Discover North Devon & Exmoor

Signpost for the coastal footpath and tarka trail

Close to the sea, children and adults will love the sandy beaches, the rock pools and the cliffs.

The area is famous for water sports and activity holidays including, surfing, sailing, waterskiing, kiting, diving, rock climbing, horse riding, fishing and more, whilst walkers and cyclists will enjoy the famous Tarka Trail, the idyllic countryside and the coastal footpaths. Golf at the Royal North Devon (the oldest links course in England) is only 3 miles along the coast.

Nearby, Bideford (2½ miles) has town amenities, restaurants and delightful quayside where boat trips are available to Lundy Island.

Exmoor and Dartmoor National Parks are only a short drive away.

The village of Abbotsham is a friendly parish, with a country pub, a church, a shop and post office and a children’s play area. Best of all -The Big Sheep, a very popular tourist attraction, famous for its crazy sheep race, and award winning real ale brewery is within walking distance at the bottom of the hill!

 

Digging sandcastles

 

Golden Coast - Golden Moments...  

Miles of golden sands at Westward Ho! and Instow and further afield at Saunton, Croyde, Woolacombe, Sandymouth, Bude and more... offer a hAll the main beaches in North Devon have been awarded Blue Flag or Seaside Award status, ensuring excellent facilities and water quality.

Smaller beaches like Peppercombe, Bucks Mills or Abbotsham Cliffs present a different experience with rugged coastline and countless rock-pools to explore.Crabbing at Appledore

Sheltered harbours at Appledore and Clovelly make great spots for fishing or for the children, the excitement of crabbing at high tide.

 

Bideford Quay in the morning mistExceptional Environments - Lovely Landscapes

 

North Devon’s beautiful coast and countryside includes many areas registered as Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty and to the north lies Exmoor National Park, rugged and wild and as unchanging as ever, a place where wild moor land meets the sea; wooded combes end in waterfalls and wild ponies and deer roam free.

Exmoor woods in Autumn

 

 

 

 

Exmoor National Park

South West Coastal FootpathRiver Torridge - Tarka Country

At the heart of North Devon are the Rivers Taw and Torridge, Tarka the Otter country, where cycle and nature trails take you into the midst of our lovely countryside. The estuary, where the two rivers meet before they make a bid for the open sea has a fascinating dune system, Braunton and Northam Burrows have been given World Biosphere Reserve Status by UNESCO celebrating the co-existence of man and the countryside.

N Devon Unesco Biosphere 

Aerial View of Lundy Island

  Lundy Island 

On the westward horizon, Lundy Island stands out as a solitary beacon, surrounded by Britain’s only Statutory Marine Reserve. Accessible by boat if the weather is fair and the tides are righrt from Clovelly, Bideford or Ilfracombe and by helicopter from Hartland, it makes a wonderful day out.

 

 

Local Food and Drink - Fresh and Delicious

  Dan the Fish Man Delicious fresh scones for a Devon Cream Tea

 Cosy country pub to harbour-side inn, bistros to bars, tearooms to taverns…. the range of traditional fayre and gastronomic delights is endless! But don’t go without sampling our most celebrated local favourite – a Devon cream tea.

Love food? Self-catering? Why not buy your fresh fish from the quayside at high tide or visit a local market for newly harvested fruit and vegetables. Sourcing your own fresh ingredients with zero air miles – now that’s a shopping experience worth having and a gastronomic experience worth tasting!

 

Come Alive - Feel The Vibe...

If it’s thrills and spills you are after, there is little that will beat the immense buzz and adrenalin rush of surfing!

Boogieboarding at Westward Ho!North Devon Surf School, Westward Ho!Surfing at Westward Ho!Surfski at Westward Ho!Surfing at sunset 

Alternatively, why not try mountain boarding or the climbing wall and high ropes course at the Ultimate Adventure Centre, a centre for all extreme sports (in the village) or paragliding above the cliffs; windsurfing or sailing in the estuary, go kiting or kayaking; climbing or abseiliLearning to sailng? Our local adventure centre Skern Lodge could also show you the ropes and provides many activities for teenagers!

N Devon Surf School

N Devon Yacht Club

Skern Lodge Adventure

Ultimate Adventure Centre

514 Elemental Kitesurfing

 

 

 

 

 

For a more relaxed pace, a round of golf at one of Devon’s spectacular courses could be just the ticket. The Royal North Devon Golf Club (the oldest links course in England) is only 3 miles along the coast.

Royal North Devon Golf Club

Royal North Devon Golf Club

Family bike ride on the Tarka TrailWith hundreds of miles of footpaths and designated cycle tracks, including the fabled Tarka Trail, North Devon and Exmoor is the perfect place for rambling and cycling whilst horse lovers can canter along the beach, across the moors or around the deep Devon lanes.

Tarka Trailhorse riding

 

 

 

Festivals and Events - So Much To See And Do

Spring brings the North Devon & Exmoor Walking  and Cycling Festival, a brilliant way to get rid of the cobwebs and  experience the coast, countryside and moorland.

