Rise and shine at your Woolacombe holiday cottage and head out for a peaceful day at a secret cove, or flock to the RNLI patrolled main beach and bask in the sun. Roam rugged rock pools which are home to fantastic sea life or jump in amongst crashing waves and ride the surf into shore. Whether it’s sunbathing, sandcastle building, sea swimming or sunset chasing there are plenty of fantastic sandy destinations at which you can enjoy a coastal adventure so pop on your flip flops or your wellies and head to the water’s edge for a day to remember.
Pack up your towel, swimmers and bucket and spade and make your way to the village’s award-winning main beach. Backed by rolling dunes and a row of colourful beach huts, pick your spot and settle down for a fun-filled day of sand, sea and surf. Work up an appetite in a surf lesson in the morning before tucking into something tasty which you can purchase from the seasonal food shack in summer months. The north end of the beach is patrolled by RNLI lifeguards who direct swimmers and surfers to different areas of the water to ensure your safety. Take a stroll past Mill Rock and towards Putsborough to stretch your legs before basking in the sun, hunting out fascinating rock pools and firing up a BBQ for a sundowner feast. Park your car in one of the many village car parks and make the most of the nearby facilities including toilets, wetsuit and kayak hire. You can watch exquisite sunsets from this stretch of sand or head up to Marine Drive carpark for a panoramic view of the sun setting over the ocean and surrounding landscape.
Enjoy a peaceful day by the sea at the south end of Woolacombe’s main beach. Find shelter from the southerly winds beneath the towering rocks and scramble about the rockpools in search of shells and fascinating wildlife before dipping a toe in the ocean or heading in for a surf. Picnic by the sea or climb steps to the café where you can indulge in hot food, cold snacks, hot teas and ice creams. The café doubles up as a beach shop which stocks useful items such as windbreaks, should the breeze pick up, and buckets and spades if you need an extra pair of hands to help create your sandcastle masterpiece. Marvel at breath taking views as you descend the steep hill into the carpark, the large field has plenty of space to leave vehicles so you need not spend any of your quality beach time waiting to park. Completing the excellent facilities are the award-winning loos and outside shower to freshen up salty hair and sandy paws. Putsborough welcomes four-legged friends all year round so leave no one behind and head out for a day full of stick chasing, tail wagging and games of fetch.
Shells, shelter and Sri-Lankan curry can be found at this beautiful cove. Tucked away towards the end of the Esplanade this once secret beach has become a hotspot for locals but still maintains its peaceful, unspoilt vibe. Lined by towering rocks, including locally named Monkey Island, and a jungle of rockpools there are a handful of spots to lay down your picnic rug before scampering off to find beach treasures. When the tide is out a large pool of sea water can be seen and you can often find young visitors splashing about here without the worry of waves and the current. The low tide also means you can stretch your legs and wander around to neighbouring Combesgate. Barricane’s seasonal beach café has a variety of delicious hot and cold meals but comes to life in the evenings when it sells homemade Sri-Lankan curry. Grab a plate and sip a tipple as the sun sets perfectly over the water; wrap up and make your way down to the ocean’s edge for that picture-perfect view. Tufty-tailed guests can join you all year around although must be kept on a lead throughout summer months.
The final sandy spot before you reach the end of the Esplanade, Combesgate is a quiet bay in Woolacombe perfect for those after a peaceful day by the sea. A puzzle of sand, rocks and pools lead down to the sea where you can catch waves or hop in for a dip. Access is via a steep set of steps, the Watersmeet Hotel- a good choice for tea and cake, or a low tide stroll around the rocks from neighbouring Barricane. Another brilliant spot from which to chase the sunset, if the weather is warm head in for a sundowner swim and you’ll often find that you’re the only soul in the water. Dogs are invited to chase their tails here in winter months, however, this beach is for those without wagging tails throughout the summer.
Rockham Beach, another hidden gem, lies slightly further afield on the South West Coast Path towards Mortehoe. Wander the clifftops in search of this fabulous bay where pink pebbles, a shipwreck and abundance of wildflowers and marine life await discovery. The beach is reached by descending a steep set of steps which wind their way down the rockface, once you reach the bottom go in search of a tranquil place to set up camp for the day. At Rockham you’ll often be joined by a couple of locals enjoying the peaceful atmosphere, it’s a great spot to switch off and listen to the sound of the lapping tide before heading in for a dip or observing the plethora of marine life which call these rockpools home. The fascinating remains of the S.S Collier lie beyond the first set of rocks telling tales of years gone by on this treacherous stretch of coastline. Dogs are banned from this bay all year round so if you’re holidaying with your four-legged friend, stay on the South West Coast Path and continue strolling high above the sea.
Tucked away in front of the village of Mortehoe sits Grunta Beach. Supposedly securing its title after a ship with pink, curly-tailed cargo ran ashore, take care on the craggy rocks when clambering towards the beach which is accessible only at low tide. Well worth the adventure to get down here, this tiny bay welcomes those with both two and four legs and is a lovely place to enjoy making a splash. Keep your eyes peeled for crabs in the myriad of rockpools and enjoy spectacular uninterrupted views across the ocean.