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Friday 4th September 2020

7 Day Woolacombe Itinerary - Our holiday at Willingcott Valley

North Devon is a picturesque part of the country with no end of top family attractions. We appreciate it so much ourselves that we often take our own holiday in the local area. We've shared our favourite local activities from our own experiences. We hope this will help you plan out our your 7 day itinerary for your holiday in Woolacombe and local area, to get the most from your stay.

The decision to have a UK staycation in Devon was an easy one for the family this year. We have visited Willingcott many times but this year it was the location for our main summer holiday. Kids were excited but if truth were told, they would rather be travelling to the airport for a long-haul holiday.

Day 1 – Woolacombe Beach

We arrived to beautiful weather so thoughts of exotic foreign locations were soon surpassed by the wonderful Woolacombe beach. Being so big it’s easy to social distance. We used Marine Drive car park which allows you to go further along the beach. You walk across sand dunes to reach the beach but it’s worth it. If you need a coffee, cake or some delicious food then we’d recommend stopping at the Porthole Café before your descent. Sand play was then followed by boogie boarding in fantastic waves. There is a second Life Guarded area further along the beach which is also great for peace of mind.

woolacombe beach - holiday itinerary

Day 2 - Ilfracombe

Monday was our only slightly damp day so we went into Ilfracombe for shops and Amusements. We also walked around the harbour and up to Capstone Hill. Ilfracombe is a little quirky and run down in places, but it has fantastic shops, art galleries and food options. Try The Pasty Bakehouse on the harbour, No28 The Cookery is great for cakes and visit the Echo Beach gallery for wonderful local art.

Ilfracombe harbour devon

Day 3 - Rock pooling

Another day at Woolacombe beach followed but this time the tide was out so we played cricket and went rock pooling. To the right of the beach the pools are great to walk through especially if you are happy to get wet feet. Lovely clear water but not much luck this time with crab hunting.

Day 4 - Exmoor Zoo

A visit to Exmoor Zoo was next. A charming little place with enough to see and do despite obvious Covid restrictions. Kids enjoyed keeper talks and seeing animals being fed especially wolves and cheetahs. You must book in advance like most of the top local attractions and family adventure parks in North Devon this year.

exmoor zoo

Day 5 - Coasteering & Surfing

For the next couple of days of Woolacombe holiday itinerary we increased the adrenalin with Coasteering, surfing and kayaking. Coasteering (with Nick Thorn Surf School) basically involves you climbing up rocks and jumping off. Both 10 and 8-year-olds loved it. Dad less sure but once he conquered the first jump, he was a convert. Kids then had surf lesson also with Nick Thorn at Putsborough beach. Both got to their feet in a two-hour session and now want a surf board! Nick Thorn was excellent but there are lots of great surf schools locally.

coasteering with nick thorn in North Devon woolacombe

Day - 6 - Kayaking in Combe Martin

Kayaking was next with OSKC Outdoor Shop and Kayak centre in Combe Martin which is an easy drive from Willingcott. We opted for a guided family tour which was informative and fun. Kids got to visit cave and swim. Parents got to paddle! Croyde bay is equally as beautiful but smaller than Woolacombe and is just down the road from Willingcott.

Croyde is renowned for its excellent surfing conditions but that can mean bigger waves. After visiting the beach, we walked around Baggy Point for amazing all-round views.

kayaking in Combe Martin

Day 7 - Swimming at Lee Bay

On our final day we were blessed with sun shine again and we took locals advice and went to Lee Bay. Parking is a little tight so arrive early or late. At low tide you can walk across smugglers rocks to Sandy Cove. What a find. It’s a sheltered bay with turquoise water great for a swim. As tide came in, we had to walk back up steps (175) and along part of coastal path but it was well worth it.

swimming at lee bay North Devon

Thanks to the charming self-catering cottage we stayed in, we mostly ate in but did visit scrummy Squires fish and chip restaurant in Braunton. You can dine in or click and collect online but book your slot early.

Fantastic family holidays in North Devon

The holiday was fantastic and kids did not miss going abroad at all. Next year they want to do the same. We only just scratched the surface of local activities and attractions so please take a look at our things to do in North Devon guide for the full list. You don’t have to do things fast as there are loads of less action-packed and more relaxing options. North Devon has so much to offer even in these strange times. So, keep your distance, respect locals and their businesses and you to will have a great holiday.

We hope our itinerary for your holiday in Woolacombe has inspired you to explore the area and try new activities. Willingcott is the perfect holiday base. Sadly, swimming pool and clubhouse are closed this season due to Covid restrictions. However, this did not impact on our holiday enjoyment. We love Willingcott but then as the slogan goes, we loved it so much we bought the company.


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