Published: Wednesday 21st Jun 2017
Discover North Devon's unique attractions...
North Devon is blessed with a great climate so it’s no wonder that guests want to return here year after year. You’ll have over a hundred beaches to laze on, some of which have Blue Flag Status for their cleanliness, water quality, access and facilities. Others, which may be more secluded, will have nothing but you and the dog. There are picturesque towns and villages too, from thatched hamlets to busy market towns, seaside resorts and lively ports. All you have to do is choose what suits you best.
As for things to do, there’s no shortage of decisions to be made here too. North Devon offers a plethora of 'things to do'. The county is home to the English Riviera and boasts the title of being the only county in England to have two separate coastlines.
If the weather’s right, head to the coast and catch a wave, walk the coast path in search of new strands, explore coves and inlets by kayak, sail in the safety of the estuary or cycle along the side of it. On days when it’s not so bright you’ll still find plenty: lots of our favourite attractions are great for getting out of the weather, especially if you’re travelling with little ones.
For sunny days on the coastline, a trip to the beach is a must, wherever that is. You could always add a dash of adventure with a trip to the Tunnels Beaches at Ilfracombe — the only way to get there is via a series of hand-dug tunnels.
Will it matter if it turns out not so nice when you’re wearing a wetsuit? Not one bit. There are surf schools at Croyde, Woolacombe, Westward Ho! and Saunton, and adventure centres at Skern and Abbotsham who will take you out on the water – whether in a kayak, on a surfboard, under a kite, breathing through a snorkel (with seals on Lundy island!) or even on a sailing boat. There are high ropes courses at Woolacombe and Abbotsham too, as well as a state of the art climbing centre at South Molton.
Cycling is becoming ever more popular in North Devon too. There are miles of easy, traffic free riding to be had on the Tarka Trail and acres of open space on Exmoor for off road biking. The coast path has its own challenges too. Then there are the lanes and bridleways.
Kids sometimes need a little more than a day at the beach and there are theme parks all over the place to put – and keep – a smile on their faces. The Big Sheep is world famous for its sheep and The Milky Way has the region’s only rollercoaster. Then again, for wild times try the Wavepool at Woolacombe Bay. It’s as close to surfing as you’ll get on dry land… sort of. Less state of the art but fun all the same is Watermouth Castle, which has rides and a fascinating collection of old penny arcade games.
Another fun day out is Clovelly, just west of Bideford. It’s a beautiful village with quaint cottages and cobbled streets and an incredibly pretty harbour. It’s a great place for an ice cream and a rest on the harbour wall.