Woolacombe Tourism

Set at the mouth of a deep valley on the North Devon coast, this seaside resort is an ideal spot for surfing and exploration. Wookacombe is home to the beach voted number one in the UK and listed in the Top 20 Beach Destinations according to TripAdvisor.

There is plenty to do here. Fly kites along the white sands of Woolacombe’s beach, grab a board and head into the surf or just relax and enhance your tan, or take a boat trip out to Lundy Island and watch for birds and wildlife. Lundy Island is a protected site and is home to North Devon's puffin population. There are also plenty of seals, dolphins, porpoises and small sharks. Woolacombe is home to a wide variety of migrating sea birds that return every year for breeding. Vacationing to Woolacombe? Continue reading our Woolacombe Tourism guide and plan you trip today.

Woolacombe Weather – When to Visit

For those dedicated sun seekers you'll want to visit in the summer, which is when the area is at its most popular. In the winter its quieter, but the surfing is much better. If you’re a surfer or interested in learning, autumn is the best time to go. Low pressure systems which form over the Atlantic create the biggest swells, which in turn produce the most surf-able waves. Autumn brings empty beaches, barrelling waves and BBQs at dusk.

Best Woolacombe Beaches

Woolacombe Beach, Woolacombe Tourism, Best Woolacome Tours & Activities, best Woolacombe hotels, best Woolacombe Restaurants, Best Woolacombe bars, best Woolacombe beaches, Top 20 Beach Destinations
Woolacombe Beach

Woolacombe is one of the finest beaches in the West Country, and it is easy to see why it has won numerous awards, including TripAdvisor's Top 20 Beach destinations ranking. Life guards ensure safe family swimming during the summer and surfers come from all over the country to enjoy the great waves and clean water. Dogs are welcome on the beach year round, with some restrictions in the summer months.


Barricane Beach,  Woolacombe Tourism, Best Woolacome Tours & Activities, best Woolacombe hotels, best Woolacombe Restaurants, Best Woolacombe bars, best Woolacombe beaches, Top 20 Beach Destinations
Barricane Beach

Just round the corner from Woolacombe’s main beach, this sheltered spot swaps the sand for shells and shingle. Ideal for a walk, a picnic or a spot of rock-pooling, Barricane is loved by long distance visitors and locals alike. Its shallow waters are great for a paddle, with views so pretty you will fall in love with the place!


Rockham Beach,  Woolacombe Tourism, Best Woolacome Tours & Activities, best Woolacombe hotels, best Woolacombe Restaurants, Best Woolacombe bars, best Woolacombe beaches, Top 20 Beach Destinations
Rockham Beach

Rockham has a wild feel to it, being hidden well enough to avoid the crowds during the busy months. Visit while the tide is out, when you can walk on fine sand between craggy outcrops of rocks and pools, follow water draining and filling through the channels, and learn where the widest sandy areas are to safely swim from.




Saunton Sands, Woolacombe Tourism, Best Woolacome Tours & Activities, best Woolacombe hotels, best Woolacombe Restaurants, Best Woolacombe bars, best Woolacombe beaches, Top 20 Beach Destinations
Saunton Sands

With 3.5 miles of glorious sand, Saunton Sands is one of the best beaches in North Devon for families. The surf at Saunton Sands is wonderfully mellow. It’s the perfect spot to get kids in surfing, boogie boarding or skim boarding. It is also one of the best dog friendly beaches in North Devon.




Broadsands Beach, Woolacombe Tourism, Best Woolacome Tours & Activities, best Woolacombe hotels, best Woolacombe Restaurants, Best Woolacombe bars, best Woolacombe beaches, Top 20 Beach Destinations
Broadsands Beach

Broadsands beach is pirate heaven – plenty of caves and an island to explore – kids love it! Plus it’s a super safe beach to swim at – a perfect dipping spot. There are tunnels & caves to swim into, just check the tide before doing so. 




Best Woolacombe Tours & Activities by Viator

Woolacombe Surf Lesson

Woolacombe Surf Centre is Woolacombe's highest rated & qualified surf school & water sports provider! Professionally run & based in the heart of Woolacombe, North Devon. WSC is accredited as a ‘Centre of Excellence’ by Surfing England, the highest attainable level! Visit Here to learn more about a Woolacombe Surf Lesson.


Are you feeling a little nervous and need an extra hand along the way? Or are you looking for an adrenaline packed plunge off the biggest jumps we have to offer? Have you been before and would like to experience the washing machine instead of the caves? Whatever you want, Coastal Adventures have got you covered! Visit Here to learn more about Coasteering.

