It’s been near on 7 weeks since we went camping in Woolacombe this summer. It was a wonderful week away, and obviously one of the reasons it was chosen was for the beach. Because taking kids away during the summer holidays, means going to the beach. Especially when you live in the middle of the countryside and they rarely get to the beach.
Friends with us always go to Woolacombe and find it great for their children (and them). Last year Weymouth was a nice holiday, but the beach was packed out, had very aggressive sea gulls, and the sea was great for toddlers. But not so good for older children who wanted to body board. So this year Woolacombe was agreed on, and we all packed wetsuits for the children.
I’ve been to Croyde before for a bit of rockpooling, but never Woolacombe. It’s a great beach. Considering it was the start of the summer holidays, and really hot (30C+) for much of the week, I’d been expecting a packed beach. But wherever we looked we could see sand and space. There was plenty of room for us to set up all our chairs, wind breaks and other things.
This beach week taught me that we never go with enough beach equipment. Usually I take a beach at, towels, swimming costume/trunks, bucket and spade, drink and that’s about it. But no, going with our friends mean a serious amount of equipment. And plenty of people to carry it all.
Here was our essentials:
- Windbreak (and spades for shovelling sand to hold it in place. Who’d have thought?!)
- Pop up tent – useful for changing in, storage, staying out of the sun
- Camping chairs
- Body boards and wet suits
- Food and drinks
- umbrellas for shade if required
- sun lotion
- buckets and spade
- cameras (or GoPro)
- sun hats
- picnic rugs and/or beach mats
- swim wear
I’m sure there was more, we were definitely loaded up walking from the car.
We visited the beach most days we were there. As soon as we had set up camp, I took N down to the beach. We struggled to follow my friends’ directions to the car park, so we ended up on a nightmare narrow mile long coastal car park hugging the cliffs. It was tight to get into spaces, and even harder trying to get past cars coming the other way. I definitely wasn’t heading back to that car park.
With several miles of beach, we’d ended up at the surfer’s end. It was a foggy day too, so no nice bright blue skies, but that didn’t worry N. Neither did the extremely high sand dunes we had to walk down (and back up to the car) to get to the beach.
For N, all he cared about was being able to dig. I was surrounded by holes by the time he’d finished.
The rest of the week, we headed to the main central beach. What’s great about the beach at Woolacombe apart from the size and space, is the little stream by the entrance. For young children it’s ideal, meaning they can play there without having to trek all the way down to the sea. There’s also toilets just up from the beach, food stands and ice cream vans on the beach, so everything you need.
While there, plenty of sand digging, channel creating and general beach fun went on. But it was the sea that was the big draw.
Even us adults went in body boarding as well. I went in just in swimming costume, while the others had or hired wetsuits. It turns out wetsuits are for more than just keeping you warm – I found the sea was fine temperature wise – by the next day I had cuts, grazes and bruises come up on my legs from the board.
N absolutely loved body boarding. After only a couple of days, he was launching himself onto his board I’d bought him, and going out deeper into the water. It was great to see. I think in future, going to beaches suitable for body boarding is going to be requested each summer.
A couple of times we headed further over towards the rocks to set up ‘camp’. Of course this meant rock climbing. N’s face when he saw how high the older children had gone was a picture. But it didn’t stop him from joining them.
We really had a wonderful week in Woolacombe, and it was topped off by special times with friends on the beach.
Have you been to Woolacombe before? Are you fans of body boarding?
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