As 2013 makes way for 2014, some of you will be lucky enough to spend it in Woolacombe. We’ve lived through Christmas and New Year in Woolacombe a few times over the years and as such we’re well qualified to give you the low-down on the best way to pass the time in this beautiful part of North Devon. In this blog post we’ll share some practical advice as well as share information on the local parties and celebrations.

The sign of a good party and a bad morning...

The sign of a good party and a bad morning...

Tip #1 - Don’t forget the champagne!

Does this really need an explanation? Okay, here goes then. Remember to bring the champagne. How’s that?

Tip #2 - Pick a party and get yourself some tickets if you need to

We’ve asked around the local bars and pubs about their planned entertainment over the break. Not all of them have got back to us yet so we’ll update this part of the blog as more information comes in. In the meantime, however, we have the following:

Christmas Eve
Bar Electric

Jenna Witts will be performing at Bar Electric on Christmas Eve. If you’ve not heard of her before, this description from Jenna’s own website might tempt you: "North Devon singer-songwriter Jenna Witts is a free spirit with an effortless natural talent. She is an accomplished keyboards player and acoustic guitarist who comes to life on stage with her infectious laugh and humor (with a west-country twang)– then silences everyone with her startlingly mature voice, sass, attitude and elegance. She delivers wonderfully melodic songs inspired by the sea, love and life”.

The party starts at 9pm and Bar Electric will be providing complimentary wine and mince pies.

New Year’s Eve
Woolacombe Bay Hotel

If you want to have a different New Year this year, why not go to the Woolacombe Bay? The evening will begin at 7pm with a drinks and canapé reception in Maxine’s lounge, followed by a scrumptious 5 course dinner and coffee (Click here for the dinner menu). After dinner there will be dancing and a spectacular firework display at midnight - on the lawn, overlooking the Bay. So get dressed up and let the party begin! You can even make it really special and stay the night…

For more information or to reserve your place please call the reservations team on 01271 870388.

The Red Barn
New Year's Eve party starts when you do and runs until 1am. This party isn't officially fancy dress but most people in and around Woolacombe will be dressed up in some sort of novelty outfit. The rule seems to be that you can go as anything you like, as long as you go.

The Thatch, Croyde
New Year's Eve fancy dress party starts at 9-ish and runs until late. The theme is 'wild animals' and no tickets are required. Food is served until 9pm but the restaurant is now fully booked so you'll need to find a spot in the bar area to eat.

Tip #3 - Stock up in the local supermarket

Once you’re in Woolacombe for the Christmas or New Year break, you won’t want to leave. It’s way too nice being cosied up with movies and board games in Kittiwake One, or walking from Woolacombe to Putsborough Beach while the weather annihilates your cobwebs. The last thing you’ll want to do is fight your way through the herds at the nearest supermarket, either on your way in to Woolacombe or once you’re already there.

Instead, avoid the bedlam by shopping in Woolacombe’s local supermarket, the Londis on West Road. It’s big enough to stock the four major food groups (candy, candy canes, candy corns and syrup), while being small enough not to attract the crowds. If you’re worried that it will cost more, then don’t. It will cost far less because, unlike at the local megastore, you won’t be tempted to by a new suit or a television or an iPad or 5 crates of dishwasher tablets ‘because they were on offer’. And besides, a round trip to Barnstaple or Ilfracombe Tesco (other supermarkets are available) will cost you over an hour in driving and shopping time. You’ll never get that hour back so don’t give it away in the first place!

Tip #4 - Pack clothes for all weather

Forget what the weather is like at home: Woolacombe has its own climate which sometimes defies the laws of the Met Office. The best thing to do?

Bring layers and make sure some of them are waterproof or windproof. Bring sunglasses too because there’s nothing more annoying for your friends than a Facebook selfie of you in sunnies on the beach while they’re staring out of the window wondering when the wind and rain will, just, stop, dammit. (read that last bit through gritted teeth for a stronger effect).

Not a bad way to start the year.

Not a bad way to start the year.

Tip #5 - Do something refreshing on New Years Day

It’s become a local tradition to walk from Woolacombe to Putsborough Beach and back on Boxing Day and New Year’s Day. Lots of people will be doing it and everyone is generally in a great mood. As the walk unfolds you'll start to realise why Woolacombe has been voted one of the most beautiful beaches in the country. As you get past Black Rock (you’ll know it when you see it because it’s a big…black…rock) consider walking up the dunes because the view at the top is nothing short of spectacular. And if you have a fitness resolution for 2014 then you can start immediately by combining walking and running, as you go!

And finally

Whatever you choose to do over this coming break, have a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year as you go about it!