This three-mile-long stretch of sand, right in the midst of North Devon's holiday hotspot, is a seaside mecca for humans and their beloved hounds. Not for nothing did Woolacombe's main beach pocket the coveted 'England for Excellence Gold Award' for best family resort, and win the blue flag and Premier Seaside Beach awards for its cleanliness, water quality and facilities.
Not only that, it's consistently named at the top of 'Best British Beach' features in the media. But how does it really stack up for four-legged beach bums? Dogs are not permitted north of the stream between 1 April and 30 September (towards Morte Point, which incorporates Combesgate and Grunta Beaches), and they need to be kept on a lead going south from the stream until you get to Mill Rock (a very obvious feature), but from there your pooch can run its heart out along a golden strip of sand that stretches seemingly for miles towards Baggy Point. If you and your dog like wide-open spaces and playing in the rough and tumble of boisterous surf, this is the spot for you. What’s more, the cafés, shops and bars right by the beach are overwhelmingly dog friendly.
Beach type: Sand
Dog information: Large year-round off-lead area south of Mill Rock. Some restrictions closer to the town.