Where do you choose for a walk on a blustery November day? Somewhere in a sheltered valley, perhaps? Not us – we choose to go to the windiest place we know – the top of Woolacombe Down, to experience the full force of the weather. There is a lovely network of paths over the downs and through the dunes behind the beach.
According to this plaque they were opened to commemorate the coronation of King George V on 22nd June 1911. I didn’t know that..
Looking back down the slope you can see Woolacombe nestled at the northern end of the beach. Bustling in summer, it is quieter this time of year, but plenty of people come down even in winter to surf and walk and generally enjoy the views.
And you can see why, as the views are just stunning. Woolacombe beach is long, smooth, sandy and unspoiled. The headland to the south is Baggy Point, separating Woolacombe Bay from Croyde Bay.
The headland to the north is Morte Point, on the north-west corner of the North Devon coast. The views from this walk are really superb.
The top of the down is grazed by a domestic herd of Exmoor ponies, looking perfectly at home despite the wind.
Once over the brow of the hill, the wind dropped a little, and we took a path curving round the front of the down back towards Woolacombe.
Faced with a choice of returning through the dunes, or walking along the beach, we couldn’t resist getting closer to the fantastic waves.
There were a few hardy dog-walkers on the beach, and three lucky riders cantering their horses across the sands.
What a perfect place to spend a windy Sunday morning, especially as it was followed by brunch in a cafe in Woolacombe, overlooking the sea. I can highly recommend a winter weekend in North Devon to blow the cobwebs away!