Hot Air Balloon Flight from Tiverton

Devon’s green hills and picturesque villages are among England’s most beautiful, but the most spectacular views are from above. Float overhead on a 1-hour hot air balloon ride from Tiverton and sip champagne as you watch the sunrise or sunset. Visit Here to learn more about the Hot Air Balloon Flight from Tiverton.

Devon,Torbay and South Hams

Locally guideed. Personal small flexible private Tour. A very full day viewing & exploring the very best that Torbay & South Devon (the South Hams] has to offer. Visit Here to learn more about the Devon, Torbay & South Hams tour.

Fused Glass Pieces & Workshop

You will have the opportunity to learn about fused glass, the techniques and then create something unique of your own. Visit Here to learn more about the Fused Glass Pieces & Workshop.

Best Woolacombe Restaurants

Restaurant NC $ 30 and Up

NC (Noel Corston) is a critically acclaimed restaurant located at the heart of the UNESCO Biosphere Reserve.  They offer one fixed tasting menu which is built around the seasons, reflecting our immediate environment at any given moment in time.  Guests dine at the kitchen counter which accommodates eight, and they offer one sitting per evening. Telephone: 01271 871187 Web: Restaurant NC

The Boardwalk $ 11 – 30

Look out across Woolacombe Beach when you dine at The Boardwalk Bar and Restaurant. Then enjoy wonderfully fresh local food, beautifully cooked and served by friendly, knowledgeable staff and you have the recipe for a great meal or a great occasion. Telephone: 01271 871115 Web: The Boardwalk

The Red Barn $ 11 – 30

The Red Barn ensures that you get freshly-prepared food served promptly from their kitchen. Because they cook all our own food on the premises it means they have all the dishes featured on the menu, as-well as adding daily-changing ‘Chefs Specials’. Telephone: 01271 870264 Web: The Red Barn

Beachside Grill Under $10

A matter of feet from the roaring Atlantic Ocean, the Beachside Grill on Saunton Beach is a popular choice with beach lovers, families and surfers. It’s a fantastic place to enjoy a bite to eat or a drink while watching the sun set, or watching surfers ride the waves during the day. Telephone: 1271 891288 Web: Beachside Grill

The Waterside $ 11 – 30

They offer delicious Italian inspired food made with fresh, locally sourced produce. They also have gluten and dairy free offerings. Delicious cakes are always available. Telephone: 1271 814086 Web: The Waterside

Best Woolacombe Pubs

The Wreckers’ Retreat

The Wreckers Retreat Bar serves locally sourced food and ales all year round from 11.00am daily. Recently refurbished and full of character, the bar features memorabilia charting the history of Hartland Quay, the many films and TV shows filmed here over the years as well as details of some of the shipwrecks in the area over the centuries. Telephone: 1237 441218 Web: The Wreckers' Retreat

The Red Barn

Dog friendly, family friendly, granny friendly. The perfect pub for lunch with the whole gang. But don’t be put off if you’re sans-family, they’re also great at the couples thing, the lads night out thing and the girly catch up thing. Telephone: 01271 870264 Web: The Red Barn

Bar Electric

Funky and upbeat, Bar Electric is the perfect pit stop for lunch, dinner, coffee or a jager bomb after hours. The vibes in here reflect our seaside town – chilled, relaxed and just a bit too cool. Telephone: 1271 870429 Web: Bar Electric

The Jube

The Jube is a real hidden gem. The pub itself is an ideal location to eat locally sourced delicious food and to find an amazing selection of wines, spirits, craft ales and beers, within beautiful surroundings. Telephone: 01271 870487 Web: The Jube

The Tides Inn

Its the perfect family friendly spot for to eat or for drinks in warm weather and dog friendly as well. They offer local craft beers and West Country Cider, Specialist Gins and the full top shelf, an excellent range of international wines white, red rose or sparkling. Telephone: 01271 871420 Web: The Tides Inn

Best Woolacombe Hotels


  1. Lesley

    Hello There, thank you for taking your time to compile and share this informative and resourceful article.I have been looking at vacationing to Woolacombe. This guide has a lot of information for me. I must confess that I am wowed at what I am seeing via the images you provided.  I can’t wait to visit and see the beauty for myself!  Thanks.

    1. Leahrae (Post author)

      You are welcome Lesley.  I am glad you enjoyed.  Please let me know if you need any additional information.

  2. glenn

    Leahrae – I am a beach lover too. So, we have that in common.  I lived at, or near the beach for much of my adult life. I started surfing as a kid.  Many vacations in Hawaii.  

    I never would have thought their would be a beach and surrounding areas as intriguing as Woolacombe.  You did a very nice job explaining the uniquenesses of each of the beaches in the area.  Fun restaurants, hot air balloon rides, surfing, glass fusing and many other fun adventures make this sound like a vacation destination worth going to.

