Visitors Guide to Woolacombe

Woolacombe Beach

Welcome to Woolacombe, a stunning coastal village located on the North Devon coastline in England. We know this site is about Bideford, but as a parent and as an entire family, we just love Woolacombe.

Woolacombe is known for its long sandy award-winning beach, constant surfable waves and stunning views of the Atlantic Ocean, Woolacombe is a perfect family holiday destination here in North Devon

Whether you’re interested in history, outdoor activities, or simply relaxing by the beach, Woolacombe has something for everyone.

Here is our locals guide to help you make the most of your visit in Woolacombe.

Explore Woolacombe Beach

Start your trip by visiting Woolacombe Beach, an extremely popular tourist attraction known for its pristine sands and excellent surfing conditions.

Enjoy a leisurely stroll along the shore, take a dip in the refreshing waters, or simply relax and soak up the sun.

The Woolacombe beach offers breathtaking views of the cliffs and the sea, providing a picturesque backdrop for your visit.

Woolacombe Beach
Woolacombe Beach

It should be noted that the beach is dog friendly all year round.

In winter months they can roam the entirety of it and during the summer season, from the stream that breaks up the beach and south (which is a huge area).

If you do as we do as a family, park up and then walk along the edge of the sea, you can walk all the way down to Putsborough sands at the far end. It’s an amazing walk and perfect to blow the cobwebs away after a long drive on the way down.

While on the topic of dogs, see our guide to dog-friendly cafes in Woolacombe and also pubs too and… we have an ultimate guide to dog-friendly Woolacombe and Mortehoe (we’re huge dog fans you see!)

Surf the Waves at Woolacombe

We are so blessed on this coastline to have some of the best surfing beaches in the United Kingdom, in fact, North Devon was recently recognised as the 12th Surfing haven in the world!


More on surfing in Woolacombe shortly as there are several surfing schools available to help you with your skills (or maybe like me, lack thereof).

Visit Local Attractions

Experience the beauty of different Woolacombe attractions, where breathtaking coastal vistas, historic lighthouses, captivating museums, and family-friendly amusement parks await.

Funder Island

funder island
funder island

Located on Barton Rd, Funder Island is a family amusement park featuring mini-golf, go-karts, bumper boats, quad bikes, and remote-controlled boats. It’s a great place to spend quality time with your loved ones and enjoy some exciting activities.

Combesgate Beach

Combesgate Beach
Combesgate Beach

A much lesser known beach literally moments away from the main Woolacombe beach is a small bay and beach called Combesgate Beach.

Parking is up on the main road and it’s quite a steep walk down to the beach, but it’s always less busy than the main stretch of sand at Woolacombe and there are loads and loads of rock pools to be explored here.

Combesgate Beach is best visited as the tide is going out.

We have personally seen this beach produce better and more consistent waves than the main Woolacombe Beach at times. Local surfers know this and you see it get busy quickly as word gets around (but still way, way less popular than Woolacombe).

Morte Point

Morte Point Trail
Morte Point Trail

This scenic spot along the South West Coast Path offers panoramic views of the coastline.

Take a walk along the cliffs and immerse yourself in the natural beauty of the area. Its quite a trek up the hill to Morte point from Woolacombe, but if walking is your thing, this is nothing and the views are amazing, hence why we have included it for you.

Putsborough Beach

Putsborough Sands
Putsborough Sands

Putsborough Beach is simply Woolacombe but at the south end of the beach.

It is a fantastic walk along the sea’s edge down to Putsborough and you’ll be glad to hear there is a cafe there to recharge before walking back.

If you fancy a different walk on the way back, follow the SW coastal Path and come back up over the hill at Putsborough and aim for the “The Porthole” (Marine Dr, Woolacombe EX34 7ZZ) and before you know it, you’ll be dropping in at the back of Woolacombe.

Featured Places to Stay Near Bideford

Parking At Woolacombe

There is loads of parking available at Woolacombe.

If you want a short stay, then parking on the main road is the cheaper option, after that there are three huge carparks available to you that are sensibly priced.

Learn about Woolacombe Village

One of the best things about Woolacombe other than the wow-amazing-beach is how quaint the shops are. There are not many, but there is a diverse range, from a local bakery, restaurants, fish & chip shop, arcades, cafes, cream shop, surf shops and so on….

Take some time to explore the village itself, which offers a range of amenities and attractions for visitors of all ages.

Enjoy Local Food

Sample delicious local food at the cafes, restaurants, and pubs located in the heart of the village.

Red Barn Woolacombe
Red Barn Woolacombe

The Red Barn is a popular surf bar and restaurant that overlooks the sea and features live music.

The Beach House Restaurant and The Captain’s Table offer various culinary delights, including seafood and modern British food.

Not to mention the bakery and fish & chip shop too!

Shop for Souvenirs

Explore the surf shops, sporting goods stores, gift shops, and clothing stores in Woolacombe.

