Our Family’s Woolacombe Guidebook

Jimi
Our Family’s Woolacombe Guidebook

Things to Do

Walk to the stables from our front door. Visitors can ride over 200 acres of countryside as well as additional rides across the sand dunes at Woolacombe and over the 3 mile long stretch of golden sandy beach.
Woolacombe riding stables
Walk to the stables from our front door. Visitors can ride over 200 acres of countryside as well as additional rides across the sand dunes at Woolacombe and over the 3 mile long stretch of golden sandy beach.
Surf or SUP Main Beach. Take surf lessons and then hire a board and wetsuit from Hunter. They are located at the foot of the beach near the stream. Ideal location so you wont have to carry your board to far, and good friendly instructors. SUP is stand up paddle boarding which is great on those flat days. Remember always watch the tides, look out for the safety flags and speak to the on duty lifeguards if your not sure about the water or just for general advice on safety.
Hunter Surf School
Surf or SUP Main Beach. Take surf lessons and then hire a board and wetsuit from Hunter. They are located at the foot of the beach near the stream. Ideal location so you wont have to carry your board to far, and good friendly instructors. SUP is stand up paddle boarding which is great on those flat days. Remember always watch the tides, look out for the safety flags and speak to the on duty lifeguards if your not sure about the water or just for general advice on safety.
Hire a bike and explore the Tarka cycle tracks from Braunton. The Tarka line forms part of the closed railway line that linked Mortehoe with Barnstaple and beyond. Other bike hire from Barnstaple or Bideford. Braunton to Barnstaple via Heanton court. Or if your fit carry on past Barnstaple to Fremington Quay or maybe even Instow. All are nice to stop for lunch or lite refreshments. Braunton to crow point and maybe on to Saunton is also a nice bike ride. Make sure you call ahead and book your bike rather than just turn up.
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Otter Cycle Hire
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Hire a bike and explore the Tarka cycle tracks from Braunton. The Tarka line forms part of the closed railway line that linked Mortehoe with Barnstaple and beyond. Other bike hire from Barnstaple or Bideford. Braunton to Barnstaple via Heanton court. Or if your fit carry on past Barnstaple to Fremington Quay or maybe even Instow. All are nice to stop for lunch or lite refreshments. Braunton to crow point and maybe on to Saunton is also a nice bike ride. Make sure you call ahead and book your bike rather than just turn up.
The Alchemist Spa is part of the Bay Hotel. Pre Covid they excepted non residents. Hopefully they do the same this year. Phone ahead to check availability and what’s on offer. https://www.woolacombe-bay-hotel.co.uk/spa-in-north-devon/the-alchemist-spa
Woolacombe Bay Hotel
The Alchemist Spa is part of the Bay Hotel. Pre Covid they excepted non residents. Hopefully they do the same this year. Phone ahead to check availability and what’s on offer. https://www.woolacombe-bay-hotel.co.uk/spa-in-north-devon/the-alchemist-spa
UK Park Run Saturday mornings starting at 09:00 from Marine Drive carpark just past the port hole cafe. Walk to the start line and run woolacombe sand dunes and back along the beach. See the park run website for more details. You need to be registered to do the park run. https://www.parkrun.org.uk/woolacombedunes/
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Woolacombe Beach
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UK Park Run Saturday mornings starting at 09:00 from Marine Drive carpark just past the port hole cafe. Walk to the start line and run woolacombe sand dunes and back along the beach. See the park run website for more details. You need to be registered to do the park run. https://www.parkrun.org.uk/woolacombedunes/
Hire a beach hut which comes with two deckchairs, two patio chairs, a table and a windbreak. Perfect for all day use and to setup a portable BBQ, or grab a takeaway early evening, have a beer and watch the sun set across the bay. Very special. We prefer the beach huts away from the stream towards mill rock, as they are quieter, but they are further away from the public toilets and beach cafe. They are not cheap however, and evenings are generally empty so you can still take a drink and sit in front of one and enjoy the elevated position and views. BEACH HUT ENQUIRIES From September to May call 01271 870234. During June, July and August call 01271 871260.
