The beaches on the North Devon coast, they really are something else! Woolacombe is no exception; spectacular scenery, the swell of Atlantic waves being a lure to the surfing fraternity, a bank of sand dunes and then the beautiful rolling hills. There's a 3 mile stretch of sand, so the beach is big enough not to get too crowded - you can always find a spot if you don't mind walking a little further. It's won awards for cleaness, for water quality and for faciltiies, with lifeguards here in the summer months, so it all gets a bit Baywatchy! But, if a quiet cove is more your kind of thing, go and see what it's like at Barricane Beach, just north of the main beach; because it's rocky and restricted by high tides it tends to be quieter, but it's actually a very picturesque and sheltered little spot.
Woolacombe village has grown considerably over the years but it hasn't missed a trick in being geared up to cater for the many visitors who come to the beach. There are several shops selling seasidey stuff like buckets and spades and sunhats, so if you forget anything it won't be a problem. If you fancy having a go at surfing you can hire the gear and book lessons with Woolacombe Surf Centre, and if you want takeaway food for a beach picnic you won't have any trouble finding something. What might come as a surprise is that Woolacombe is home to the oldest and longest continuously running nightclub in the UK - bet you didn't expect that!
Like most smaller coastal settlements, the air is noticeably laid back; people are in holiday mode here, you can see that by the way they contentedly stroll around, stoppping off for a bite to eat or to sit outside and watch the world go by. Why not? It's a nice enough thing to do, and if the sea air whips up an appetiite, as it often does, try Beachcomber Cafe, The Jube or The Tides Inn.
All information correct at the time of writing