If you’re looking for a breathtaking coastline, picturesque villages, and plenty of things to keep you busy, then look no further than Woolacombe. This North Devon town has something for everyone, whether you’re a surfer, foodie, or walker. Check out our top 10 things to do in Woolacombe, from surfing lessons and exploring the South West Coast Path to indulging in some delicious local ice cream.
Woolacombe is the perfect place to stay for a holiday in North Devon means a variety of attractions nearby including water parks, nature spots, and charismatic towns.
Things to do in Woolacombe
Visit Woolacombe Beach
The stunning Woolacombe beach has been voted the best beach in the UK, 5th best in Europe, and 13th best in the world – so it’s no surprise that visiting it is one of the best and most fun things to do in Woolacombe!
The nearest area to the beach entrance is very popular with tourists and has a safe swimming spot. If you want a beach swim, it’s best to go to this area, as there are RNLI lifeguards.
This is the best place for family fun, as it’s safe and close to Woolacombe’s shops and restaurants. There’s plenty to do here for everyone, and you’ll never be bored! You can’t go wrong with a day out at this family-friendly spot.
Further down the coast is an area perfect for surfing, and further still is a rocky area that is usually quiet.
The beach huts here are available to rent, and the nearby car park makes it quite accessible.
While you’re traveling along the M5 or A39, be sure to explore the world-famous Wookey Hole caves and tunnels. With a fairy garden and dinosaur valley, it’s an adventure the whole family will enjoy and create lasting holiday memories.
Visit Barricane Beach
Barricane is a stunning small beach with golden sand, rock pools, and breathtaking sunsets. Woolacombe central is the perfect place to visit while exploring the town. It’s one of the most popular Woolacombe attractions, and it’s easy to get to.
Wildlife and Dinosaur Park
Woolacombe’s Combe Martin Wildlife & Dinosaur Park is a favorite local spot, with everything from lions to sea lions, penguins to guinea pigs, and wolves to monkeys.
This amazing wildlife park is also home to a host of animated and static prehistoric giants, including a full-scale Tyrannosaurus Rex – a star attraction!
Pre-booking the park is highly recommended.
Visit Grunta Beach
If you’re looking for a quiet, secluded beach to relax on, Grunta Beach near Woolacombe is the perfect spot. With its rocky shores and calm waters, it feels like your own private oasis.
Go to Combesgate Beach
Woolacombe Sands may be the best beach around, but Combesgate Beach is even better! It’s located just north of Woolacombe Sands, making it the perfect place to visit if you’re looking for a breathtaking beach experience.
Although it may be challenging to get to, as you will need to walk down steep steps, it is definitely a great place for rock pools and exploring!
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Head to the Alchemist for a spa treatment
If you’re looking for something to do on a rainy day in Woolacombe, look no further than the Alchemist spa.
The Alchemist Spa at Woolacombe Bay Hotel is the perfect place to relax and rejuvenate. With a heated pool and hot tub, thermal rooms, and a copper tub, there are plenty of ways to pamper yourself. In addition, there are many treatment rooms available for an, even more, relaxing experience.
Woolacombe is one of the best places in North Devon to catch waves. So, if you’re into the sport, you’ve got to give it a go here! But even if you’ve never surfed before, there are surf schools that can give you an introduction to the activity.
Hunter Surf School
Hunter Surf School is a popular establishment in Woolacombe Bay, located right on the main beach. They offer a range of lessons, including a taster two-hour lesson, a taster plus lesson (It costs 50 and includes equipment hire), and private lessons. You can get a discount if you book multiple sessions at once!
Find the best surf spots
The surfing in Woolacombe Bay is incredible, with Woolacombe Beach, Saunton Sands, and Croyde Bay all being great spots. If you don’t mind driving a bit, Westward Ho! is also popular with surfers.
Do other watersports activities
There are a variety of water sports that you can try on the North Devon beaches around Woolacombe. Hunter Surf School also provides coasteering sessions, where you can explore the rugged coast itself!
There are plenty of other water sports to try if you’re looking for an adrenaline rush, like windsurfing, jet skiing, kayaking, or stand-up paddleboarding.
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Catch an epic sunset
The sunsets in Woolacombe are some of the best in North Devon. Because the town is located on the west coast, you can see the sun go down over the horizon in a beautiful display of colors.
Cycle or Hike the Tarka Trail
The Tarka Trail is a great way to experience the natural beauty of North Devon. This 180-mile stretch is perfect for a day of activity – you can cycle from Woolacombe to Lynton in Exmoor, down the town’s golden coast, and up the beautiful Taw Estuary to Barnstaple. Then, back down the taw estuary to Instow Beach!
Woolacombe is a great place to go hiking. The surrounding area is relatively easy to hike, so there are some great trails here. Perfect for a family day hiking or a solo adventure.
Go hikking at Morte Point
Morte Point is a dramatic headland that juts out into the sea, separating Woolacombe from the coastline. With its jagged rocks and amazing coast views, this walk takes in some of the best scenery around North Devon.
To make it a circular walk, you can turn right down one of the paths to Mortehoe and then walk down the road from Mortehoe to Woolacombe. The hike will take you about 1h30min.
