Beaches in Woolacombe: for surfing, nature and relaxing!

If you’re looking for beaches in Woolacombe, this list will help you find golden sands near the town, as well as beachy places just a short drive or bus ride away.

There are so many spectacular beaches in North Devon; Woolacombe Sands is probably the most famous, but if you’re on holiday here for a few days, you might want to try out a few different ones! 

Surfing is one of the best things to do in Devon, so I’ve included quite a few places to catch some waves – but there are plenty of beaches for relaxing and enjoying nature too.

Here are the best North Devon beaches in and around Woolacombe! 

Best Woolacombe Beaches

Woolacombe Beach: best surf beach in Woolacombe

View of Woolacombe beach with town in background

Woolacombe Sands is one of the most beautiful places in North Devon. Almost mimicking an Australian beach, the broad sands and crashing waves are ideal for surfing, but specified swimming areas and plenty of lifeguards make it a safe beach for bathers too. 

Nestled in between Baggy Point and Morte Point, Woolacombe is a little slice of its own paradise. It is a very popular beach, but it expands down a two-mile stretch, so you can easily find an isolated spot here. In fact, I’d recommend walking all the way to the end, where there is a lovely rocky area which looks like some of the dramatic secret beaches that you’ll see in hidden coves all over the country! 

It’s an accessible beach too; the beach entrances are all at flat points, and the main area is easy to reach from the car park. 

Woolacombe sands at dusk with Baggy Point in Background

You can catch an epic view of Woolacombe Bay from Baggy Point, which is on the South West Coast Path. I’d also recommend walking around the dramatic Morte Point! Woolacombe is certainly a must-stop on a North Devon road trip itinerary due to its staggering beauty and the amount of things there are to do there.

This beach is very close to Woolacombe village, which has shops, restaurants, and entertainments, as well as plenty of places to stay. Here’s my full guide to Woolacombe. 

Combesgate Beach: adventurous beach in Woolacombe

Combesgate Beach is a quiet spot around 600 metres north of Woolacombe Sands. This isn’t the most accessible beach – you can only get to it by climbing down a steep flight of stairs – but once you’re on the beach, you’ll be able to admire the beautiful sands and rock pools. 

Croyde Beach: one of the best surfing beaches in Woolacombe

Croyde Bay Beach

Croyde Bay is a picturesque cove and one of the most popular surf spots in North Devon, sitting on the edge of the lively village of Croyde. It is a small place, accessible only by steep country roads, but it is very popular with surfers and has a fun hippy vibe. 

Croyde at sunset

There is also a good food and drink scene in Croyde Bay. I recommend Hippy Happy Hoppers, a van that serves up delicious Sri Lankan Curries and other food. 

Putsborough Sands: local beach in Wooalcombe

The award-winning Putsborough Beach is a short walk from Woolacombe, but it also has beautiful golden sand and blue waters. Loved by locals, Putsborough Beach is one of the best beaches in Woolacombe if you like secluded coves and a quieter atmosphere. You can also drive and part at Putsborough Sands. 

Barricane Beach: most beautiful Woolacombe Beach

Sun set and rocks at Woolacombe

Barricane is one of the most beautiful beaches in Woolacombe – it’s the ideal place to catch a sunset, which is one of the best things to do in Woolacombe due to its western-facing location. Barricane Beach is a tiny cove with rock pools and a small sandy area – if you want to spend the day here, I’d recommend arriving early.

There are also some spots around the town where you can look over Barricane Beach and enjoy the epic coastal scenery. 

Grunta Beach: smallest beach in Woolacombe

Grunta Beach is a small cove just a short walk from Woolacombe and near Morte Point. At low tide, there are some beautiful rock pools to enjoy and a small strip of sand. However, at high tide, there isn’t much beach to see! 

There is no lifeguard or facilities here, although it’s near enough to Woolacombe that you’ll be able to walk back there when you get hungry! 

Rockham Beach: beautiful beach near Mortehoe

Beautiful beach near Mortehoe and Morte Point

Rockham Beach, or Mortehoe Beach, is a National Trust-owned Woolacombe beach with beautiful rocks and a good amount of sand at low tide. However, it is currently closed due to a cliff collapse – but it is still worth enjoying from the coast path above.

Rockham Beach is a short walk from Mortehoe and North Morte Farm Campsite and all of the amenities. Woolacombe via Morte Point is around an hour’s walk. 

Beaches near Woolacombe

Lee Bay: beautiful cove near Woolacombe

Lee Beach between Mortehoe and Ilfracombe

Lee Bay is a chilled-out beach halfway between Mortehoe and Ilfracombe. This quiet North Devon spot is one of the most popular beaches near Woolacombe with locals, but not with tourists – so you might have the whole place to yourself! If you explore Lee Bay, do be aware of the tide times, as some parts can get cut off.

See my full list of things to do in Ilfracombe here.

Saunton Sands: best surfing beach near Woolacombe

Saunton Sands Beach near Braunton

Saunton Sands is a place of immense natural beauty. With broad shores and epic sand dunes, it’s one of the most underrated surfing beaches near Woolacombe. However, even if you aren’t into surfing, it continues for a whopping three-mile-long stretch – so you’ll definitely find a private spot! Braunton Burrows is also near Saunton Sands – this is the most extensive sand dune system in the UK, so it’s well worth checking out! 

Westward Ho! : most touristy beach near Woolacombe

Westward Ho! Beach in North Devon

When it comes to British beaches, Westward Ho! is a classic – it’s got lots of fish and chip shops, pasty vans (this is Devon, after all!), funfair games and beach huts. This surf beach near Woolacombe is a popular spot for watersports and is one of the busiest beaches in North Devon in school holidays, as it has lots of family-friendly attractions.

I prefer the western end of Westward Ho!, away from the attractions. Here, you can see epic views over Lundy Island, an amazing island with its own delightful beaches! You can take a trip to Lundy Island from Ilfracombe – click here for more information.

The best Woolacombe beaches

There are countless sandy beaches in and around Woolacombe, ideal for sunbathing, surfing and enjoying British seaside culture.

Whether you’re after a secluded beach, a walk along the coastal path with stunning views, or a dog-friendly beach, we guarantee that you’ll find plenty of beaches in Woolacombe!

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