Woolacombe Beach

Award-winning Woolacombe Beach is widely recognised as one of the best beaches in the UK. Located on Devon’s north coast, between Croyde and Ilfracombe, the 3-mile sandy beach is popular with surfers and families looking for a traditional seaside experience.

Since 1848, the beach has been in the private ownership of Parkin Estates (3rd generation) who continue to manage and invest in the resort. Previously it was owned by the Chichester family for over 800 years.

Woolacombe beach has excellent services including daily cleaning and beach hut rentals. Lifeguards operate on the beach which is popular for kayaking, walking, swimming and kitesurfing as well as surfing. The village of Woolacombe lies at the northern end of the beach, and has plenty of seaside shops, cafes, restaurants and B&B’s.

Overlooked by the South West Coast Path and edged with sand dunes, Woolacombe Beach has superb views to Lundy Island in the Bristol Channel.

During WW2, the beach was used to train the US Army in amphibious landings as part of the Normandy Landings. There is a stone memorial to the soldiers on the grassy headland at the north end of this golden sandy bay.

Type of beach


Lifeguard service


Dogs friendly beach?

Dogs banned from a zoned area of the beach May - October. Dogs allowed in adjacent areas if kept on a lead.

Devon dog friendly beaches »


  • Kayaking/canoeing
  • Jet-skiing
  • Sailing
  • Swimming/bathing
  • Surfing
  • Wind surfing


  • Pub nearby

Nearest town



EX34 7DN

OS grid ref.

SS 4561 4370


Three large car parks with space for 3000 cars including disabled parking.

Water quality

Water quality star rating


Marine Conservation Society Recommended

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Woolacombe Beach Reviews

Outstanding beach

Paul Harrison
Apr 28th 2020

Always clean, great waves, great for family fun, great location and town, outstanding clear water

Aug 06th 2022

amazing beach best in the uk

May 16th 2022

Wonderful all the year round- for summer beach holidays Andy bracing winter walks

Jul 22nd 2021

Beautiful, clean, shallow for ages, perfect for swimming and playing. A perfect beach!


Dawn Daniel
Jun 30th 2021

Beautiful beach, my dog absolutely loved it ❤️

May 20th 2021

Outstanding, beautiful beach

Big and beautiful

Jul 16th 2020

Magic long sandy beach. Often with great waves

What did we get wrong?