Woolacombe is one of the premier beaches in England: it’s unbeatable for views, size, sandiness, surfing prospects and sandcastle-building potential. Small yet sweet, the town is a superb resort at the top western corner of the North Devon coastline, with views across Bideford Bay out to Lundy. As you would expect from a brilliant holiday resort such as Woolacombe, there’s so much to do in and around the town, whether you like to party, hike, surf, eat or simply get pampered.
If you're considering a coastal adventure, we have many great places to stay on your holiday to Woolacombe with a superb range of self-catering accommodation in our collection, from sea view apartments and family farmhouses to romantic country cottages. Take a peek today and feel inspired.
Hit the beach
Woolacombe centres around the absolutely beautiful beach, and so it should as there are up to 3 miles of beach to enjoy, which stretches southwards to the adjoining Putsborough Beach and Baggy Point - a great place to take a clifftop walk. Those of you with children will love the opportunity to build sandcastles, paddle in the shallows and perhaps even take the kids for some surfing lessons. There are quite a few surf schools at Woolacombe – so it’s the perfect place to ride a board whether you're an absolute novice or a bit more of a seasoned surfer. The relatively flat sandy bottom and the width of the beach mean that it’s comparatively safe to learn here, plus in the warmer months there’s a lifeguard service. Woolacombe also has great facilities including outdoor showers, public WCs, and disabled access. Some areas have dog restrictions but there’s room at Woolacombe for everybody. One of the advantages of staying in Woolacombe is that you don’t have to worry about parking - it is at a premium, especially during the summertime. For adults, the main beach is a great place for long strolls all year round, or why not go sea kayaking or kiteboarding? Just north of the town beach is Barricane Beach which is a local secret at low tide. During the warmer months, you’ll find a café where you can buy the best takeaway curries around and enjoy the sunset.
If you're in the mood for a bit more of a luxurious day, head into The Alchemist for a spa treatment like no other. The facilities are second to none and the surroundings have been carefully designed to make sure you are at your most relaxed. Make sure you also take time to enjoy the sauna and indoor swimming pool. There’s a broad programme of luxurious treatments on the menu too, so check their full selection to see which type of massage you’d like to indulge in.
Party like you need to
Woolacombe is home to England’s longest running night club, Marisco. Tucked away in the back streets of the town close to the beach, the venue is still going strong and offers a solid line-up of national and international DJs and musicians across the spectrum. Its small-scale charm will amaze those that are used to the super clubs in the cities. The party at The Marisco will probably outlive most of our abilities to dance. As of 2019, it turned 52 years old, having opened in 1967 – and the beat goes on.
Where to eat
For gastronomes, take a pleasurable bet on Noel Corston’s [email protected]. Open for the spring and summer months, there’s one sitting per evening for 10 discerning diners. Do not miss out under any circumstances: booking is crucial.
For lunch or dinner with a view across the ocean, try The Boardwalk Bar & Restaurant. The menu boasts a solid list of surf and turf appetite annihilators and a decent wines list. The Red Barn is a popular choice of an evening for those with a penchant for BBQ. We also can’t forget the humble chippy, so make a beeline to The Woolacombe Fryer on Barton Road. It's a noble job to supply sunseekers and loyal locals with their dose of battered fish and chips and this place does it admirably! A task the staff pull off with aplomb.
Go walk about
The South West Coast Path winds through Woolacombe – to the north you can do a circular walk by following the path around Mortehoe Point to Bull Point Lighthouse and back through the village of Mortehoe. To the south, you can follow the path along the top of the dunes (or along the beach) to Putsborough and around the edge of Baggy Point to the neighbouring village of Croyde (another world-class surf spot)!
Go to Hollywood
For a cinema with a bit of a difference why not see a film in style at one of the most luxurious cinemas in the UK. With just 30 seats, The Neo Cinema is a new addition to the town. It’s a real joy to see a film here if you love the smaller details like supreme projection, state of the art sound, overly comfortable seating and a delectable choice of alcoholic beverages and confections. Showing the latest and biggest new release of the week, be sure to book a few seats at the Neo during your holiday in Woolacombe.
Woolacombe is a lovely place for a holiday whether you are taking a break with family, your friends or your nearest and dearest. Be sure to check out our collection of inspiring holiday cottages, both large and small for your coastal escape to North Devon this year.