The best beaches in North Devon

Wild flowers at Woolacombe beach

From huge stretches of soft golden sand, to hidden coves reached by wooded valleys, North Devon has a beach to suit everyone. Below is a list of some of the best National Trust beaches in North Devon, from the edge of Exmoor to the Cornish border.

Surfer at Woolacombe, Devon
Surfer at Woolacombe, Devon
Surfer at Woolacombe, Devon

For the wave hunters: Woolacombe beach

Perhaps the best known of North Devon’s beaches, Woolacombe rightly deserves its popularity. 

Flat golden sands stretch out along sand dunes and the beach is still accessible at high tide. Woolacombe is a haven for surfing and body boarding, but if you don’t fancy a dip then there are plenty of rock pools to explore – why not join in one of our rock pool rambles in the summer?

If you want to enjoy Woolacombe from a different angle, pull on your trainers and join in the popular 5K parkrun on Saturday mornings, but be prepared, the Woolacombe parkrun has been called the toughest in the country!

Woolacombe is easily accessed, and we have a tramper (all terrain mobility scooter) for hire from the Tourist Information Centre. 

If your day on the beach has tuckered you out, then head up to the new Porthole café on Marine Drive which has some of the best views in Woolacombe. The Porthole is run by local Devon company Seadog Foods, and is perfectly located for a post-parkrun treat. 
Please note: car parking at Woolacombe is not National Trust, parking charges apply.

For more information about Woolacombe and things to see and do in the area, visit our webpage. 

View across Peppercombe and Portledge
View across Peppercombe and Portledge
View across Peppercombe and Portledge

For the quiet seekers: Peppercombe beach

A well-kept secret on the Hartland coast, Peppercombe rewards those seeking seclusion from the crowds.

Wander down the lovely Peppercombe Valley, past our beautiful holiday cottages, and you will come upon Peppercombe beach. Rocky but with sand at low tide, Peppercombe is the perfect spot for a mid-walk picnic. Look along the beach and you will see the 280-million-year-old striking red sandstone cliffs, the only ones in the region. 

If you want to fully immerse yourself in the nature and tranquillity of Peppercombe, then why not try ‘camping without a tent’ and book a stay in the bothy?

Please note, there is no car park for Peppercombe Valley or beach. 

For more information about Peppercombe and the surrounding area, visit our webpage. 

The beach at Heddon's Mouth, Devon
The beach at Heddon's Mouth, Devon
The beach at Heddon's Mouth, Devon

For the escapists: Heddon’s Mouth beach

A hidden gem at the end of the Heddon Valley, where the huge cliffs of Exmoor plunge into the sea, Heddon’s Mouth beach is dramatic in any weather.

A perfect place for skimming stones, Heddon’s Mouth is a pebbled cove reached by a gentle one mile walk along the tranquil Heddon Valley. 

Look out for wildlife and play pooh stick on the bridges as you make your way down to the beach, and enjoy a well-deserved pint at the National Trust-owned Hunter’s Inn once you have completed the circular route. 

Heddon’s Mouth is also accessible by trampers (all terrain mobility scooters) which can be hired from the National Trust shop by the car park. Please book in advance to avoid disappointment. Car parking is National Trust and is free for members.

For more information about the Heddon Valley, please visit our webpage. 

Welcombe Mouth great to explore on foot
View looking over Welcombe Mouth beach
Welcombe Mouth great to explore on foot

For the adventurous: Welcombe Mouth beach

A secret beach that is worth exploring off the beaten track to reach, Welcombe Mouth has more to offer than first meets the eye.

Hop over the stepping stones and walk down to the beach where sand stretches out from the rocks after mid tide. Waterfalls rush down to the beach and there are plenty of rock pools waiting to be explored amongst the dramatic geological rock formations.

Welcombe Mouth is just off of the South West Coast Path, and makes a lovely spot for a packed lunch. Car parking is National Trust, please note the car park is reached on an unmade road.

For more information about Welcombe Mouth and the surrounding area, please visit our webpage.