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Woolacombe Beach
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Hire a beach hut which comes with two deckchairs, two patio chairs, a table and a windbreak. Perfect for all day use and to setup a portable BBQ, or grab a takeaway early evening, have a beer and watch the sun set across the bay. Very special. We prefer the beach huts away from the stream towards mill rock, as they are quieter, but they are further away from the public toilets and beach cafe. They are not cheap however, and evenings are generally empty so you can still take a drink and sit in front of one and enjoy the elevated position and views. BEACH HUT ENQUIRIES From September to May call 01271 870234. During June, July and August call 01271 871260.
If you’re not quite confident enough to hit the open sea, the Golden Coast Holiday Park has a surf simulator where you can have a taste of why we live in this part of the world. Well worth a visit as great fun. They also have many other non resident activities to check out. Call to book before you leave as residents get priority, and there could be additional Covid restrictions in place. Telephone: 01271 872350 Email: goodtimes@woolacombe.com
Golden Coast Holiday Park
If you’re not quite confident enough to hit the open sea, the Golden Coast Holiday Park has a surf simulator where you can have a taste of why we live in this part of the world. Well worth a visit as great fun. They also have many other non resident activities to check out. Call to book before you leave as residents get priority, and there could be additional Covid restrictions in place. Telephone: 01271 872350 Email: goodtimes@woolacombe.com
Whatever the weather give this a go! The instructors at H2 Outdoors will find you something fun to do. Coasteering or Kayaking are fun. They provide everything you need. Just phone the to book and then turn up. You’ll have a great time. Email: info@h2outdoor.co.uk Telephone: 07789 807 424
H2Outdoor
Whatever the weather give this a go! The instructors at H2 Outdoors will find you something fun to do. Coasteering or Kayaking are fun. They provide everything you need. Just phone the to book and then turn up. You’ll have a great time. Email: info@h2outdoor.co.uk Telephone: 07789 807 424
If you get a chance book a day trip to Lundy island. Boat from Ilfracombe or Bideford, or helicopter from bideford and boat back for something a bit different. Stunning and unique island which is one of only three UK biospheres. Take a wetsuit and snorkel the bay, walk up to the pub for lunch, or just take a picnic and explore. https://www.landmarktrust.org.uk/lundyisland/day-trips/
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Lundy
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If you get a chance book a day trip to Lundy island. Boat from Ilfracombe or Bideford, or helicopter from bideford and boat back for something a bit different. Stunning and unique island which is one of only three UK biospheres. Take a wetsuit and snorkel the bay, walk up to the pub for lunch, or just take a picnic and explore. https://www.landmarktrust.org.uk/lundyisland/day-trips/
As well as being a haven for foodies, the town is home to a host of attractions including Damien Hirst’s sculpture, Verity. The unique Victorian Tunnel Beaches are also worth a visit.
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Ilfracombe Harbour
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As well as being a haven for foodies, the town is home to a host of attractions including Damien Hirst’s sculpture, Verity. The unique Victorian Tunnel Beaches are also worth a visit.
Ilfracombe Sea Safari is a fantastic way to see the wildlife and vast expanse of beautiful coastline that North Devon has to offer. They offer tailor made and schedules rib experiences from a stunning 1 hour coastal cruise to a 4 hour voyage to the unique Island of Lundy where you get to encounter the 200 resident grey seals. www.ilfracombeseasafari.co.uk Sea Safari run three Humber Ribs "Lundy Explorer", and two brand new 11 metre Ribs "Pioneer" and “Voyager”. They are safe, stable boats with padded seats. My nephew works on one of the boats.
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Ilfracombe SeaSafari
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Ilfracombe Sea Safari is a fantastic way to see the wildlife and vast expanse of beautiful coastline that North Devon has to offer. They offer tailor made and schedules rib experiences from a stunning 1 hour coastal cruise to a 4 hour voyage to the unique Island of Lundy where you get to encounter the 200 resident grey seals. www.ilfracombeseasafari.co.uk Sea Safari run three Humber Ribs "Lundy Explorer", and two brand new 11 metre Ribs "Pioneer" and “Voyager”. They are safe, stable boats with padded seats. My nephew works on one of the boats.
