North Devon Coast

National Landscape

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Woolacombe Beach

The beach at Woolacombe is unquestionably spectacular, and often appears in the lists of Britain’s best beaches. It’s backed by Marine Drive, which makes the beach easily accessible no matter where you join it. The beach is blue flag rated, so you can be sure the water’s clean, the beach is tidy and there are all the facilities you need for family fun. Whilst now a mecca for sun and surf-seekers, the beach also has a more serious past as a key WWII training ground for American troops.

Landscape and nature

A stunning beach with the rock outcrops of Mill Rock and Black Rock together with the Woolacombe sand-dune system providing geological and wildlife interest.

Views from Potters Hill above Woolacombe Down show off the area’s landscape to the full.


The Woolacombe Golf Links ran along the back of Woolcombe Beach, below Marine Drive and was in use between the two wars. It was an 18 hole course of 4,248 yards,  with a Par of 70. Woolacombe Professional Mr A E Smith made history in 1936, when he carded the lowest recorded score on an 18 hole course, his 55 being 15 under Par.

During the Second World War the course was used for extensive military training. Subsequent erosion of the dunes by the sea has meant that the course is now lost.   The beach was a highly significant training ground for the D-Day landing.


 A base for walkers to explore the area, or for beach-side fun and recreation. You spot surfers enjoying this beach break all along the golden sands, and paragliders launch toward the skies at Marine Drive.

Surfing links

Magic Seaweed
Surf South West


 There are toilet facilities at the beach entrances and at Marine Drive.

AONB Marathon & Half Marathon

The North Devon Coast AONB Marathon and Half Marathon is held annually and has quickly established itself as one of the most challenging and visually stunning events in the UK.

Woolacombe Tourist Information Centre
Beach Information
Weather & Tides