Woolacombe Beach is hailed as one of the UK’s best, and with good reason. The sand is sugar-fine, the sea a deep blue, and the location – on Devon’s less crowded north coast – is a breath of fresh air. Three miles (4.8km) of sand throng with families in season; stay nearby and you can detour south to Dartmoor and west to Cornwall, before retreating for a calm sleep at the end of the day. Book your place to stay on Culture Trip.
Crowning the headland on the bay north of Woolacombe Beach, Watersmeet Hotel is a striking lookout, gleaming white on the hillside above a stretch of rock-coddled sand. Smart rooms in elegant stripes overlook the shoreline, and lawns cascade down to rock pools and sandcastles on Combesgate Beach. Indoor and outdoor pools – plus a grand restaurant facing the surf – complete a very appealing picture.
Across the road from Runnymede Gardens and the Ilfracombe Museum, the Dilkhusa Grand has an unusual story. Dating back to Victorian times, the house was purchased by a family from India, who coined the Hindi name (meaning “house of the happy heart”). Today, it’s a gentle Devon hotel, with simple but cosy rooms that are being refurbished and modernised in waves. Meals are served in a bright dining room with big windows looking out over Ilfracombe.
Set back from the seaside road linking Ilfracombe’s beaches to the countryside, the Dorchester is a tidy Victorian townhouse that consistently scores top reviews from the folk who stay here. The home-from-home rooms are large and restful, with lots of little signs of care. It’s engagingly informal, with an honesty bar that seems to come from a different time.
Sitting peacefully above Woolacombe Bay, this understated holiday cottage is one for walkers. With just a wander across the road, you’ll be on the South West Coast Path, leading up to hidden coves and the tooth-like outcrops of Morte Point. There are five ensuite bedrooms with space for up to 11 guests, plus four-legged friends. Interiors are bright and contemporary, with lots of wooden furniture in complementary colours, while the sea views from the deck could be framed as landscape paintings.
Impressed by the sound of River Fowey mussels, Lundy lobster and Devon crab at the Beach House restaurant? Why not stay over? The same owners run the Beach House Hostel, a summery holiday cottage with room for eight, parking for three cars, and light-filled views of the sea. Rooms have been furnished with love and care, full of wood tones and bright whites, and the open-plan dining room is great for entertaining.
The reasons to stay at this attractive holiday cottage add up quickly: bright living spaces in soothing seaside colours with floral and nautical trims, a private breakfast terrace that catches glimpses of the sea, and a flower-filled garden with views over the rolling hills above Woolacombe Beach. There’s room for two, with an open-plan kitchen and a roomy lounge into which you can retreat at the end of the day.
Big leather sofas and uplifting views of green hills invite you to exhale at this homely self-catering apartment, spread across two floors of a tidy house just inland from Woolacombe Bay. It’s all about location: the village pub and fish and chip shop are steps away, and it’s ten minutes’ walk to the beach and the shorefront path towards Morte Point. There’s room for four in bright, uncluttered bedrooms with clean lines and big, white bathrooms.
KEEN TO EXPLORE THE WORLD?
Connect with like-minded people on our premium trips curated by local insiders and with care for the world
Since you are here, we would like to share our vision for the future of travel - and the direction Culture Trip is moving in.
Culture Trip launched in 2011 with a simple yet passionate mission: to inspire people to go beyond their boundaries and experience what makes a place, its people and its culture special and meaningful — and this is still in our DNA today. We are proud that, for more than a decade, millions like you have trusted our award-winning recommendations by people who deeply understand what makes certain places and communities so special.
Increasingly we believe the world needs more meaningful, real-life connections between curious travellers keen to explore the world in a more responsible way. That is why we have intensively curated a collection of premium small-group trips as an invitation to meet and connect with new, like-minded people for once-in-a-lifetime experiences in three categories: Culture Trips, Rail Trips and Private Trips. Our Trips are suitable for both solo travelers, couples and friends who want to explore the world together.
Culture Trips are deeply immersive 5 to 16 days itineraries, that combine authentic local experiences, exciting activities and 4-5* accommodation to look forward to at the end of each day. Our Rail Trips are our most planet-friendly itineraries that invite you to take the scenic route, relax whilst getting under the skin of a destination. Our Private Trips are fully tailored itineraries, curated by our Travel Experts specifically for you, your friends or your family.
We know that many of you worry about the environmental impact of travel and are looking for ways of expanding horizons in ways that do minimal harm - and may even bring benefits. We are committed to go as far as possible in curating our trips with care for the planet. That is why all of our trips are flightless in destination, fully carbon offset - and we have ambitious plans to be net zero in the very near future.