Explore the Coast & "Country" Side of Bideford Bay
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Woolacombe Beach Huts photo copyright Pat Adams  
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Woolacombe Bay is the next stop on the North Devon Gold Coast tour and it's a quick route from Croyde via an up hill winding road cutting through the village of Georgeham. Watch out for the sign for the Rock Inn, Henry Williamson's watering hole when he lived here in the 1920s. He used to zip along the quiet narrow lanes of North Devon on a noisy old Norton Motorcycle. Continue along the Georgeham Road till you reach the B3343 which takes you back down to Woolacombe past the site of old railway station. There is pub called The Mill tucked away at Ossaborough on the way down. Compared to Croyde and other North Devon Villages, Woolacombe seems huge with many large stylish buildings stacked neatly down the hillside towards the shore; this area was once farmland and is overlooked by the original village of Mortehoe perched high up on the coast. Many of the old hotels down Beach Road have been converted to holiday apartments and there is a choice of accommodation including caravan and camping, bed and breakfast, hotels. self-catering lodges, apartments and luxury caravans. The imposing Victorian building on the Esplanade is the Woolacombe Bay Hotel which enjoys unbroken panoramic views of the beach, is open all year round and has a wealth of excellent facilities including a Brasserie & Health Spa. This is a lively resort packed full of pubs, eateries, bars, surf and beach shops, cafes and art galleries. Woolacombe is famous for its safe family beach, surfing, surf-life saving events, the Goldcoast Ocean Festival and its annual National Sandcastle Building Competition. There is also a local horse riding stables, two surf schools and Devon's only paragliding school. Woolacombe & Mortehoe Golf Club is close by. The award winning beach is three miles long and stretches out between two National Trust promontories, Baggy Point and Morte Point. There is ample parking on the Esplanade, at Sandy Burrows or on Marine Drive which snakes along above the beach and Woolacombe Warren below the South West Coast Path and the Tarka Trail high above. You can park all the way along here walk down to the beach or make your way up to join the Southwest Coast Path or continue on foot to Putsborough Sands. Read the signs before parking as the car parks are locked up at certain times, overnight stays are prohibited. Marine Drive, for example is locked up at 10.00pm and penalties may be incurred if you are locked in. There are some fantastic family theme parks and activities for children in the region so call in at Tourist Information Centre on the Esplanade to find out what's on.
Useful Links: Mortehoe Museum - Woolacombe Tourist Information Centre - *In March 2022 North Devon was formally announced as the 12th World Surfing Reserve alongside iconic surfing locations around the world North Devon Surf Reserve. - The Museum of British Surfing, Braunton





Walking down to Woolacombe photo copyright Pat Adams
Woolacombe Sandy Burrows photo copyright Brett D. Adams
Cricket on Woolacombe beach phto copyright Pat Adams
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