BEST NORTH DEVON BEACHES
Sandy toes and salty kisses
With three miles of sweeping, uninterrupted golden sands and the clearest water you will find, Woolacombe has always been one of the most beautiful UK holiday destinations. Surrounded by National Trust landscape, breathtaking scenery and natural beauty in abundance, it should be a ‘must do’ on your places to go list. Woolacombe itself, has over three miles of sandy dunes. If that's not enough, there are a bevy of beaches in reach...
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, while you'll also find a cute cafe serving Sri Lankan on warmer evenings and views so pretty you won't be the last to fall in love with the place!
At the end of the long flank of sand stretching south from Woolacombe is Putsborough Sands. It has clear water, great surf and a gentler away-from-it all feel. There's a beach shop and café, a small caravan park, award winning toilets and nothing else apart from rock pools and spectacular sunsets.
Rockham certainly has a wild feel to it, being hidden well enough to avoid the crowds during the busy months.
It is probably best visited whilst 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. Higher up the beach there are some good sheltered areas to set up a base!
It is worth choosing your route to and from the beach to include some of the stunning South West coast path nearby. The beach is accessed via steep steps at the bottom of an open grassy valley.
A walk up Potters Hill and beyond will reward you with stunning views across the bay towards Baggy Point and Morte Point. It's just a stone's throw from Woolacombe Beach, but you'll feel like a million miles away from the crowds. If you feel like a short burst of activity, there is a shorter hike up to Potters Hill - for those wanting to make a day of it, take a longer hike from Potters Hill across Woolacombe Down, returning through the dunes to the start. Some great photo opportunities en route!
Once notorious for smugglers and wreckers, this stretch of coastline is now a great place to get away from the crowds and enjoy the dramatic scenery of cliffs, rocky headlands and sandy bays as you look back towards Woolacombe. Look out for seals as you walk from Morte Point towards Bull Point and enjoy the coastal heathland and maritime grasslands, which are great habitats for birds and other wildlife.