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 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.
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 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.
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 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
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 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