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 the natural beauty of rural Devon 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 bevvy of beautiful North Devon beaches in reach…
Just round the corner from the golden sand of Woolacombe Beach, this sheltered spot swaps the sand for shells and shingle. Ideal for a walk, a picnic or playing in rock pools, Barricane Beach is loved by long-distance visitors and locals alike, and it’s a dog-friendly place, too. The shallow waters of this shingle beach are great for a paddle, while you’ll also find a cute cafe serving Sri Lankan food on warmer evenings and stunning views that’ll make you fall instantly 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, wonderful sea views and spectacular sunsets. A family-friendly section of the South West Coast Path connects Putsborough with Woolacombe, and there’s a car park for those that prefer to drive.
Rockham certainly has a wild secluded beach feel to it, being hidden well enough to avoid the peak season crowds at Woolacombe. Plan a visit at low tide, 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 well-sheltered areas to set up a base! It’s 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 sand dunes to the start. Some great photo opportunities en route!
Once notorious for smugglers and wreckers, this stretch of the North Devon coast 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.
Woolacombe Beach is a beautiful, family-friendly beach that offers an abundance of activities for everyone. This year the Sunday Times has named Woolacombe the best beach in the country. The award was given to Woolacombe thanks to its clean water, soft sand and safe bathing areas. There are lots of great facilities here too including huts for hire, food trucks and changing rooms with showers as well as shops and cafes nearby where you can grab lunch or something to drink after swimming in the sea!
Woolacombe Beach is a wonderful place for families looking for a day out on the coast this summer – come along and see what it’s all about!