    I thought the video was beautifully done.  The beautiful countryside and other nearby beaches were wonderfully captured by the drone’s camera.  I didn’t care for the music that accompanied the video.  After a few minutes of it I muted my speakers.

    I compliment you on your entire website.  You truly are the” beach travel destination expert”.  You provide a lot of really valuable information for travelers who want to go to beach destinations.  I didn’t know that in the US 3pm on Tuesdays is the best time to book airline reservations.  That’s really helpful.  You’ve even thought about details such as what type of flip flops are best for the beach.

    I wish I had some critical feedback as to how to improve your content or you site so you could improve.  The best I can offer you is affirmation of what you are providing your readers.  I will recommend your site to friends and family and be sure they use the affiliate links.



    1. Leahrae (Post author)

      Thanks so much Glenn, and I am glad you enjoyed and appreciate your feedback.  Please come back when you are ready to plan your next beach vacation 🙂

  3. Andy

    Hi and thanks for sharing this. Woolacombe is one of those destinations lodged deeply in my childhood memories. I know I visited there when I was quite young when we were on a camping trip with my aunt and I have some distance recollections of mucking about in the sands and exploring rockpools. I visited again somewhat later and I recall that the experience was pretty much mired by some dreadful traffic jams that can be endemic to the narrow west country roads especially during summer months. Nevertheless, it is still a great place that has a special reserved spot in my affections. Thanks for this and best regards, Andy

    1. Leahrae (Post author)

      Hi Andy, sounds like you have some great memories of Woolacombe, even if there was some traffic LOL.  I am glad you enjoyed my Woolacombe Tourism guide.

  4. Brendaliz

    My aunt actually travels there every year! She always  has nothing but great things to say about this place! Her to go place  when she whats a vacation to relax. She told me that they have everything to match up what ever mood she is in so she does not have to worry. She has had surfing lessons, she has ridden the hot air balloon (SHE LOVED IT) and has gone to a number of pubs and restaurants.

    I can honestly say, when I can, I am going with her next time because I know the pictures do not do this place justice!

    1. Leahrae (Post author)

      Wow, how lucky is your aunt!  I’m envious 🙂  And yes, everything will look even more beautiful in person.  Have fun!

  5. Cameron


    What a wonderful article! 

    I would love to visit Woolacombe as soon as it is safe to travel again and you’re open to visitors.

    You covered everything a visitor needs to know from activities to eating out to accommodation.

    I loved the photographs. The beaches look amazing. 

    The hot air ballon trip would be incredible. Do they organize these in the Autumn as well as Summer?

    Best wishes, 


    1. Leahrae (Post author)

      Yes, the Hot Air Balloon trips are done pretty much all year.  If you go to the calendar to book, you can pick your dates.  That will also determine the price you will pay.  Please let me know if you have any further questions.  Thanks for stopping by.

  6. Darrin

    Woolacombe sounds and looks like an amazing place. I’m not much of a surfer, but I love the water and the beach and all the related activities. I live in the US, but a few generations my father’s family migrated to the US from England and I’ve always wanted to go but haven’t made the opportunity to see that dream fulfilled. Woolacombe seems like a perfect place to visit and have an unforgettable time in the UK. And I love birds, so the North Atlantic Puffin would be a wonderful sight to behold. They fly, sort of, under water somehow. 

    Your site has a great layout with lots of options for entertainment and lodging, I may just work on making that trip happen real soon. Thanks so much for the information!


    1. Leahrae (Post author)

      You are welcome Darrin.  I am glad you enjoyed my Woolacombe Tourism guide.  Please let me know if you need any additional information.

  7. Justin

    Any of the beaches mentioned sound like great places to go for a vacation. I really like the one where it mentioned there being caves, sounded interesting to explore. I’ve only been to the beach for a extended stay a few times, but each time it was a great experience. All of the places mentioned sounded like they have much to offer. Also, I like the restaurants and bars. Concerning the mention of hotels, are these basic hotels like chain hotels ? Are there beach houses that are available for rent ? Are there any services in the area for deep sea fishing ?  These places sound great for anyone, individual or family to go for a fun weekend trip or extended vacation. 

    1. Leahrae (Post author)

      You are not going to find chain hotels in Woolacombe, that I know of.  One of my choices listed under the hotels was a guest house.  You will find them there.  And yes you can go deep sea fishing.  I recommend Bluefin Charters.  They will be able to set you up for a deep sea fishing adventure.  Please let me know if you have any further questions.  Thanks for visiting beach travel destinations.


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