Looking for something a bit different to do? Why not try a Lundy Island Trip which includes diving, or snorkelling with the seals! The trip is a full day out at Lundy Island with the morning spent in the water and the afternoon spent ashore to explore the Island. https://www.visitilfracombe.co.uk/item/bristol-channel-charters-ltd/ Boat Fishing. We offer fishing trips from 2 hours to 10 hours! Sail aboard our large modern catamaran “Wild Frontier 2” for some of the best fishing in the South West. Rods bait and tackle are included in the price as is tuition for novice anglers. Diving. Come with us to dive Lundy Island – as seen on ‘Countrywise’ and ‘Britain’s Secret Seas’. Lundy Island has some of the best diving in the country including over 40 dive sites made up of reefs, pinnacles, drop offs and countless wrecks! It is also a marine nature reserve – home to seals, birds and marine life. Swim with the Seals. An Unforgettable Experience! Depart Ilfracombe Harbour for Lundy Island where you will spend the morning swimming with the seals in one of the many coves and bays around the Island’s Marine Nature Reserve. Go ashore and stroll the many coastal paths or grab lunch in the Tavern!
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Lundy
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Looking for something a bit different to do? Why not try a Lundy Island Trip which includes diving, or snorkelling with the seals! The trip is a full day out at Lundy Island with the morning spent in the water and the afternoon spent ashore to explore the Island. https://www.visitilfracombe.co.uk/item/bristol-channel-charters-ltd/ Boat Fishing. We offer fishing trips from 2 hours to 10 hours! Sail aboard our large modern catamaran “Wild Frontier 2” for some of the best fishing in the South West. Rods bait and tackle are included in the price as is tuition for novice anglers. Diving. Come with us to dive Lundy Island – as seen on ‘Countrywise’ and ‘Britain’s Secret Seas’. Lundy Island has some of the best diving in the country including over 40 dive sites made up of reefs, pinnacles, drop offs and countless wrecks! It is also a marine nature reserve – home to seals, birds and marine life. Swim with the Seals. An Unforgettable Experience! Depart Ilfracombe Harbour for Lundy Island where you will spend the morning swimming with the seals in one of the many coves and bays around the Island’s Marine Nature Reserve. Go ashore and stroll the many coastal paths or grab lunch in the Tavern!
Fly like a Bird provides Tandem Air Experience Hang Gliding flights in North Devon. They offer custom packages by using trusted local partners to give you a complete experience of the south west countryside from the air. Nature’s wind produces the thermals and lift that allows you to fly in a zero-carbon emission manner (free-flight)- soaring the sky in exactly the same way as the birds do. Using both coastal and in-land sites, you can experience stunning views of Exmoor National Park and the coastline of North Devon and North Cornwall. Call Sam Jeyes 07875 247 389 to discuss and book your experience
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Woolacombe
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Fly like a Bird provides Tandem Air Experience Hang Gliding flights in North Devon. They offer custom packages by using trusted local partners to give you a complete experience of the south west countryside from the air. Nature’s wind produces the thermals and lift that allows you to fly in a zero-carbon emission manner (free-flight)- soaring the sky in exactly the same way as the birds do. Using both coastal and in-land sites, you can experience stunning views of Exmoor National Park and the coastline of North Devon and North Cornwall. Call Sam Jeyes 07875 247 389 to discuss and book your experience
Tor Moor & Sea adventure hire and tours based at Lee Meadow Farm. They have a range of bikes available from kids bikes to KTM E-bikes, SUPs, surfboards and kayaks. Based just up the road from Lee Bay and 5 mins drive from Woolacombe, but they can deliver to you. Something that really sets Tor Moor & Sea apart is it’s Private Hire Service. They offer Scenic Tours of Exmoor, Dartmoor and throughout the South West in our fully licenced VW 2-8 passenger Transporter. If it's adventure you're after then look no further!
