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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I think I take more than we ever need when we go to the beach.Holidays are so much fun and memorable when the kids make friends so easily.
It was so lovely we were there with all our friends – definitely more memorable. We all keep saying that in future the kids will really remember these holidays. I remember my mum taking us away with a family friend of hers and her 2 kids to the New Forest. It was probably over 25 years ago, but both my brother and I still remember little details about it.
Oh that face covered in chocolate! If it were my boy he’d also have a good splattering of sand around it, too!
Looks like you guys had a really lovely time away, and as a child I used to go to Woolacombe so it holds lovely memories for me.
Unfortunately I’m the opposite, I ususally lug too much to the beach and we end up using very little but everything full of sand! Although we don’t have a proper windbreaker, something to add to the list! N looks really happy and proud of himself in the photos – love the boarding shot!
Bizarrely, 2 days later he ate an ice cream and there was no messy mouth or spillages. Very odd!
Windbreaks are great, but I use our one for next to the tent. I guess like most things camping, you end up needing double of most things
It is a lovely place. North Norfolk was our holiday memory place. Next year I might have to take N back there.
Looks like you had a great week. Must have been lovely to go with friends (and for them to help carry things). I had never thought about that with the wet suits – we have just got our youngest two them and are thinking about getting our own. We have not tried body boarding – it looks a lot of fun.
It’s definitely handy, because even the older kids are a bit useless at helping. They just want to carry their body boards. Wetsuits are definitely the way to go. Thankfully N is the youngest so we get all the handmedowns which makes it cheap if not free.
Looks like you had a fantastic week at the beach. There was so much to explore. Great pics!
Thanks Keitha. It was beautiful weather while we were away, and the beach was fab
What lovely pics. My boys tried bodyboarding this summer and loved it too. I can see it being a feature of going to the seaside x #countrykids
Awww looks like fun! Can I be honest that when I go to the beach I dont bring buckets and spade because the tourist would leave theirs on the sand and we would just play with them and leave it on the bin. Its our own little way of reuse and cleaning the beach of clutter =) #countrykids
Lol, I’ve never seen any left – only broken ones. This time we didn’t take buckets, just spades. And used everyone else’s buckets. Although N does just like digging at the moment
What a fantastic week, looks like a brilliant trip with friends. You have some great photos there, will be lovely to look back and I am sure everyone will have such lovely memories. I have never been body boarding, but good tip about the wetsuit! #countrykids
Body boarding was great fun. My first time, and brilliant when you’re out there with friends too
I’ve seen loads of people at Woolacombe this year and it looks great. You have some fab photos there. Mich x
What a gorgeous beach. It looks like N was having a lot of fun. I’ve never been to Woolacombe before but now my children are older we’ll have to plan a visit soon. #countrykids
Love the photos! You’ve really captured how lovely and fun you guys had that day. I love beach-huts and would love to have one, one day. But I heard how expensive it can be! #countrykids
Beach huts would be great, but I do like to visit different places so you’re limited to one place…if of course, one comes up for sale and you can get it!
Woolacombe beach looks like a fab place to explore with N and all your friends, it looks perfectly set up for a range of ages. It’s fab that there’s a surfing end, a bodyboarding space as well as rock pooling/climbing and sand to dig and build castles in. N looks like he was having a wonderful time learning to body board I’m sure in future he’s going to be keen to try it more.
Thanks for sharing with me on #CountryKids
I’m sure he will. I’m still driving round with his body board in the car. It’s all the storage we struggle with after going camping!
What a wonderful holiday!
The body boarding looks like so much fun!
I’ve never heard of Woolacombe before but I am way up here in the North East. hehehe It looks like a fantastic beach x
It’s great fun, although hard to do yourself when you’re trying to keep an eye on things on the beach and stay with kids who need an adult in the water with them. What’s also nice, is that the lifeguards are on the beach, where a lot of beaches they’re not. It does help with safety, and knowing where is safe to go in the sea
What a fabulous holiday. N looks like he was having a wonderful time digging holes in the sand, body boarding and climbing rocks. I’ve always tended to travel fairly light when going to the beach too but a pop up tent and a windbreaker sound like a great idea (I never thought about shovelling sand to hold it in place – that’s a tip to remember!) #countrykids
The sand shovelling was ingenious. No more blowing all over the place. Those festival trolleys seemed to be popular for people too, although that’s just a step too far for me!
I’ve never been body boarding gate but it looks fun 🙂 I’ll keep Woolacombe in mind as we might be going camping again next summer and it looks nice from these pictures 🙂 #countrykids
Ooh we camped in a really nice campsite – Warcombe farm. It’s not cheap, but was lovely.