There’s nothing us Brits love more than a good old-fashioned day beside the seaside - so when it comes to beaches, we’re notoriously discerning. That’s why it’s such a high honour for Devon's very own Woolacombe Beach to be named as the very best in Britain.
This number one ranking comes from travel site TripAdvisor, which collated information on beaches from reviews on its website. In the end, the runaway winner was Woolacombe, thanks to its seemingly endless stretch of gorgeous, golden sand. With beaches not only in the UK but also across Europe as a whole being included in this research, Woolacombe came out fourth in total - placing highest out of all beaches in Britain.
When you think about all of the picturesque and action-packed beach holiday destinations this continent has to offer, this is truly a feat indeed for the Devonshire hotspot. In previous years, Swansea's Rhossili Beach took the top spot, but has now dropped to third place out of all those in Britain.
This incredibly stiff competition shows one thing’s for certain: we’re absolutely spoilt for choice when it comes to beaches in this country - making holidaying at home all the more tempting. To quote James Kay, spokesman for TripAdvisor: "The presence of two UK beaches in Europe’s top 10 is further proof of what a fantastic tourist draw the UK’s coastline really is."
Video courtesy of SOSCreative
If you’re contemplating a holiday on your home turf and agree that you just can’t beat a beachside break, Woolacombe could be the vacation destination you’re looking for - so today, we’re taking a look at just a few of the many reasons Woolacombe Beach has more than earned the title bestowed on it by TripAdvisor.
Where is Woolacombe Beach?
Woolacombe Beach can be found between Morte Point and Baggy Point in North Devon, near Ilfracombe, and is three miles in length - offering opportunities galore for swimming, sandcastle-building and relaxing. The beach is also located within the North Devon Coast Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB), due to its vast, unspoilt loveliness - and faces the Atlantic Ocean, not far from the western limit of the Bristol Channel.
Activities at Woolacombe Beach
If you’re a beach lover in it for more than just building sandcastles and bathing in the sun, Woolacombe Beach also boasts great surf - with fans of the sport travelling from far and wide to take advantage of the superior surfing opportunities to be found on this Devonshire shore.
Families will also love spending the day at this sensational seaside, as the cleanliness of the beach, water quality and facilities makes this a perfect vacation spot for families, who can holiday safe in the knowledge that they’ll be well catered to. Better yet, lifeguards can also be found on duty during the Easter and October school holidays, as well as throughout the summer months, to provide complete peace of mind to any families from near or far using sunny days off for beach adventures.
Woolacombe's waters are split into zones, so that swimmers, surfers and canoeists can enjoy their activities without interference from speedboats and jet skis. Equipment, including surfboards and canoes, can be easily and affordably hired at the beach - which can provide hours of family fun if the kids (or even the parents) decide they’d like to learn some exciting new skills.
Local food and drink
Naturally, if you take a trip to Woolacombe Beach, you’ll find yourself becoming hungry at some point during your outing. Luckily for you, the village of the same name is just a stone’s throw away to the north, and is home to a range of pubs, cafés and restaurants serving scrumptious local grub, making it an absolute breeze to rest, refuel and indulge in some authentic Woolacombe cuisine.
Some of our favourites include Barricane Beach Café - located right on the beach itself and offering incredible sunset views in the evening - as well as industrial chic pub The Jube, and The Boardwalk Bar & Restaurant, located on Woolacombe’s esplanade.
Video courtesy of Christopher Craig
Nearby landmarks and attractions
During your time in Woolacombe, you may choose to explore the area in search of historic landmarks and tourist attractions - and you’ll be pleased to know this seaside resort has plenty of both. Here are a handful of our favourites:
- Ilfracombe Mystery Treasure Trail: The seaside resort of Ilfracombe is right on Woolacombe’s doorstep, and is home to this self-guided mystery trail - giving families a fun, outdoor opportunity to unravel riddles together while they explore the stunning local scenery
- Croyde Deckchair Cinema: Serving delicious homemade popcorn in a cosy and delightfully quirky setting, this deckchair cinema brings all the charm of the beach indoors - with screenings of all the latest and greatest family-friendly releases
- Mortehoe Museum: Ideally situated within Devon’s AONB, this museum is housed in a Grade II listed barn, packed with maritime history from the local area and endless information on North Devon’s wildlife, tourism, agriculture and even historical shipwrecks!
Woolacombe and other worthy beaches
While this TripAdvisor award may be the most recent accolade that Woolacombe Beach has earned, it’s by no means the only one! This beach also boasts the England for Excellence Gold Award for Best Family Resort, and was also deservingly declared the Best British Beach in the Mail On Sunday.
Several other beaches in Devon also featured in TripAdvisor’s longlist, within the top 25 in the UK, making them well worth a visit. These beautiful beaches include Saunton Sands in Braunton (which placed 17th) and Bigbury-on-Sea (placing 21st).
If you can’t wait to spend some time sunbathing, swimming and surfing at Britain’s best beach, now’s the time to make the trip to Woolacombe. Offering the ideal day trip for families holidaying in the area, we’ve got a range of holiday parks in Devon - making it easy to embark on a sunny seaside interlude at this international hotspot.