Woolacombe Guide

Woolacombe is notoriously known for its incredible beaches and pumping surf. As one of North Devon’s finest coasts, you’ll find breathtaking views and spectacular award-winning beaches. So whatever your day at the coast, this Woolacombe Guide is here to help you plan those long-awaited days out.

It really is no secret that Woolacombe has one of the most striking beaches, but don’t just take our word for it. In 2020 our very own Woolacombe Beach was voted one of the best beaches in the World on Tripadvisor. Fourth best beach in Europe and taking the top spot as England’s best beach … AGAIN!

This came as no surprise to us, miles of golden sand, rolling waves and soft sand dunes. This is what seaside holidays are all about. But best of all, each of our North Devon Holiday Parks are just a hop, skip and a jump from one of the best beaches in the world.

Woolacombe Guide – car parking and sandy beaches:

Where to park your car in Woolacombe?

Parkin Estates Car Park – Located on the seafront, this car park is the best location to access Woolacombe beach, local shops and restaurants.

Website: parkinestates.co.uk/useful-info

Marine Drive Car Park – Positioned with direct access on to the South West Coastal path. This is the top location for those off walking. As well as access to the beach through the dunes and a lovely little cafe to enjoy on the way back to the car.

Website: northdevon.gov.uk/parking/council-car-parks/ilfracombe-car-parks/marine-drive-car-park

Sandy Burrows Car Park – With easy access to the beach, this car park is for those heading straight to the beach. This is the shortest walk for all heading to the pet-friendly entrance.

Website: parkinestates.co.uk/useful-info

Putsborough Sands Beach

Located at the very southern end of Woolacombe Beach is Putsborough Sands. You can enjoy the best mix of dramatic cliffs, rock pools, and sandy bays. This RNLI lifeguarded beach is the perfect location for families who like to explore and relax. Also, a highly popular location to walk (especially with dog walkers), as many visitors park up in Woolacombe and take the 5-mile stroll along the beach and back. Best of all as you reach Putsborough Sands, a lovely cafe awaits serving divine Devonshire cream teas. You have earned it after all!

Putsborough Sands
Putsborough Sands

Middle Beach or Marine Drive Beach

Nestled in between Putsborough and Woolacombe Sands is Middle Beach, take a stroll through the golden sand dunes to find a perfectly distanced spot with plenty of room to Hang 10. Even in the busy Summer months, Middle Beach is often quieter. This RNLI lifeguarded beach is a perfect location for families, who prefer a quieter beach experience.

Woolacombe Beach

With 3 miles of golden sand between your toes and plenty of room to enjoy family days out. This eye-catching RNLI lifeguarded beach offers a perfect day out for all families and children of all ages. As well as a great family day out, this is a ideal location for thoses who want to take the plunge and learn to surf.

Woolacombe Sands Beach
Woolacombe Sands Beach

Harris, Gin & Shellsborough Beach

Take a stroll across the esplanade and find this little hidden gem of Harris, Gin and Shellsborough. This location is perfect for all families with a sense of adventure. Get your buckets and nets at the ready and head on down to a beach that offers a wonder of surprises the high tide left behind.

Rockpools in Woolacombe
Rockpools repleashed from the Atlantic Ocean

Barricane Beach

Sandwiched in the middle of the many cove beaches along the esplanade is the prettiest one yet. The sea is clear, the view is extraordinary and rockpools are aplenty. Barricane beach is perfect for families with older children who like to explore. Throughout the spring and summer months, a small cafe will be craned onto the beach. Serving delicious baguettes throughout the day and their famous Sri Lankan curry by night. It certainly will be a meal with a view.

Combesgate Beach

Located between Grunta and Barricane beach you’ll find this quiet, hidden gem we know as Combesgate beach. Follow the sweeping steps onto this quiet rocky beach. If you are looking to go shell hunting this is the greatest beach for you.

Sunset at Woolacombe Beach in Devon
Woolacombe Beach at sunset

Woolacombe Guide to exploring on foot:

In this area of outstanding beauty, you will only ever be a short stroll from some of the most breath-taking views.

Potters Hill

A moderate walk from Marine Drive, take the stroll up Potters Hill and beyond if you wish. This steady walk offers the most picturesque view from the top.

