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Woolacombe Guide

Woolacombe may be small but it’s perfectly formed and our guide will help you and the girls to get the absolute most from your stay. Although having a car around this area isn’t absolutely essential, it’s really helpful and will allow you to get around to see the beautiful surrounding countryside as public transport is notoriously poor.

Getting In


By far the best and most convenient way to get in to Woolacombe is in the car. Persuade a couple of your mates to get behind the wheel, get those tunes blasting and start the long journey to North Devon!


It’s possible to travel by train but be prepared for your journey to take a while. You and the girls must take a service to a bigger local station like Exeter or Barnstaple and then hop on a local bus or get a taxi to the village of Woolacombe.

What to do in Woolacombe

This Devon village might be small but there’s always plenty going on during the busy summer months when the most tourists are out and about. Here’s a quick snippet of the activities on offer whilst you’re there.

Visit Lundy Island

Most famous for its bumper crop of tasty lobsters, this island lies just off the Devon coast and nothing lies between it and America! Because of this, just 3 and a half miles lies totally unspoilt. Marine life and wildlife is incredible here and it’s perfect if you love the great outdoors and nature.

Learn how to surf

If you’re familiar, hop on your board and hit the world famous surf or alternatively, get a little practice in with one of many surf schools in the area and become a pro in no time!

See wildlife

Even if you don’t count yourselves as great animal lovers, few could fail to be enchanted by the dolphins, porpoises and seals (and even a basking shark once in a while) which crop up on the beach.  

Top of the Shops

Woolacombe may not be a shopping hotspot, but for everything you’ll need on a fabulous beach holiday, this village has it covered!

Sugar Rush

Whether you’re looking for a yummy ice cream made from real Devon cream to cool off with after a long surfing session, an indulgent slab of your favourite fudge or a stick of traditional seaside rock, you’ll find it all here in Woolacombe. After all, you are on holiday…

Surf’s Up

When you arrive in Woolacombe, try not to be too surprised by the way in which around half the shops on the seafront sell surf wear and surf wear only. The locals and holidaymakers around here live for the waves and these stores are really handy for picking up anything you might need for the beach, as well as getting great advice from those who work there.

The Big Breakfast

Aside from fish and chips, cafes, shops and hotels also run a roaring trade in full English breakfasts here in Woolacombe. There’s a strong emphasis here on good, heart British food which will set surfers up for a session out in the cold and warm them up when they get back too. We’re not going to argue with that!  

Because the best things in life are free…

It’s all about nature and the local landscape here in North Devon and that’s always free! If you’d rather save up your money for a good bottle of wine or two, try these great ideas for completely free activities which make the most of the gorgeous local area.

Walking on the beach

This is a bit of a no brainer but Woolacombe sands really are amongst the finest in the UK, so make sure to take a walk along and drink in the sights.

See Verity

Although this attraction is actually located in nearby Ilfracombe, if you have a car with you, it’s well worth taking the 5 minute drive. Opinion is divided on this bronze statue but we think it’s fantastic. Created by Damien Hirst in 2012, it depicts a pregnant woman who holds law books and the scales of justice whilst standing proud with her pregnant belly cross-sectioned so that the anatomy can be seen within. At 67 feet, she’s taller than the angel of the north!

Coastal path

There’s a fabulous coastal path which spans the cliff tops in and around Woolacombe, Ilfracombe and Combe Martin – but prepare to get blown about if it’s chilly! Hats and gloves come very much recommended. 

FCO travel advice

Travel Safety & Information

For information on staying safe and healthy while travelling abroad as well as local laws and latest government advice on destinations visit the FCO Travel Aware website.

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