The closest beach is Teignmouth beach; it is about 10/15 minutes walking distance away from Yannon Towers. There are two popular areas, the front beach and the back beach; the front beach is lively most of the time but further along is great for families. There is an attractive pier that has recently been improved, life guards are present most of the day and there are dedicated areas for swimming.
The back beach has more of a relaxed atmosphere and is surrounded by lots of boats; if you have young children it is good for crabbing off the old fishing boat docks.
Just across the river are Shaldon beach and the Ness beach. You can reach these either by using a small ferry boat that costs around 60p for children or £1.20 for adults or you can go across Shaldon Bridge. Shaldon beach is narrow and pretty.
If you walk further towards the sea and there is a long 'Smugglers Tunnel' cut through the cliff to the original Labrador Bay (from which the its larger US cousin took its name) sheltered by 'the Ness' (the large red cliff that you can see from the house). This beach is lively most of the time but the water is sometimes not as clear as in other places and is mainly pebbly. Children will enjoy climbing on the rocks and exploring the rock pools.
Holcombe beach is fairly small and a lot less crowded but there are many rocks so watch out when you are swimming. The rocks also make good rock pools. You can reach this beach by road or by going on a walk along the sea wall from Teignmouth; this is a very scenic walk and is most enjoyable.
The Dawlish Warren beach is a major tourist attraction because it has a lot to offer. For example it has softer sands, is a very good family beach, is close to a nature reserve and has attractions including go-karts and various other rides. There is also a large arcade with lots of machines.
Torquay and Painton have some great beaches. They have long golden sands and all the traditional facilities you'd expect to find close by.
Teignmouth occasionally has waves big enough to board surf but the sand bank makes it excellent for canoe surfing most days.
If you are interested surfing in large waves then further away there are Bantham and Bigbury (south of Plymouth), Widemouth, Woolacombe and many more (in North Devon); these beaches are large with golden sands but you will have to travel around 45 mins to 1 hour 30 minutes to get there because they are in North Devon and Cornwall.
There are other beaches around but these are the closest or most attractive ones in our opinion.
Teign Diving centre is a good place to learn diving if you are interested; they can teach any ability with well qualified employees. See www.teigndivingcentre.co.uk
Boats can be launched from Polly Steps (Teignmouth docks) and also at Coombe Cellars which is across the river in the direction of Newton Abbot.
A range of windsurfers and sailing boats are available for hire from the back beach.
There are lots of water sports in Paignton near Quaywest water park including activities like banana boating. Most of these water sports are available in the water park.