You’ll find a variety of items, including surf gear, apparel, and souvenirs to commemorate your visit.

Learn to Surf at Woolacombe

Woolacombe Surf Centre
Woolacombe Surf Centre

Whether you’re a beginner or looking to improve your skills, experience Woolacombe surfing.

Make sure to book your lesson in advance, especially during the busy spring and summer months, to secure your spot.

Contact Woolacombe Surf Centre or Hunter Surf School for an unforgettable surfing experience in the stunning coastal setting of Woolacombe.

Learn about the top 11 towns to visit in North Devon for your next adventure

Engage in Outdoor Activities

With a wide range of options available, there’s something for everyone to enjoy and make the most of the beautiful natural surroundings in this coastal village.

funder island
Funder Island

Play Crazy Golf at Funder Island

Head to Funder Island and enjoy a game of pirate-themed mini-golf. You can also try other attractions like go-karts, bumper boats, quad bikes, and remote-controlled boats. It’s a fun-filled experience for all ages.

Keep Kids Entertained at Sunspot Amusements

Visit Sunspot Amusements, a fantastic arcade with a wide variety of games. It’s a great way to keep the kids entertained and create lasting memories.

Visit Mortehoe Museum

Mortehoe Museum
Mortehoe Museum

Take a trip to Mortehoe Museum, which offers a glimpse into the coastal village’s history. (Its hiding at the back of the Mortehoe carpark).

You’ll find interesting pieces and historical items in this listed barn, providing a fascinating insight into the local heritage.

Family-Friendly Accommodation

When visiting Woolacombe, you have the option to stay at one of the many family-friendly holiday parks that offer comfortable accommodations with stunning views of the sea.

Here are some of Woolacombe accommodations that are also family-friendly:

Woolacombe Bay Holiday Park

Woolacombe Bay Holiday Park
Woolacombe Bay Holiday Park

The park features fantastic facilities such as indoor and outdoor swimming pools, a spa, adventure golf, sports facilities, restaurants, bars, and entertainment venues.

Twitchen House Holiday Park

Twitchen House Holiday Park
Twitchen House Holiday Park

It boasts extensive facilities, including indoor and outdoor swimming pools, sports courts, adventure playgrounds, a cinema, restaurants, bars, and live entertainment.

Easewell Farm Holiday Park & Golf Club

Eassewell Farm Holiday Park
Eassewell Farm Holiday Park

This family-friendly holiday park offers a range of accommodation options, including caravans, lodges, and camping pitches, surrounded by picturesque views and peaceful surroundings.

Bay View Farmers Camping and Caravan Site Devon

Bay View Farmers
Bay View Farmers

With its friendly atmosphere, stunning views, and convenient access to nearby attractions, Bay View Farmers Camping and Caravan Site is an ideal choice for a peaceful and enjoyable camping experience in Devon.

North Morte Camping Park

North Morte Farm Caravan & Camping Park
North Morte Farm Caravan & Camping Park

With its beautiful surroundings and close proximity to the beach, it offers a perfect retreat for nature lovers and camping enthusiasts.

The views from the camping area are amazing, just note there are only ~14 spots in the main camping area we would personally consider “flat”, so expect to be on an incline almost ALL the time here.

Damage Barton Campsite

Damage Barton Caravan Club Site
Damage Barton Caravan Club Site

Another site near Woolacombe with amazing views across the channel.

Damage Barton is a serene and scenic caravan and camping site located near the village, offering breathtaking views of the countryside and the North Devon coast, making it an ideal choice for a relaxing and enjoyable outdoor getaway.

In Summary

Immerse yourself in the charm of Woolacombe, a captivating coastal village on the North Devon coastline.

From its long sandy, award-winning beach and breathtaking views of the Atlantic Ocean to its fascinating local attractions and family-friendly accommodations, Woolacombe offers a delightful experience for visitors of all ages.

Whether you’re planning a trip or have already explored this wonderful destination, we invite you to share your experiences and recommendations in the comments below.

Come and experience the magic of Woolacombe firsthand and create unforgettable memories that will last a lifetime.

If you would like to visit the nearby place, we have a visitors guide to Mortehoe.

Author Matt Ogborne
Matt Ogborne
About the Author

Welcome to! I’m Matt, a seasoned explorer and avid fan of Bideford and the broader North Devon area. With over a decade of consistent family visits, virtually every weekend, I’ve immersed myself in the rich history and vibrant culture Bideford & North Devon.

On this site, you’ll find a wealth of knowledge amassed from my adventures here. From in-depth local guides to engaging blog posts about Bideford. Whether you’re looking for recommendations on things to do or guidance on where to stay we have you covered. Join me as we delve into the heart of Bideford, North Devon – a town that’s more than just a destination, but an experience waiting to be discovered.

Do you want to see your favourite Bideford attraction, place to stay, event or activity listed here? Contact Us!