Discover Woolacombe Village | Woolacombe Bay Holiday Parks


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Discover Woolacombe village

Woolacombe is a seaside resort and perfect family holiday destination in England, located on the North Devon coastline and famous for its long sandy beach facing the Atlantic Ocean.

We often get asked if Woolacombe is a town. In fact, it is a small coastal village, the centre of which is situated at the Northern end of Woolacombe Beach, with plenty of things to see and do for people of all ages - pubs, cafes, restaurants, an amusement arcade, cinema, horse riding, and a lot more.

If you have holidays in Devon planned, scroll down for our to-do list in Woolacombe village. We start with a very brief history of Woolacombe as a resort to give you a better picture of what you are visiting.

The history of Woolacombe village

Surrounded by other lovely North Devon towns and villages, the Victorian/Edwardian village of Woolacombe with its villa-style town houses, designed to be a home for a single family and built at distance from other properties, was first named as “Wolnecoma”, meaning “Wolves Valley”.

The development of Woolacombe as a coastal resort started in the late 19th century and by 1919 the town had services like banks, a post office, accommodation for tourists, and more, with Woolacombe Bay Hotel becoming one of the most significant buildings in the village.

The Royal Air Force used Woolacombe Bay to practice shooting set targets, and American soldiers used the beach to learn the art of assault tactics on land and water, and later used that skill on the Normandy beaches on D-Day, 6th June 1944.

Despite the frequent explosions, the village was lucky to avoid any damage - there was only one bombing on 15th August 1940 by Germans, and Woolacombe was considered one of the safest places in the county.

Two people carrying surf boards on Woolacombe beach in Devon
Woolacombe now is best know for its amazing beach and surfing conditions

Explore local Devon towns

There are plenty of things to do in Woolacombe and the local towns for adults and children visiting the area for a Summer beachside holiday. Tourists come back year after year for its laid-back atmosphere and friendly people.

Here’s our list of things to do in Woolacombe village:

Enjoy local food

The majority of the cafes, restaurants, and pubs are located right in the heart of the village around West Road, South Street, and Mill Lane.

Put The Red Barn on your must-experience list - it is a surf bar and restaurant and is number one with locals and tourists. It overlooks the sea and has live music.

Pay a visit to the Beach House Restaurant or The Captain's Table if you love seafood or Noel Corston for modern British cuisine; Fudgies Bakehouse is great for their homemade pastries, milkshakes, smoothies, and ice cream. And visit Meraki Coffee Co for a family brunch and a locally sourced coffee. They are a dog-friendly cafe!

Check out the surf, apparel, and souvenir shops

Have a few hours to spare? Explore the surf shops, sporting goods store, gift shop, clothing stores, supermarket, beach entertainment shop, and even pet store in Woolacombe town, all within walking distance from one another. If you're planning to ride the waves then make sure you read our Woolacombe surfing holidays guide first.

Go to the cinema

Discover one of the three little cinemas in the village: Neo cinema, providing a private cinema experience (sofas for two and G&T instead of soft drink, anyone?), or Woolacombe Bay Holiday Park and Twitchen House Holiday Park cinemas each with its comfy seating and latest releases.

Play crazy golf in Funder Island

Funder Island is a family amusement park and is suitable for all ages. It has pirate-themed mini golf, go karts on a small round track, bumper boats, quad bikes, and remote-controlled boats. The entrance is free but you will need to use tokens to pay for each attraction separately. You can also grab a hot drink or a refreshment, as well as ice cream sundaes, waffles, or cold slushies.

Keep your kids entertained at Sunspot Amusements

This fantastic little amusement arcade has a wide variety of games to play,  many of them costing only 2p per game. If you have kids, this is an ideal way to keep them busy. Why not embrace your inner child, either? Have fun and enjoy the precious moments with your children or other half.

Go skateboarding

If you have spare time and you are a fan of extreme sports, check out the Woolacombe Miniramp. This is a wooden ramp designed solely for skateboards. If you have never done skateboarding before, chances are you will like it and be good at it if you know how to surf. Good luck!

Visit the Church of St Sabinus

St Sabinus Church welcomes anyone for a cup of coffee and a chat every Wednesday from 10am to 12noon. Regular services are at 10am on Sundays for the Parish Eucharist and at 12noon on Wednesdays for Mid-week Eucharist. It is located on Beach Road, the main road leading into the village.

Interesting fact: St Sabinus Church is designed to resist winter storms from the Atlantic.

Have a family day out horse riding

Book a lesson with a qualified instructor for your little ones (4+) in the equestrian centre, Woolacombe Riding Stables. In addition to the proper lunging and outdoor arenas, you could go and ride in open fields, valleys, hills, dunes, and Woolacombe beach.

Two people horse riding on Woolacombe Sands beach by the edge of the Atlantic Ocean in Devon
Horse riding on Woolacombe beach

When on holiday visiting Woolacombe, you will soon realise there are plenty of things to do, in fact your biggest problem will be fitting it all in!

Stay at one of our three Woolacombe holiday parks for family-friendly accommodation with views of the sea.

Find us at:

Woolacombe Bay Twitchen House Easewell Farm
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