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Happy Holiday Memories
Woolacombe in General
Member Name: yummy87
Woolacombe in General
Date: 19/08/03, updated on 26/08/03 (2657 review reads)
Advantages: Gorgeous sandy beaches, Watersports, Board Sports
Woolacombe is a seaside paradise in North Devon. It can be reached by leaving the M5 at junction 27, then following the A361 towards Ilfracombe. Pass through Braunton and then turn left at the Mullacott Cross to Woolacombe.
I have visited Woolacombe many times in the past thirty years and have recently spent another enjoyable holiday there. The seaside, although a haven for water sports and surfing, is still a relatively quiet location, and is not overly commercialised. There are two shops on the main entrance to the beach, one a normal gift shop, selling a range of flip flops, beach equipment and clothing, and the other selling food and drink.
Woolacombe is without doubt, the cleanest and most wonderful beach I have ever had the pleasure to sit on. The beach has won numerous awards, including the England for Excellence Gold Award and the Best British Beach for its cleanliness and golden sands, and facilities, and is a haven for surfers all year round, because of the waves rolling in from the Atlantic. The sands at Woolacombe stretch for an amazing three miles and there are lifeguards on duty throughout the summer months. There are of course flags on the beach, signifying the safest place to bathe.
Barricane Beach, which can be accessed by walking across the main beach at low tide, is a site of special scientific interest because of the tons of seashells in an amazing myriad of colours, which are washed onto the beach from the Caribbean. The rock pools along the beach are fantastic and are deep enough to swim in, although it was too cold when we visited. The sea life in these pools is amazing and my children spent hours with their nets, catching the crabs in the pools. We also spotted some massive jellyfish, which had been washed in with the tide onto the beach.
There are restrictions for walking dogs on the beaches and these are all clearly displayed at the entrances to the beaches.
The beach is run by Parkin Estates, wh
o are continually cleaning the area, even removing the seaweed from the sands
after high tide. There are two vans that sit on the main beach, which sell hot dogs, burgers, chips etc during the day, that are also run by Parkin Estates. The company cannot be praised enough for the work they do on the beach, and I have never visited it, and found rubbish or any debris along the sands.
There is an annual sandcastle competition held each year on the beach and this event draws people from miles around.
There are two main car parks near to the beach, Sandy Burrows and The Esplanade. These both cost £3.50 for the day, although Sandy Burrows closes at 6pm. The Esplanade is open later and after 5pm only costs £1 to park. However, there is also another car park further up, Marine Drive, which will give access to the quieter parts of the beach and the dunes. The dunes provide a wonderful play area for children and also are a great windbreak when sunbathing on the sands.
There are many gift shops in the village, and also many surf shops. Hunter is the main shop for the surfers and board sports, and stocks a wide variety of surfing gear and clothing, such as Billabong, Vans, O?Neill and Etnies, amongst others. Jack seemed to spend half his holiday and most of his money in this shop! There are also shops from which surfing and boarding equipment can be hired.
Woolacombe beach, as well as being a haven for surfers, also attracts kite boarders and wind surfers and in the early evenings there are many of these in the shallow waters and on the sands. My children were fascinated and spent hours watching the boards hurtling up and down the vast expanse of golden sand.
Beach huts are available on the main beach for hire for £55 per week. Each hut has 4 chairs, a windbreak and table, and can be hired from Parkin Estates on 01271 870234. Bookings can only be made on a weekly basis.
As far as holiday accommodation goes in Woolacombe, the
choice is massive. We stayed on one of the holiday parks in the village, but there
are also many hotels to choose from.
There is also a nightclub in Woolacombe, quite a surprise for a small village but I suppose this caters for the surfers, who travel to Woolacombe from all over the country. There are also many shops selling ice creams, cream teas and the like, as well as a wonderful fish and chip shop, which we visited on oe occasion during our latest holiday.
Morte Point, the next village on, can be reached by following the coastal path from Woolacombe and the views from here are spectacular, and it is possible to see seals and dolphins from this point. Although we did not see any this time, I have seen seals on previous visits.
There is a surf school in Woolacombe called Surfseekers who run courses for novice surfers and also intermediates. The boards and wetsuits are provided. The school offer discounts for works outings, organisations and birthday parties and all instructors hold a Level 2 BSA certificate. What a novel idea. We actually saw lessons taking place while we were on the beach. The School can be contacted on 07977 924 588, by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org or they have a website at www.northdevon.co.uk/surfseekers.
For details on hotels, guest houses, places of interest etc, please contact Woolacombe Tourist Information on 01271 870533. The Tourist Information shop is located near to The Esplanade car park, and has a wide variety of leaflets and information pertaining to Woolacombe and the surrounding area