A giant Easter Egg Hunt for the children (300,000 eggs) takes place every year in Abbotsham at the Big Sheep and in Great Torrington the town May Fair Celebrations which first took place in  1554 are the highlight of the year

If beach football, mountain-bike trials, volleyball, skating, surfing and live music are your thing, the Gold Coast Oceanfest at Croyde is the place to be in June.

An eclectic mix of music can be heard at the Barnstaple Fringe Music Festival and Appledore Visual Arts Festival is famous for its innovative programme and its community spirit in June/July

RHS Garden Rosemoor in Torrington has a delightful program of over 80 events throughout the year but is particularly renown  for its annual September Festival and The Big Sheep in Abbotsham is the place to be in October for a memorable Halloween.

 

Cultural North Devon

North Devon is a haven for the creative spirit. Our inspirational landscapes have influenced famous writers, poets, artists and musicians. Follow in the footsteps of  Henry Williamson, Rugard Kipling, RD Blackmoor or Conan Doyle and discover the local connections to Tarka the Otter, Westward Ho! Lorna Doone, or The Hound of the Baskervilles?

There is such a rich heritage to discover, from stone rows and circles on Dartmoor, to the splendour of our churches and castles. Local libraries and  museums are crammed with our unique and fascinating history but a trip to the ‘Kathleen and May’ on Bideford Quay or to ‘Torrington 1646’ for lively re-enactments of the Civil War period will really bring the past to life.St Helen's Abbotsham

 

Ancient stones on Dartmoor

Torrington 1646 musket demonstration

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Many visitors enjoy a creative pastime or learn a new one - pottery, painting, rural crafts, sculpting, photography, writing and wood carving - are just some of the choices. Distinctive local crafts, renowned, unique, traditional and contemporary designs are all waiting to be discovered, from glassware to furniture, ceramics to clocks, handmade shoes to designer clothes and more. The unique Broomhill Sculpture Garden and Gallery is well worth a visit.

Many local creations are much sought after by collectors, and with so many choices you may need to stay a little longer than planned!

Dartington Crystal  Broomhill Sculpture GardenLocal pottery


Broomhill Sculpture Garden

 

A Complete Shopping Experience

If your idea of ultimate relaxation is retail therapy, then North Devon, although a rural area, has some opportunities to keep you entertained.

If you are looking for a bargain, take a very short drive to Atlantic Village Shopping Outlet. However if you are still looking for a special momento of your North Devon holiday, try visiting the charming market towns of Great Torrington, South Molton or Holsworthy or the larger centre of Barnstaple.

The Little White Town of Bideford, only 2 miles from Southclay, is both a working port and a thriving town offering a vibrant choice of shopping amenities, some lovely independent boutiques and art galeries gift ware mixed with numerous bars, cafes and restaurants and a historic pannier market.

The nearby fishing village of Appledore offers charming winding back-streets with tiny fishing cottages perched on the banks of the River Torridge. It is famous for its arty vibe with door knockers often decorated according the village's latest theme and many galleries, locally produced crafts and antique shops.

 

Fill Your Days - And Memories Too

Sheep racing at the BIG SheepThe Gnome ReserveGlass blowing at Dartington CrystalLaser shooting at the BIG SheepIndoor play areas

Whatever the weather, don't despair - there is heaps of fun to be had undercover! 

The young as well as the young at heart will love the attractions and themed parks in North Devon and we guarantee there are some sights you will never have seen before…. The gathering of over a thousand gnomes…. The BIG Sheep Grand National….. Horse whispering…..Glass being made from grains of sand…. A Time Warp…. Dinosaurs in the woods….Laser combat zones

Feeding the lambsThe Big Sheep 

The Gnome Reserve

Dartington Crystal

Big Sheep Laser Games

Combe Martin Wildlife and Dinosaur Park

The Milkway

Clovelly, cobbled fishing village

 

With such a rich maritime past, seafaring experiences abound, visit picturesque Clovelly with its steep cobbled streets and ancient harbour. The magnificently restored three-masted schooner ‘Kathleen and May’ restored at Bideford offers an experience of life aboard a tall ship when it is berthed on the Quayside East-the-Water or take a pleasure cruise along the coast or across to Lundy Island.

ClovellyClovelly fishing charters

 

 

 

 

Glorious Gardens

For Quieter times or dedicated horticulturalists, North Devon has a wealth of gardens, each with its own character and specialities. In particular the RHS garden, Rosemoor is only a short drive away and further a field but within a day trip is the Eden Project in Cornwall.  

Rosemoor stone gardenRHS Garden Rosemoor

The Eden Project

 

Sheep watch the sun go down

 

 

 

 

 

Alternatively, relax and read a book or simply watch the world go by and the sun go down!

There is always something new and exciting to do each day......

There’s no doubt about it, your first visit to North Devon won’t be your last.

 

Book Direct with the owner

 

GOOD AVAILABILITY FOR FABULOUS AUTUMN BREAKS

Crisp, frosty mornings with mist in the valleys, scrunchy golden leaves

What a great time of year!

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CHRISTMAS STILL AVAILABLE


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"What a wonderful house for our first family holiday together. We all loved Southclay! Thank you for the warm welcome Jacqui. We even had some lovely weather (and not so lovely weather!) Debra & Craig Polese & family. June 2012"