AUTUMN & WINTER
Crisp days & golden sunsets
With miles of soul-stirring coastline and rugged countryside within easy reach, Woolacombe is one of the most beautiful places to visit in Devon and the whole of the South West. You'll find no shortage of magical places to any time of year, but come autumn, the crowds vanish – leaving behind a quiet elemental landscape, alive with seasonal colour, that’s yours for the taking.
Visit the coast in autumn or winter you’ll discover a soul-stirring tapestry of rolling pastures, surf-perfect waves, wild moorland, and deep wooded valleys. Enjoy cosy evenings, golden sunsets and deep slumber in your beachside home.
Discover all the season's best bits...
It's wave season!
North Devon, and particularly Woolacombe, has some of the finest surfing in the UK. Strong westerly swells from the Atlantic Ocean roll in to our long, gently shelving sandy beaches. There's no doubt about it: the best time to surf is autumn. In September and October, the water is still warm, the waves are crisp, and you’ll get some early winter swells all to yourself.
Hit the waves in autumn or winter to avoid the hordes on boards - by the end of the October half-term the crowds have gone, and for a few months of the year, it becomes possible to go surfing with just a few other surfers for company.
When you stay with us it’s possible to walk, board under your arm, to Woolacombe beach to hit the waves or beachside parking is available. This is one of Devon’s best surfing beaches. If you don't like to paddle far to get out to the breaking waves, beach break here is known as "middle beach" - basically it's anywhere left of the stream.
Our top surf spots…
ON YOUR DOORSTEP
One of the UK's most famous beaches is just a board-under-arm stroll from your Beach Retreat! With a very forgiving beach break, Woolacombe is excellent for beginners. Point break is to the right but be careful of rocks.
Take the coast path from Woolacombe or the footpath via Mortehoe, signposted Rockham Bay. There are steep steps down to the sands, but it’s worth the work!
Here on the wild North Devon coast we regularly experience all four seasons in a single day! Come and stay in the winter and you're most likely to get front row seats to catch mother nature at her most wicked. Wrap up warm, head out and watch her raw power unfold.
Or for a more up-close experience with the waves, why not take a trip to Lundy Island? This rocky outcrop has resident seals all year-round, but pups are born between September and November, so autumn is a great time to go. Our friends at Wild Frontier Charters offer a great selection of unforgettable experiences and trips to this wild and craggy seal paradise. There is also a ferry, MS Oldenburg, which usually sails daily until late October (weather permitting).
Watch the waves…
ON YOUR DOORSTEP
Perfect for sunsets, the dunes are just a short stroll from your apartment, so pull on your poncho and get out there! If you're lucky you'll spot the North Devon Red cows that graze the sand dunes - helping to manage the scrub naturally.
FOR THE WALKERS
Once notorious for smugglers and wreckers, this stretch of coastline is now a great place to get away from the crowds watch the waves crash from cliffs, rocky headlands or hunker down in a sandy bay. Take a walk from Morte Point towards Bull Point and look out for seals.
Lynton & Lynmouth
WHERE THE MOOR MEETS THE SEA
If the weather is pretty grizzly, The Pavilion Dining Room is the perfect spot to hunker down. Located on the first floor of the Exmoor National Park Visitor Centre, next to the famous cliff railway, you'll find breath taking views and tasty treats.
is the new going out
Sometimes there are days when you just don’t want to ‘wrap up warm and get out there’, days when you’d rather just cosy up and take some time out!
Your Beach Retreat is the perfect cosy home-from-home so you can just pack your favourite book and just snuggle up but, for when you need a hand beating the winter blues, Woolacombe is blessed with an award-winning spa and private cinema. Just a short stroll from your coastal home, both are located in our sister property: the Woolacombe Bay Hotel.
For cosy days by the coast...
Neo Cinema is a plush hideaway for up to 30 guests. Sink into a plush sofa and catch the latest blockbusters or a classic favourite. Snacks & G&Ts available.
The rasul is a self-administered, heated spa experience. Step into the tiled chamber and apply hand-harvested muds while steam opens your pores.
HIT THE SHOPS
for lovely local gifts
Nothing beats a special, unique, hand-picked souvenir to help remember a cherished trip to the coast. North Devon is blessed with more than its fair share of artists, designers, and local makers. If you’d like a little retail therapy, or perhaps to get ahead with your Christmas shopping, there are lots of lovely places to visit.
Some of our favourites…
Located in Braunton, browse and watch Wanderlust Life’s own makers creating their popular understated jewellery by hand, in their beautiful studio/shop.
ARTS, CRAFTS & CURIOS
ARTS & CURIOS
Just a short walk from your Beach Retreat, this little lair of lovely has a huge selection of gorgeous homeware - many designed by the owner, Jo Allum.
ROAD TRIP ROUTES
Take to the open road
If you feel like getting out and exploring a bit further afield, North Devon has all the essential ingredients for the perfect road trip. Beautiful ever-changing scenery, dramatic seascapes and you’ll always get a warm welcome in the pretty towns and villages.
Stop and enjoy a cream tea, stretch your legs with a clifftop stroll or throw one of our favourite pitstops – Heartbreak Hotel Coffee – into the mix. This quirky, eco-friendly cafe is very popular with locals and visitors... this could have something to do with the doughnuts. With new specials each weekend you'll find some of the most creative fillings you've ever come across!
GO ON A COASTAL ADVENTURE
At only 16.5 miles, this jaunt could easily be completed in less than an hour, but we recommend stopping off in pretty Ilfracombe and Coombe Martin before taking this gentle stroll to where the sea meets some of England's highest cliffs.
A small village in the centre of Exmoor, this is just a 40-minute drive, via coast or country. Once you get there, a stroll along the River Barle will provide plenty of spots for a dip - pack your swimmers for wild swimming!