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Lee
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Tor Moor & Sea adventure hire and tours based at Lee Meadow Farm. They have a range of bikes available from kids bikes to KTM E-bikes, SUPs, surfboards and kayaks. Based just up the road from Lee Bay and 5 mins drive from Woolacombe, but they can deliver to you. Something that really sets Tor Moor & Sea apart is it’s Private Hire Service. They offer Scenic Tours of Exmoor, Dartmoor and throughout the South West in our fully licenced VW 2-8 passenger Transporter. If it's adventure you're after then look no further!

Food & Drink Scene

Small cabin serving light meals and sandwiches, cakes, and drinks with a view like no other overlooking Woolacombe beach. Grab a takeaway and walk to Croyde along the coast path. Selection of sandwiches, flatbreads and salads, as well as soups for cooler days, and vegan and veggie options
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The Porthole
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Small cabin serving light meals and sandwiches, cakes, and drinks with a view like no other overlooking Woolacombe beach. Grab a takeaway and walk to Croyde along the coast path. Selection of sandwiches, flatbreads and salads, as well as soups for cooler days, and vegan and veggie options
Short 1 mile walk. Take the scenic route via Combesgate valley for a Lovely cream tea. Maybe return via Mortehoe point, and lookout for the seals. Remember Cream first then Jam on your scone. Apparently it’s not the Devon way but it is the best way!
Town Farm House
Short 1 mile walk. Take the scenic route via Combesgate valley for a Lovely cream tea. Maybe return via Mortehoe point, and lookout for the seals. Remember Cream first then Jam on your scone. Apparently it’s not the Devon way but it is the best way!
One of the best spots for lunch or dinner in the village, uses fresh seasonal produce. Public carpark opposite but we recommend walking to Mortehoe via Combesgate valley. If your having lunch take a walk afterwards towards Rockham beach via Mortehoe lighthouse. Stunning views and lovely part of the south west coast path. If your feeling up for it keep going and head toward Lee Bay. It is a long walk but worth it. You could get a taxi back if you stop at the Grampus for drinks in Lee. No public busses. Small little village with secluded smugglers beach.
Miss Fea's Cafe
One of the best spots for lunch or dinner in the village, uses fresh seasonal produce. Public carpark opposite but we recommend walking to Mortehoe via Combesgate valley. If your having lunch take a walk afterwards towards Rockham beach via Mortehoe lighthouse. Stunning views and lovely part of the south west coast path. If your feeling up for it keep going and head toward Lee Bay. It is a long walk but worth it. You could get a taxi back if you stop at the Grampus for drinks in Lee. No public busses. Small little village with secluded smugglers beach.
A must for breakfast, especially as it’s only at the bottom of the road.
Meraki Coffee Co.
12 South Street
A must for breakfast, especially as it’s only at the bottom of the road.
Best beer garden and only proper pub in the village. Jacks is under new management this season after being closed for a few years. Local couple with a young family have taken over and will be putting their mark on this local favourite. Support them if you can.
Captain Jacks
Best beer garden and only proper pub in the village. Jacks is under new management this season after being closed for a few years. Local couple with a young family have taken over and will be putting their mark on this local favourite. Support them if you can.
The Bay Hotel has a public brasserie with bar area. Lovely spot for early evening cocktails. Quiet bar for relaxed drink in lovely surroundings. Our favourite as it’s at the bottom of the road. Brasserie food is simple and tasty also. If it’s a special occasion ask for a table at Doyles Restaurant. This is the Bay Hotels main restaurant. We have always had a lovely meal here. If your lucky you might get a table in the window. Guest priority here. Hopefully non residents can access the restaurant this year as we exit lockdown. Lovely hotel. This is a hotel restaurant and not be confused with a bar/restaurant eatery. Ideal for a special occasion and not really for an everyday meal, unless you like hotel restaurants.