Baggy Point at Croyde Bay
Baggy Point is an epic 4km hike around a headland with breathtaking views of Woolacombe Sands and Croyde Bay. Finally, you’ll end up in Croyde Bay where you can enjoy the beach and soak up the quirky culture.
Bull Point Lighthouse
Bull Point Lighthouse is a great spot for stunning views of the North Devon coast. It’s a little further on from Morte Point, but definitely worth the hike! To get there, simply follow the path past Morte Point (just under 3km).
You can either hike to Ilfracombe, which is a fun hike with beautiful views over the scenic coast, or you can drive (10km from Morte Point), You could turn around and hike back from Bull Point Lighthouse, turning inland to walk to Mortehoe. Or, you could explore the coast a little more and find a new route to Mortehoe.
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Enjoy the delicious food scene of Woolacombe
Woolacombe has a magnificent food scene, with delectable and delicious menu items that you often don’t find in other British coastal towns.
Learn about shipwrecks at the Mortehoe Museum
Mortehoe is a small village situated approximately 20 minutes walk from Woolacombe. The Mortehoe Museum is a specialist museum dedicated to shipwrecks in the area. Unsurprisingly, this rocky coastline has been the site of many shipwrecks over the years – fortunately, these are now much rarer. The Mortehoe and Woolacombe History Museum is the perfect place to learn about the history of these two villages. With exhibits on the village’s past and how it came to be, the museum is a must-see for anyone interested in the history of Mortehoe and Woolacombe.
Things to do around Woolacombe
Ilfracombe Sea Safari
Ilfracombe Sea Safari is an excellent boat company that offers several trips a day during the summer season. Travel to Exmoor and Lynmouth Beach by boat and keep an eye out for seals along the way! Or go on an exciting Ilfracombe Sea Safari and chase waterfalls! You can see all of the amazing trips they offer on their website.
There are plenty of beaches to choose from in Ilfracombe, but Tunnels Beach is definitely the most historical. The tunnels were originally built to connect different beaches that were difficult to get to, but eventually, they became a big tourist attraction. To see the extensive network of tunnels, go to private beaches, and learn about the history at Ilfracombe, you will need to pay – but it’s worth it!
Go on a trip to Ilfracombe
Just a 12-minute drive from Ilfracombe, you can hike that part of the South West Coast Path and take the bus back!
Ilfracombe is a historic town with easy access to nature, making it a great place to explore. Here are some ideas for things to do in Ilfracombe.
Ilfracombe Aquarium is a great place to learn about the huge variety of marine life you will find around Woolacombe, including coastal, estuary, river, and island sea animals.
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Day trip to Lundy Island
If you’re looking for a breathtaking place to visit in North Devon, look no further than Lundy Island. A trip here is a must-do while you’re in Woolacombe, and you can get there by boat from nearby Ilfracombe or by bus if you don’t have a car.
Lundy Island is an incredible destination for marine life and history. With its friendly seal colony, boat trips around the island, and walks with a ranger, it’s no wonder why this is such a popular destination!
Visit Exmoor National Park
If you’re looking for an adventure, Exmoor National Park is the perfect place! With plenty of hikes and nature trails, it’s a great place to get away from it all and enjoy the outdoors and country life.
The picturesque villages of Lynmouth and Lynton offer a variety of attractions, including the cliff railway connecting the two, Lynmouth Beach, and Watersmeet Valley where you can try your hand at water sports. The flood memorial hall documents the tragic flood that occurred in 1952.
Watermouth Castle Theme Park
Watermouth Castle, a family theme park with lots of rides and fun attractions, is located halfway between Ilfracombe and Combe Martin. The Victorian castle was the previous home of the Bassett Family, but it is nowadays an indoor/ outdoor entertainment venue that is perfect for children. You will need to drive here.
Day trip to Clovelly
Clovelly is an ancient fishing village that is one of the most popular tourist destinations in North Devon. It’s a bit of a controversial place – you need to pay to enter as it is still privately owned – but it is incredibly charming, with 17th-century cottages and beautiful cobbled streets. Here’s some more information about Clovelly.
If you’re in the northwest Devon area, you can also visit Hartland Abbey, one of the most popular historical sites in North Devon.
Where to stay in Woolacombe
If you’re looking for a great camping spot, North Morte Farm campsite is a great option. The views of the sea are incredible, and it can be a bit windy, but the cafe and shop on-site make it a great option. There are also plenty of facilities available, making it a great option for camping.
Woolacombe Bay Holiday Park is the perfect destination for a family vacation. With an outdoor pool and plenty of activities for all ages, it’s the perfect place to stay and play.
Lundy House Hotel is a cozy B&B with balconies overlooking the beach and Lundy Island. The rooms are cozy and comfortable, and the staff is very friendly.
The Watersmeet Hotel is a luxurious Woolacombe hotel with well-appointed bathrooms and bedrooms, featuring roll-top baths and ocean views.
Woolacombe is a great place to visit for any tourist, and even the locals. Just like we’ve seen, this town is full of beautiful galleries, antique malls, amazing museums, historic sites, and thrilling water parks. Don’t forget to get to know things to do in Woolacombe, including attractions, activities, and more!