Goodrington Sands is one of the most popular beaches in Devon and quite possibly THE best beach in Devon. We’re not biased at all! It is however, the ultimate beach location and has everything from a waterpark to a beautifully run beach cafe, pedalos to water-skiing.

If you are looking for a beach holiday in Devon then don’t look any further than Goodrington Sands, Paignton. It simply has it all!

One of the things that really makes Goodrington Sands stand out is the recently developed Cantina Kitchen, their wonderful ethos and smiley faces ready to welcome new and old, from all walks of life! We managed to catch up with busy, mum-of-two and keen wild swimmer, Charlie to learn what life is really like on Goodrington!

Making gin on the beach in Devon

The team at Cantina Kitchen, took over the business almost two years ago now, and time has absolutely flown by! Charlie says the whole team loves being right by the sea in a peaceful area that is safe for families and also great for walking dogs all year round. One of best things about their work location is the ability to easily go for a swim after (or during) a busy shift! Charlie confesses that the team are lucky enough to love exactly where they are, and wouldn’t move even if they could. She said “you can’t get better than what is right on our doorstep. Wild swimming in Goodrington is glorious after a busy weekend, in fact we have some of our meetings waist deep in the sea!”

Charlie is a keen triathlete and thinks that the best way to enjoy the English Riviera’s beautiful coastline is by putting on her tri-suit and jumping in the sea for a swim around the coast or on her bike for some training. Who wants to join her!? Or maybe just grab an ice cream and go for a stroll instead…

Wild swimming at Goodrington Sands, Devon

Cantina Kitchen offers some of the first produce in Devon. They only serve local beer from Bays Brewery and cider from Hunts Farm on tap. Their bread comes all the way from Paignton. Coffee from Torquay. Fish from Brixham. Crab from Paignton. Our chips are grown from real potatoes in Totnes and chopped on site and then triple cooked for ‘proper homemade’ chips made with love and care! You know the rest..! Just get down there and check it out. All of it!

Caring for South Devon’s beaches

Everyone at Cantina Kitchen has a genuine affinity with the land in which they are so gratefully blessed to reside. They are really driving forwards and championing change for a cleaner beach, coast and plastic free Britain. They know its a huge challenge but have made some big steps towards ‘plastic free’. They are trying their hardest to eliminate single use plastics and they regularly run beach cleaning events to coincide with other organised events they are running. They are so passionate about looking after Goodrington Beach that people who support their campaign can find cleaning tools at the bar and will be rewarded with free tea and coffee.

If you want to get involved, then there is an annual beach clean across Great Britain from 14-17 September 2018. Grab your litter pickers and get stuck in!

Making gin on the beach in Devon!

Aside from stocking all their local ingredients, Cantina Kitchen have recently started producing and selling their own gin! Thats right, its small batch gin, made right on the beach and has hints of beachlife running right through it. In fact, it's aptly named Mermaid’s Ruin. At the time of writing they were actually producing Mermaid’s Ruin 2. Will it be as good?! You better get to the bar and order one for yourself!

This bottle of beach loveliness is made using a number of British botanicals and is done so all in one day, through the use of a portable ‘still-on-the-move’. Look out for the next batch making process and you can go along and watch the whole distillation taking place.

Making gin on the beach in Devon

Life’s a beach for Seasonal Manager, Matthew, at Goodrington Sands

As we said, Goodrington Sands is a hub of life and to ensure the ongoing safe operations of the beach, there is a seasonal beach manager on location during the busiest months. This is Matthew, he is a loyal member of the Torbay Council beach management team, and here is his story... If you happen to be holidaying in South Devon or spending some time on Goodrington beach this summer, then make sure you say hello or give him a wave! Matthew says “where else would you rather work!?”

Becoming a Beach Manager in South Devon

Matthew didn’t always have sand between his toes all day long. Before taking his dream job he had spent 20 years in an office environment. Itching to be on the right side of the window, instead of looking out of it towards the award winning beaches that the Bay has to offer.

