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Marine Drive

A view of the empty beach at Woolacombe with the sea reflecting an early sunset above
The beach at Woolacombe | © National Trust Images/Joshua Day

Marine Drive car park in Woolacombe will be managed and operated by the National Trust from March 2025, when the current lease with Mortehoe Parish Council comes to its natural end.

The Marine Drive site was acquired by the National Trust in 1984. Following acquisition, a lease was granted to Mortehoe Parish Council for 25 years and extended once again in 2009. In December 2022 the National Trust confirmed with Mortehoe Parish Council that the lease would not be extended but would run to its natural end in March 2025.

National Trust members will enjoy free car parking year-round, joining a network of other National Trust car parks that members can park at for free along the Exmoor, North Devon, and North Cornwall coast, such as Baggy Point, Sandymouth and Pentire.

Over the past 5 years the National Trust has made considerable investment in the Woolacombe area, including securing EU grant funding to upgrade the Porthole Café and public toilets and showers on Marine Drive, now managed by tenants.

This location is a key attraction for locals and visitors to the area and future plans will include ensuring there is improved access and improvements for wildlife.

The car park runs parallel to Woolacombe beach, which is recognised as one of the best beaches in the UK, and is surrounded by land cared for by the National Trust.

The sand dunes immediately below Marine Drive are one of the National Trust’s most significant coastal nature conservation sites, and are home to scarce plants like the Pyramidal and Bee Orchid, reptiles such as the Adder and Common Lizard and birds including Stonechat and Linnet.

Funds generated at Marine Drive will help to care and maintain the car park as well as support conservation work in the surrounding coast and countryside.

For more information please contact or call 01271 891970