Woolacombe beach in North Devon was recently voted the best beach in the UK by TripAdvisor users. Whilst I can think of at least twenty beaches I prefer to Woolacombe, there is no denying it is a good beach, especially for families.
The beach at Woolacombe is a vast stretch of flat golden sand backed by a warren of sand dunes.At the northern end is the small resort village which has everything you would expect from a British resort, although thankfully it isn't too tacky and hasn't been over-developed, yet. If you are after a little less company then try the southern end of the beach, also known as Puttsborough. You can either walk the mile along the beach, or try and navigate the maze of lanes that will lead to Puttsborough by car; I'd try the former!
Facing due west, as Woolacombe does, means the beach here picks up most of the Atlantic swells. As a result it is one of the UK's best known surfing beaches. However, given the relatively flat sandy bottom, the waves are fairly gentle here and it is a good spot to learn at.
During the summer months safety isn't an issue as there is extensive lifeguard cover. This combined with all the local amenities and clean water make for an excellent family beach.
Woolacombe Beach tide times
Fri 14th DecemberLow 03:22am (2.76m)
High 09:56am (7.47m)
Low 03:56pm (2.85m)
High 10:16pm (7.09m)
Sat 15th DecemberLow 04:11am (3.13m)
High 10:49am (7.14m)
Low 04:55pm (3.13m)
High 11:16pm (6.83m)
Sun 16th DecemberLow 05:20am (3.38m)
High 11:56am (6.97m)
Low 06:09pm (3.22m)
Mon 17th DecemberHigh 12:29am (6.79m)
Low 06:43am (3.35m)
High 01:08pm (7.07m)
Low 07:23pm (3.02m)