Woolacombe Bay Hotel
The Bay Hotel has a public brasserie with bar area. Lovely spot for early evening cocktails. Quiet bar for relaxed drink in lovely surroundings. Our favourite as it’s at the bottom of the road. Brasserie food is simple and tasty also. If it’s a special occasion ask for a table at Doyles Restaurant. This is the Bay Hotels main restaurant. We have always had a lovely meal here. If your lucky you might get a table in the window. Guest priority here. Hopefully non residents can access the restaurant this year as we exit lockdown. Lovely hotel. This is a hotel restaurant and not be confused with a bar/restaurant eatery. Ideal for a special occasion and not really for an everyday meal, unless you like hotel restaurants.
Restaurant with an unparalleled view of the bay and outwards to Lundy island. Booking is essential as guests get priority on the good tables. Expensive hotel style dinning but a unique location for a special occasion. Food is really good in the main restaurant, which is different to its brasserie area. Try and get a table with a view and watch the sun set across the bay. This is a hotel restaurant and not be confused with a bar/restaurant style eatery. Ideal for a special occasion and not really an everyday meal unless you like hotel restaurants.
Watersmeet Hotel & Restaurant
Restaurant with an unparalleled view of the bay and outwards to Lundy island. Booking is essential as guests get priority on the good tables. Expensive hotel style dinning but a unique location for a special occasion. Food is really good in the main restaurant, which is different to its brasserie area. Try and get a table with a view and watch the sun set across the bay. This is a hotel restaurant and not be confused with a bar/restaurant style eatery. Ideal for a special occasion and not really an everyday meal unless you like hotel restaurants.
The Beach House is probably the best place to eat in woolacombe considering price and quality of food. They offer lunch and dinner with a menu focusing on using local produce and seafood from quality suppliers. It can get busy so worth booking ahead during the peak holiday season.
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The Beach House Restaurant
3 West Rd
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The Beach House is probably the best place to eat in woolacombe considering price and quality of food. They offer lunch and dinner with a menu focusing on using local produce and seafood from quality suppliers. It can get busy so worth booking ahead during the peak holiday season.

Sightseeing

Take a guided coastal walk with Isobel from £25 per person. She offers weekend walks from Mortehoe, Woolacombe and beyond through AirBnB hosted experiences. https://abnb.me/R0nXBKEMVgb This experience truly captures the essence of the South West Coast Path (SWCP) in a small 6 mile stretch. From farm track to grass and wildflower fields, steep shingle hillsides and rocky coves, it's all here for you to experience. This is a circular walk beginning and ending in the beautiful village of Mortehoe. We'll meet in the public carpark where there’s plenty of paid parking available, toilets and a convenience store to buy snacks and drinks. I will guide you through stunning landscape, highlight the seasonal flora and explain the history that surrounds this section of the path. By the end of the experience you will be exhausted but it will have been totally worth it! You will have experienced a truly spectacular part of North Devon, and hopefully learned a bit about the area in the process. With my guidance you will gain a good idea of what to expect when walking any stretch of the SWCP in the future, and hopefully you'll have some Instagram worthy snaps to boot!
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Mortehoe
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Take a guided coastal walk with Isobel from £25 per person. She offers weekend walks from Mortehoe, Woolacombe and beyond through AirBnB hosted experiences. https://abnb.me/R0nXBKEMVgb This experience truly captures the essence of the South West Coast Path (SWCP) in a small 6 mile stretch. From farm track to grass and wildflower fields, steep shingle hillsides and rocky coves, it's all here for you to experience. This is a circular walk beginning and ending in the beautiful village of Mortehoe. We'll meet in the public carpark where there’s plenty of paid parking available, toilets and a convenience store to buy snacks and drinks. I will guide you through stunning landscape, highlight the seasonal flora and explain the history that surrounds this section of the path. By the end of the experience you will be exhausted but it will have been totally worth it! You will have experienced a truly spectacular part of North Devon, and hopefully learned a bit about the area in the process. With my guidance you will gain a good idea of what to expect when walking any stretch of the SWCP in the future, and hopefully you'll have some Instagram worthy snaps to boot!