How to plan for the perfect beach day | Woolacombe Bay

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How to prepare for the perfect beach day in Devon?

Ready to spend the day with the family on the golden sands of Woolacombe Bay? Not sure what you need to pack and prepare for the perfect day of sun, sea and sand…

…continue reading for our perfect beach day tips!

Checklist for a hassle-free beach day

Figure out your route from your holiday stay to the beach

One of the best things about a holiday to Woolacombe Bay is that you are absolutely spoilt for choice when it comes to beaches, in fact it’s thought there are around 40 beaches in and around Woolacombe, not to mention the ones that are a bit further afield in Devon.

So your first step in preparing for a perfect beach day is actually deciding on which beach you want to go to and how you will get there. Are you looking for a secluded bay or a bustling coastline? How about rock pools or just plenty of golden sand? And what about your furry friends - which beaches are dog friendly all year round?

Luckily when you stay at Woolacombe Bay Holiday Park, Twitchen House Holiday Park and Easewell Farm Holiday Park you’re within easy driving distance of a number of beautiful beaches so whatever your preference you can have your perfect beach day in Devon. Once you have picked your beach, decide on the best route from your holiday stay to the beach. 

Watermouth Cove and North Devon and Exmoor coast line
Secluded Watermouth Cove beach

Check car park limitations

After a lovely day at the beach the last thing you’ll want to come back to is a parking ticket on your car. There is plenty of parking in Woolacombe near the beaches but charges do differ throughout the year so make sure you’ve packed enough change, although most car parks now accept contactless payments. If you pay for a certain number of hours, set an alarm on your phone so you don’t don’t forget, just make sure you leave enough time to pack up and walk back to your car.

Aerial view of Woolacombe Sands in North Devon with beach car parks
Beach car parks in Woolacombe

Check the weather forecast

If you’re imagining a “perfect beach day in Devon”, it’s probably not raining. With that being said, one of our top tips for a perfect beach day is planning ahead and checking the weather forecast to make sure you’re not caught out on one of Devon's a wet and windy day. Similarly it’s also good to check the weather forecast to see if it’s going to be exceptionally hot, small children and dogs don’t do well in extreme heat so avoiding these days too will be more enjoyable for everyone.

Two dogs on sandy Woolacombe Beach in Devon
Sand between toes and paws in Woolacombe

Check the tide times

Beaches in North Devon and Cornwall can be long and sandy, but they also have some of the largest tidal ranges in the world. So come at certain times and at high tide you might find the surf is lapping up a lot closer to the shoreline than it did a few days ago. On the other hand, at low tide the beach can be absolutely massive making it quite a walk to reach the ocean edge. It’s why the Woolacombe Bay Holiday Parks team always recommend to check beach safety information, such as tide times and any safety alerts, to ensure a safe and enjoyable visit.

Combesgate beach with stairs access in Woolacombe Bay
Some secluded coves are covered at high tide

Your essential beach packing list

When you’ve got a whole family to organise for a beach day it can get a bit hectic and important things can easily get forgotten, that's why we’ve also included some beach day essentials to help you plan ahead:

UK beach essentials - sun protection:

It goes without saying, top of a packing list for a beach day should be sun protection. This includes a strong SPF, UV protective sunglasses and a sunhat that ideally keeps your ears and neck shaded from sunlight.

UK beach essentials - swimming costumes:

Another beach day essential item to pack, swimming costumes! Whether you’re planning on taking a dip or just relaxing in the sun, packing a swimming costume will allow you to do both.

UK beach essentials - beach towels:

For drying off after a splash around or for simply relaxing on, beach towels are another packing essential for a successful beach day.

UK beach essentials - entertainment:

It’s important to remember to bring fun things to keep the kids entertained and family beach days usually mean one thing - sand castles! So don’t forget buckets and spades but also keep your eye out for other items like a frisbee, a ball, bodyboards and maybe inflatables if you have packing space. Although you want to keep the kids happy, you’re also allowed to have a little ‘me time’ so bring something to keep yourself entertained like a good book. Downloading offline entertainment for the kids and yourself, such as a TV series, film or podcast can also improve the experience by keeping everyone entertained during the drive to the beach or while lounging under the sun. Just remember to keep one eye on the kids! Just remember to keep one eye on the kids!

UK beach essentials - bring a cooler:

If you’re trying to save money then packing a picnic should be on your list of beach day essentials. Make some sandwiches, pack some fruit, crisps and other snacks. Remember to pack lots of water and any other favourites that your family has, storing it all in a cool box is a perfect and transportable way to keep it refreshed and prevent it from warming up in the sun.

UK beach essentials - packing a first aid kit:

Don’t forget to bring a first aid kit to the beach for a day in Devon. Avoid getting caught out with any minor injuries such as cuts, scrapes, or bug bites. Include items like plasters, antiseptic wipes, pain relievers, and antihistamines. No one wants to leave the ebach to find a first aid source be it back at the holiday park or a corner shop.

UK beach essentials - cash, not card:

Not every place in Devon accepts card payments, so make sure you bring cash just in case. Whether it's for an ice cream truck, to pay for the beach car park, or any other unforeseen treats in a independent shop along the way. Don’t get caught offguard only paying with card!

UK beach essentials - using wet bags:

Wet swimming costumes and towels, can ruin your holiday backpack or rucksack by making it soggy. Rather than risk a smelly damp rucksack, bring a wet bag to keep your other belongings safe whilst in your rucksack to stay organised and clean. They are the easiest way to pack up your soggy beach swimming bits at the end of a perfect beach day.

UK beach essentials - bringing a sun shelter:

At Woolacombe Bay Holiday Parks, the team witness a lot of families that visit our Parks for the wonderful beaches that surround it. However, one thing that they regret not bringing is a beach sun shelter.

If you don’t have a sun shelter, then you can make do with a tent or umbrella. Packing a sun tent or umbrella provides a shaded area to escape the sun's harsh rays, a welcome place to find avoid the heat, helping everyone stay cool and comfortable throughout the day.

Beach huts on Woolacombe Sands in North Devon
Beach huts are handy for daily trips

So there you have it, our guide full of the tips for the perfect beach day!

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Woolacombe Bay Twitchen House Easewell Farm
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