He really enjoys the outdoor life and says, “where else would you rather work!?” when talking about his current job. He loves working with the general public, meeting and engaging with locals and tourists alike. Matthew is a true ambassador for South Devon and says that he hopes “in some small way enhance their visit to the beach. I have made many long lasting friendships during my time on the beaches”.

Managing one of the best beaches in Devon

Matthew is primarily located at one of the English Riviera’s main beaches, and one of the most popular beaches in South Devon, Goodrington Sands. The beach has recently been named a 2018 Seaside Award winner.  During the busiest months of the year, July and August, this is his full time post. Outside of these months, Matthew has responsibility for all other beaches on the English Riviera, including Torre Abbey Sands, Meadfoot and Oddicombe.

Matthew has been managing Goodrington Sands for 8 years now. His first season out of the office was based a couple of miles along the coast at Oddicombe, a prestigious Blue Flag Award winner for the past 30 years! His other responsibilities include leading the ‘beach hut moving’ team in March and October of each year. This is a massive job to prepare the beaches correctly for the season ahead. The beach huts on the various beaches of the English Riviera have become quite a signature part of the summer landscape. With demand ever increasing, securing a beach hut for the summer season can be a lengthy process, and those that have them really relish such a prime spot beside the sea.

A day in the life of a beach manager at Goodrington Sands

Not one day is the same for Matthew, he’s met some amazing people, some strange, indifferent and some extraordinary. He’s also seen quite a few things during his time managing some pretty busy beaches at peak times.

He explained that “over the years I have come across many unexploded ordnance (bombs), or in reality, suspected unexploded ordnance (bombs) as all turned out to be harmless, thankfully! The most interesting part of finding such suspect items is to see how quickly and effectively all the emergency services work together to ensure public safety and we as beach staff assist where we can”.

At all times, Matthew’s priorities is the public’s safe enjoyment of our wonderful assets, and he wouldn’t change that for the world.

Deciding on your South Devon beach holiday

If you were looking to book your next holiday to South Devon, but weren’t quite sure where to go, then many would be a fool to disagree with a man who has spent years working on some world class beaches.

Matthew believes that the “beaches of Torbay offer something to suit all tastes, whether you prefer a quiet cove or a busier sandy beach, wherever you decide to go you will find a clean and safe environment to enjoy your day”.

He concludes by saying, “I may be a bit biased but the only spot for me in the ‘bay is Goodrington. The beach is the best in the bay and the facilities offered at the location provides something for everyone!”

What are you waiting for? Grab your bucket and spade and come and say hello to Matthew, Charlie and everyone else at Goodrington Sands!


Cantina Kitchen and Bar Paignton
Chef at Cantina Kitchen in Paignton, Devon

Cantina Kitchen and Bar is an award wining family run business conveniently located slap bang next to one of the most beautiful dog friendly beaches in Paignton specialising in serving local Devon produce including fresh fish from Brixham, local beers, wines and ciders. Cantina is chilled-out place for people to relax, unwind and experience great food in a lovely atmosphere! We are extremely family friendly with lots of games to keep both big and little kids entertained. Throughout the year we hold a number of events.   Mermaid's Ruin -  Who can resist the call of this seductive sirens spirit?

Splashdown Quaywest
Adventure Park/Playground
Splashdown Quaywest Fisheye View - Goodrington Sands

*LATEST UPDATE*+ Our season starts 1st May 2021 - TICKETS MUST BE BOOKED ONLINE IN ADVANCE. New operating procedures to help with social distancing and to help ensure we are a covid secure place to visit are still in place. Please note admissioins are ONLY bookable through our website. Please see our website for the latest information Splashdown Quaywest is the wettest, wildest attraction on the English Riviera.  Great fun water slides, some laugh out loud fun and some will have you screaming.  Swimming pool area and plenty of space for enjoying the sun and, of course, the fantastic views of Souuth Devon's Beautiful Bay.



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