I know Woolacombe is already a well known destination for families, but I have to admit to not having had fond memories of it until recently, so for me it has until now at least been a hidden gem.
I had previously only been to Woolacombe once before, about ten years ago. It was one of those Monday-Friday breaks with coupons, in a caravan, in what turned out to be possibly one of the coldest Aprils known to man. Or at least it felt like it to me. We stayed on a small caravan park with fairly uninspiring facilities and at night had the dilemma of whether to put the extra blankets on the beds or up over the windows to try and block out some of the draughts.
Belle was about 9 months old at the time, waking about 27 times a night, not helped by a cold. The one day we ventured into Woolacombe all I can remember is my partner at the time insisting we get sausage rolls from Greggs and making us eat them, huddled on a windswept bench, before letting us all run back to the car to warm up.
Fortunately this rather bleak image couldn’t be further from the break Belle and I enjoyed at Twitchen House, a Woolacombe Bay park, a couple of weekends ago.
There was definitely no extra blanket requirement as the weather was scorchingly hot and perfect for lounging around by the outdoor pool. The great thing about Twitchen Park is that although it’s very peaceful and relaxed, you get to take advantage of all the facilities at the other three Woolacombe Bay parks in the area free of charge, so can go for an afternoon of crazy water fun and then back home for a lie down.
With our full day on Saturday though we went for an expedition to the beach, as the park is just a beautiful 30 minute stroll through the woods to the coast. Equipped with a brand new bucket and spade from the park shop we set off, sandwich spread sandwiches ready to enjoy, sandy and sweaty, later in the day.
The walk really was lovely, and by the time we came out of the woodland and into open fields we could see the sea glinting teasingly in the sunshine.
Our walk took us along the coast path for a little while, the high tide turning all of the nooks and crannies along the water’s edge into gorgeous little individual bays. The water was just beautiful – from our high position, looking down into this bay, you could have been absolutely anywhere, it was just stunning.
We carried on along the path towards the main area of beach as Belle was keen to get a body board and enjoy the water. I even did my good mummy bit and helped her to build a sand car.
One of our favourite bits at the beach was early afternoon when a plane went overhead, pulling a banner that said ‘Diana will U marry me?’ I did feel a little bit for all the non-committal men on the beach with girlfriends called Diana, but it was worth it I reckon.
So there we go – my feelings for Woolacombe have been restored thanks to a lovely weekend away and I suspect a new love affair has begun. Woolacombe, will U marry me?
I wrote this post partly as a thank you to Twitchen House for inviting Belle and I to stay for the weekend and partly as an entry into a competition to win a week in a Tuscan villa! Find out more about the competition here.