Last year, we visited the Woolacombe area in North Devon, a totally stunning area of the country with beautiful, clean, sandy beaches. We stayed at the Woolacombe Bay Holiday Parks resorts. There are four parks in total, all within the Woolacombe area and linked closely by a complimentary bus service. We were based at the Golden Coast park, however you can use the facilities at all of the parks if you wish.
I have to say, I’m not usually a huge fan of the entertainment they have at these parks or as my husband calls it, the “organised fun”. It’s not really up our street but I can see the appeal it has for children and families, which is of course why we went there in the first place. There’s lots to do, very affordable and children do not get bored! As it was our first ‘proper’ seaside holiday as a family, we thought that having lots of family activities onsite would be helpful, especially if the weather was poor. Max was only about 10 months old so we didn’t want to be limited or isolated, after all this was our first holiday and we didn’t know how he would be. This park really did have it all; a high ropes course, pools, ten pin bowling and wave-surfing amongst a few.
My husband will tell you that I worry about everything, I like to think of it more as being well prepared and organised, however, it would be fair to say that THIS time, I had a few ‘worries’ around this holiday. My main ‘worry’ being the car journey!
It was going to take 4 hours, not including the stops! And…
What if there was traffic? What if Max wanted to get out his seat or if he cried the whole time? (He wasn’t a massive fan of the car seat anyway) If I’m honest, I was a little worried about many aspects of the trip, the only thing I wasn’t worried about was whether it affected his sleep routine as he doesn’t sleep anyway!
We decided to travel at around 3am so that the roads were quiet, it was still dark and Max would still be tired. It was a huge success! The only down side is that the first day was tiring and long, especially with a baby. (Well for my husband anyway, I slept most of the way! Only kidding!)
Top places to visits in North Devon:
- Woolacombe beach was stunning and I would definitely recommend it. We also went for an idyllic stroll along the warm, golden sands. At least it would have been idyllic if the heavens had not opened just as we got half way down the beach, we had to shelter under a chip van canopy! However it all adds to the memories and it is funny, was funny, even at the time! Also, pop into The Beachcomer Cafe which allows you to sit, relax, eat, drink and admire the extraordinary view.
- Clovelly. Wow is all I can say! We stumbled across it really and nearly didn’t bother, but it is truly stunning. A beautiful, pristine village on a very steep, cobbled street. No cars are allowed so you do have to walk which is hard going, especially with a baby and a pushchair but I would do it again in a heartbeat.
- Ilfracombe is a short drive along the coast from Woolacombe and is more of a built up town. There is a harbour, coastal walk, lovely cafes and restaurants, plenty of ice cream shops where the list of Mr Whippy flavours is endless! There are also lovely little bays like Hele Bay to explore, that on a sunny day make you feel like you are in the Mediterranean. Click here to see all the attractions in the area.
- Explore the coast – We drove from Clovelly back to Woolacoombe, passing through Westward Ho!, Saunton Sands and Croyde which are all beautiful places to stop and visit. If you keep driving past Woolacombe and Ilfracombe, you will get to Combe Martin which is another picturesque village which is definitely worth a look, very pretty. Continue your drive along the coast and you will get to Lynton and Lynmouth and you must stop! They are unique sister villages, Lynton stands above Lynmouth on the cliff top while Lynmouth is nestled by the sea. Both are linked by the cliff railway.
I hope you found this mini guide useful, have a great trip!