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Top 5 Places to Visit in North Devon

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Whether you are planning the family holiday with your caravan or motorhome or just a weekend break away, North Devon has some of the most varied and amazing scenery. Take a look at our pick of where to visit whilst you’re here.

1. Woolacombe Beach

woolacombe beach

Popular with surfers and families alike, Woolacombe beach has been voted Number 1 in the UK by Tripadvisor (February 2015), Number 4 in Europe, and Number 13 in the World! Woolacombe beach also holds the ‘England for Excellence Gold Award’ for best family resort. A 3 mile long stretch of golden sand which is clean, has good water quality and great shops & facilities. There is plenty of parking available with convenient access to the beach so you don’t have too far to carry all of your equipment. Car parking charges, although not cheap, go towards providing the professional life guard cover, public toilets and beach cleaning facilities. Dogs are welcome on certain areas of the beach.

2. Tarka Trail

The Tarka Trail covers over 30 miles of disused North Devon railway lines between Braunton and Meeth, passing through Barnstaple, Fremington, Instow and Bideford. It is a fantastic traffic free route for cyclists and walkers through the largely unspoilt countryside as described Henry Williamson’s novel ‘Tarka the Otter’.  With plenty of places to eat along the way such as Fremington Quay Cafe and The Braunton Inn, you’ll be able to plan your day however far you decide to explore. Alternatively, why not take a picnic and enjoy the view from one of the many picnic spots. There are cycle hire points at Barnstaple Railway Station and Fremington Quay.

3. Lynton & Lynmouth

lynmouth cliff railway
Cliff Railway

Lynton and Lynmouth are two villages on the North Devon coast, one above the other, and described by the Victorians as Little Switzerland. Lynton is a pretty village with museum, restaurants, cafes, tea shops and art & craft shops. 600 feet below is the small harbour of Lynmouth and the two villages are linked by a famous cliff railway which is well worth a visit. The two rivers (East Lyn & Hoaroak) join at Watersmeet and rush down a spectacular gorge and through the village to the sea. Some may remember the disaster in 1952 where both rivers flooded and washed many cottages into the sea.  There is a Memorial Hall where the history of the village can be seen. There are a number of beautiful walks from Lynmouth, such as up the river gorge to Watersmeet where the National Trust have a shop and tea rooms, or along the coastal path to the Valley of Rocks with its dramatic scenery.

4. Big Sheep

The BIG Sheep is an all weather family attraction in Abbotsham near Bideford and they were Gold Award Winners for Devon’s Large Attraction of the year (2013-2014). The BIG Sheep is one of the UK’s most innovative and exciting family attractions providing unique entertainment for all the family. Entertaining shows include the world famous sheep racing, horse whispering and dog and duck trials. Staff are friendly and will have you laughing out loud as you watch the shows or go on a farm safari ride. There is also a giant indoor soft play area and outdoor jumping pillows.

5. Verity – Ilfracombe

Ilfracombe Harbour
Ilfracombe Harbour

Ilfracombe is a North Devon seaside resort with a small harbour surrounded by cliffs. The landmark of Hillsborough Hill dominates the harbour and is the site of an Iron Age fortified settlement. The Landmark Theatre is an architectural-award-winning building that host events all year round and the harbour is also home to the Damien Hirst owned statue, Verity, who draws many visitors each year.