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World Travel Guide > Guides > Europe > United Kingdom > England > Woolacombe beaches, Devon

About Woolacombe beaches, Devon

The north coast of Devon is awash with staggering vistas of wild, craggy coastlines and charming villages. The area is also the place to discover magical coastal paths and rickety seacliff stairs, get your adrenaline kicks and to recharge and indulge with a cream tea. The pretty village of Woolacombe is the perfect base for exploring the area and boasts its own Blue Flag beach.

Beach:

Along Devon’s north coast are some of the West Country’s best beaches: Woolacombe, Saunton Sands and Westward Ho! all offer big skies, flat sands and golden sands as far as the eye can see. Blue Flag Woolacombe is a pristine stretch of gleaming sand, with hut and deckchair hire, and lifeguards on duty in summer.

Beyond the beach:

Enjoy stunning views of the beautiful coastline at Devon’s only paragliding school. Devon Adventures (www.devonadventures.com) is a British Hangliding and Paragliding Association registered school who specialise in providing tandem paragliding flights. So even novices can experience the stunning scenery from a heady height.

Family fun:

Surfing is huge along this part of the coast – there’s the North Devon Surf School (www.northdevonsurfschool.co.uk) at Westward Ho! and Woolacombe has plenty of surf schools of it’s own. You don’t only have to surf though – sailing and windsurfing are other tempting seafaring options.

A good base close to the beaches, is the unfeasibly quaint, privately owned coastal village of Clovelly. It has an admission fee to get in, however, it is inhabited by tenants, so is no mere tourist attraction. Instead it has retained its picturesque 19th-century character, with pebble-lined streets clustered around a pretty little harbour. Charles Kingsley, author of The Water Babies, lived here and you can visit his former home, now the Kingsley Museum.

Exploring further:

Make like the Romantic poets and be inspired in the Heddon Valley. The lush wooded river valley runs down to the sea at Heddon’s Mouth beach and is a great spot for catching sight of rare butterflies and going on long rambles. A great base from which to explore the area is The Hunters Inn (www.thehuntersinn.net), which offers quaint rooms overlooking the valley and good honest pub grub in beautiful surroundings.

Splashing out:

If you are feeling in need of some rest and relaxtion head to the Haven Spa at the Woolacombe Bay Hotel (www.woolacombe-bay-hotel.co.uk), which offers an extensive range of treatments using Elemis products. They have even devised their very own signature massage: the Woolacombe Bay Aroma Massage, which promises to relieve stress, tension and insomnia.