE - higher water quality (80% of samples did not exceed 100 E.coli per 100ml and 90% did not exceed 100 intestinal enterococci per 100ml.

  • MANDATORY - minimum water quality (95% of samples did not exceed 2,000 E.coli per 100ml).

  • FAIL - Failed mandatory bathing water standard.

The full list of beaches in our region:



Bude Sandy Mouth, Bude Crooklets, Bude Summerleaze, Widemouth Sand, Crackington Haven, Trebarwith Strand, Polzeath, Daymer Bay, Rock, Trevone Bay, Harlyn Bay, Mother Ivey's Bay, Constantine Bay, Treyarnon Bay, Porthcothan, Mawgan Porth, Watergate Bay, Lusty Glaze, Tolcarne, Great Western, Towan, Fistral, Crantock, Holywell Bay, Perranporth Penhale Sands, Perranporth Village End, Trevaunance Cove, Chapel Porth, Porthtowan, Portreath, The Towans (Godrevy), The Towans (Hayle), Carbis Bay Porth Kidney Sands, Carbis Bay Station Beach, Porthminster, Porthgwidden, Porthmeor, Sennen, Porthcurno, Mounts Bay Wherry Town, Mounts Bay Penzance, Mounts Bay Heliport, Mounts Bay Marazion, Perranuthnoe, Praa Sands West, Praa Sands East, Porthleven West, Church Cove, Poldhu Cove, Polurrian Cove, Kennack Sands, Coverack, Porthoustock, Porthallow, Swanpool, Gyllyngvase, Porthcurnick, Pendower, Porthluney, Gorran Haven (Vault), Pentewan, Porthpean, Duporth, Charlestown, Crinnis Leisure Centre, Crinnis Golf Links, Par, Readymoney, Millendreath, Seaton, Downderry, Portwrinkle, Whitsand Bay (Sharrow), Cawsand, Kingsand


Polkerris, East Looe


Porth, Maenporth, Gorran Haven Little Perhaver, Portmellon, Polstreath,


Woolacombe beach in Devon. Credit: PA


Lynmouth, Combe Martin, Ilfracombe Hele, Ilfracombe Tunnels Beach, Woolacombe Combesgate Beach, Woolacombe Village, Putsborough, Saunton Sands, Westward Ho!, Hartland Quay, Plymouth Hoe West, Plymouth Hoe East, Bovisand, Wembury, Mothecombe, Challaborough, Bigbury-on-Sea North, Bigbury-on-Sea South, Bantham, Thurlestone North, Thurlestone South, Hope Cove, Salcombe South Sands, Salcombe North Sands, Mill Bay, Slapton Sands Torcross, Slapton Sands Monument, Blackpool Sands, St Marys Bay, Breakwater Bay (Shoalstone), Broadstands, Goodrington, Paignton (Preston Sands), Hollicombe, Torre Abbey, Beacon Cove, Meadfoot, Anstey's Cove (Torquay), Babbacombe, Oddicombe, Watcombe, Maidencombe, Ness Cove, Shaldon, Teignmouth Holcombe, Dawlish Coryton Cove, Dawlish Town, Dawlish Warren, Exmouth, Sandy Bay, Sidmouth Jacobs Ladder, Beer, Seaton


Croyde Bay


Ilfracombe Wildersmouth, Paignton (Paignton Sands), Teignmouth Town, Budleigh Salterton, Ladram Bay, Sidmouth Town




Chesil beach and the town of Portland with Weymouth in the distance. Credit: PA Wire


Lyme Regis Front Beach, Charmouth West, Seatown, Eypemouth, West Bay (West), Hive, Portland Harbour Sandsfoot Castle, Portland Harbour Castle Cove, Weymouth Central, Weymouth Lodmoor, Church Ope Cove, Bowleaze Cove, Ringstead Bay, Durdle Door West, Durdle Door East, Lulworth Cove, Kimmeridge Bay, Studland Knoll House, Shell Bay North, Poole Harbour Rockley Sands, Poole Harbour Lake, Poole Sandbanks Peninsular, Poole Shore Road Beach, Poole Canford Cliffs Chine, Poole Branksome Chine, Bournemouth Alum Chine, Bournemouth Durley Chine, Bournemouth Pier, Bournemouth Fisherman's Walk, Bournemouth Southbourne, Bournemouth Hengistbury West, Christchurch Mudeford Sandbank East, Christchurch Avon Beach, Christchurch Friar's Cliff, Christchurch Highcliffe Castle, Highcliffe, Christchurch Bay


Bournemouth Boscombe Pier


Lyme Regis Church Cliff Beach, Swanage Central


The Grand Pier at Weston-super-Mare. Credit: pa


Clevedon Beach, Weston-super-Mare Sand Bay, Weston Main, Brean, Berrow (north of Unity Farm), Dunster South East, Minehead Terminus, Porlock Weir


Weston-super-Mare Uphill Slipway, Burnham Jetty North, Blue Anchor West, Dunster North West