Walk type: Moderate

Car park: Marine Drive

Website: nationaltrust.org.uk/trails/mini-mountain-walk

Potters Hill in Woolacombe
Potters Hill

Woolacombe Downs

A moderate walk with a few hills along the way. But a stroll up Woolacombe Downs is worth it for the breath taking panoramic views from the top. This route offers so many variations, so this can be a personalized route depending how far you would like to go.

Walk type: Moderate

Car park: Marine Drive

Website: nationaltrust.org.uk/trails/potters-hill-and-woolacombe-down-walk

Woolacombe Downs beach view
Woolacombe Downs

Sand dunes

An easy stroll with spectacular scenery, take the ramble between the dunes and back along the beach.

Walk type: Easy

Car park: Marine Drive

Woolacombe beach sand dunes
Sand dunes at Woolacombe Beach

South West Coast Path

In Woolacombe coastal paths are plenty. But if you are looking for a beautifully scenic route then we highly recommend following the South West Coastal Path. Plan your idyllic coastal route, through the National Trust link below:

Website: nationaltrust.org.uk/woolacombe/lists/walks-around-woolacombe

Woolacombe Guide – takeaways and food on the go:

Woolacombe Fryer

We know that a trip to the seaside and fish and chips go hand in hand. Woolacombe Fryer is located less than 5 minutes from the esplanade. So grab your take out and head down to the esplanade for a chippy tea that overlooks the beach.

Website: woolacombefryer.com

Fish and Chips (shutterstock)

Gobble Box

Whatever your taste, Gobble Box has got you covered. Serving the most divine buttermilk chicken, ultimate burgers, fresh seafood and options available for vegans and vegetarians. This highly popular takeout is a must-try while you are in Woolacombe. A favourite is the mouth-watering buttermilk chicken.

Website: gobbleboxwoolacombe.co.uk

Gobble Box – a selection of dishes

Woolacombe Bay Pizza Company

Serving up delicious freshly made pizzas, burgers and sides right in the very heart of Woolacombe. So, call ahead or pop by to place your takeaway order. A firm favourite with the locals and often the last takeaway open for those late-night treats.

Website: woolacombepizza.co.uk

Pizza takeaway (Shutterstock)

Fudgies Bakehouse

What’s a trip to the South West without a proper local pasty? Fudgies serves the finest Devon pasties, with the largest variety of fillings.

Pasties (shutterstock)

Sea Breeze Ice Cream & Coffee Shop

With the largest selection of ice creams, how will you ever choose your favourite? After all what’s a holiday, without a little overindulging!

Website: seabreezeicecream.co.uk

Ice cream (Shutterstock)

Big Chief Waffles

Enjoy speciality waffles cooked freshly to order just the way you like them. As the smell of waffles fills the air, will you be able to resist?

Waffles (shutterstock)

Woolacombe Guide – things to do:

Woolacombe Bay Cinema

For the ultimate cinema experience, you must visit Woolacombe’s Neo Cinema. You’ll find the cinema nestled away in the very heart of Woolacombe Bay Hotel. There you’ll be able to sit back and relax on the plush sofas and armchairs, enjoy the luxuries from the cinema bar and enjoy an unforgettable experience.

Website: woolacombe-bay-hotel.co.uk/cinema-in-woolacombe/now-showing

Neo Cinema, Woolacombe Bay Hotel

Funder Island

Funder Island is a greatly popular one with the kids, centrally located in Woolacombe with easy access. So take some time out to enjoy a family game of adventure golf, let the kids enjoy the rides or sit back and enjoy a coffee.

Mortehoe and Woolacombe Golf Club

Take time out for a relaxing game of golf in the most tranquil coastal surroundings. But best of all, this sea-view golf course is located at Easewell Farm Holiday Village if you happen to be staying there.

Golf (Shutterstock)

Website: woolacombegolf.co.uk

Learn to surf in Woolacombe

Take to the sea, with skilled instructors which all have a passion for surf you’ll soon be up on your board yelling with joy. But throughout the busier spring and summer months you will need to book with plenty of notice to secure your lesson.

Woolacombe Surf Centre – Website: woolacombesurfcentre.com

Hunters Surf School – Website: huntersurf.com

Beach Surf (Shutterstock)

Here in Woolacombe we really are spoilt with locations to visit and things to do. So whatever it is you choose to get up to while in Woolacombe, we hope you enjoy our little piece of Devon.

Find out more about holidays and day trips to Woolacombe:

Posted in Beaches, Places to Visit