Devon ( especially the North) is God’s country – l know we tell you all the time ! Whether it’s our stunning sea views,unspoilt countryside, historic towns or rugged coastal scenery,this county has it all.We’ve picked out a few delightful North Devon towns and villages which are too good not to go and visit and will hopefully show you what a wonderful, diverse county it is !
South Molton -The GATEWAY to Exmoor is a historic market town and is our closest town.With an array of individual shops, banks, garageS, supermarket and a twice weekly market (Thu & Sat) South Molton has a charm all of its own.There is much to do in and around South Molton for visitors of all ages. With Quince Honey Farm where you can see the world’s largest exhibition of honey bees and play at the soft play, a Chocolate Factory that sells chocolate to die for, an Award-Winning Museum,a climbing wall, a play park and an idoor pool (if ours is closed or the weather isn’t great ) you certainly won’t be bored. Feeling hungry? South Molton has plenty of places to eat. With traditional Fish & Chips, Pub Grub, Hotels, Teashops & Cafes there is something to suit all tastes.And you can’t go to South Molton without visiting Farmer Chris’ favourite shop Mole Valley Farmers !
Clovelly – Carved perfectly into the hillsides of North Devon is the timeless and unique village of Clovelly. Its cobbled streets are filled with stunning 16th century cottages with breathtaking views overlooking the small harbour 400 feet below.
Vehicles are not permitted in the village so for parking you’ll have to go to the top of Clovelly and travel down on foot or take the special Land Rover service. For a time donkeys were used to carry visitors down to the village. Today they enjoy a more peaceful life posing for photographs and giving rides to children in the summer.
You’ll find there’s plenty to do in the village, from getting creative in the craft workshops, to exploring the unique selection of shops dotted throughout. If you have a passion for history then the two museums – the Kingsley Museum and the Fisherman’s Cottage – are definitely worth a visit. There are two excellent restaurants in Clovelly – both of which are committed to serving fresh, local produce.
Appledore – is a small fishing village in North Devon that for centuries acted as a hub for shipbuilding, a history you can experience yourself at the North Devon Maritime Museum. The harbour, once filled with traditional fishing vessels, now shares its space with beautiful yachts offering trips to visitors up and down the estuary.
A leisurely walk through the village will reveal rows of brightly painted fisherman’s cottages stacked together along narrow streets and courtyards. It boasts an excellent range of small shops, art galleries and an assortment of fantastic cafes, pubs and restaurants.
There is a seasonal ferry to Instow, home to a beautiful 17th century quay where you will find a fabulous award winning delicatessEN, John’s of lnstow, and a sandy beach. Appledore is within close proximity to ancient market towns such as Bideford, Barnstaple and Great Torrington, making it perfect for a day of exploring. And the most important thing it’s home to one of North Devon’s finest exports – Hockings ice cream – yum !
Croyde – Found in the North between Woolacombe and Saunton is a very pretty `chocolate box ‘ village.lt is a surfers paradise complete with spectacular sandy beaches and wide open vistas just begging to be photographed. Croyde really has it all. There is a huge selection of eateries dotted around Croyde such as the Thatch for traditional pub food and real ales, the Old Cream Shop & Tea Garden for those delicate treats and the Ice Cream Parlour for a cool dessert on those sunnier days.
lf it isn’t beach weather you always have Cascades – water park to fall back on !
Combe Martin – A jewel of the North Devon coastline, Combe Martin is situated just on the edge of the Exmoor National Park and so benefits from easy access to the expanses of nature contained within the park.
The beach is a great place to spend time as a family : it’s safe and clean with a treasure trove of incredible rock pools that are teeming with aquatic life. The waves in the bay are usually nice and gentle and you may even be lucky enough to spot dolphins!
Just a ten-minute walk from the beach is the Pack o’ Cards Inn, an ancient monument that, as the name might suggest, has been reconstructed to resemble a deck of cards. With The Wildlife and Dinosaur Park,designated walking paths, water sports and rock pooling nearby, you will never find yourself at a loose end when it comes to things to do.
Morthoe – Whether you’re looking for a spot to lie back and watch the world go by or you wish to embrace your inner adventurer and go exploring, Mortehoe is a North Devon village that will provide precisely what your soul requires.
It is home to what is arguably one of the prettiest stretches of coastline that our county has to offer: our favourite part – Grunta Beach – has a very steep Cliffside walk down to the sand but its secluded setting, clear crashing waves and excellent rock pools make it more than worth the walk.
For those wanting to find out more about the area’s history, head over to the Mortehoe museum for what locals call the “Mortehoe experience” and discover village life of times gone by and disastrous shipwrecks.
Braunton – ls at the heart of North Devon’s Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. With one of the largest sand dune systems in England, your jaws will drop the moment you lay eyes on Braunton Burrows ( Rosie and Misty’s favourite place !)
You’ll find cosy cottages dotted alongside its many independent shops as well as many excellent local pubs and restaurants.
A great place to visit would be Squires fish and chip shop, a modern chippy with unbelievably light batter that will melt in your mouth. The shops,fabulous food, beautiful beaches and the closest village to Saunton Sands Beach ( my favourite!) make this Devon village a definite visit !
Woolacombe – A dream for long boarders and surfers, Woolacombe is one of North Devon’s beauty spots: with three miles of pure sand, you’ll struggle to find a better place for a family day out than this award-winning beach – recently voted the best in the UK.
Woolacombe has a few eateries to choose from and an array of small independent surf and gift shops dotted around the area where the welcoming staff are always happy to chat to their customers.
Not forgettting the rides, arcades and crazy golf !
Lynmouth – Where Exmoor meets the sea ! ls also known as Devon’s little Switzerland and is a definition of natural beauty.
Along with it’s twin town of Lynton, Lynmouth is home to Grade 1 listed, water- powered cliff railway which offers stunning views of the bay below, the rugged cliffs and the rolling beauty of Exmoor.
Places to eat, a small selection of shops, The Lynton and Exmoor Museum, a small beach and a harbour full of boats to watch.For the more energetic a great walk at Watersmeet – where you can sit afterwards and have a cream tea outside by the picturesque river. Drive home through The Valley of the Rocks and see if you can spot any of the goats, from the herd that live there in the cliffs.
Hartland – lf dramatic scenery is what you are after,Hartland is the place. The quaint village is home to some of the most unique coastline on Devon’s shores – you can see why it is very popular with Hollywood movie producers and TV production crews , having been used as a set for films such as Treasure lsland and TV shows including The Night Manager ( we loved that !) ,Top Gear and Sense & Sensibility. Also look out for Hartland Abbey, Hartland Point Lighthouse and for THE younger members of the family The Milky Way !
Ilfracombe – is a seaside town,with a small harbour surrounded by cliffs.The landmark of the Hillsborough Hill dominates the harbour and is the site of a fortified settlement.You can’t misss the architectual award winning Landmark Theatre which is either loved or hated for its unusual double – conical design ( which has been compared to something Madonna would wear !) Just as controversial is Verity – a statue by Damien Hirst ( who also has a gallery and restaurant in lfracombe).Another point of interest is the lighthouse on Lantern Hill. Not to missed the award winning Tunnels Beaches with a natural sea water swimming pool , great rock pooling and child friendly café. Down on the quay you have also got the small but perfectly formed llfracombe Aquarium and boats lined up in the harbour waiting to take you on fishing trips and wildlife safaris.Our personal favourite is the penny arcades – a real childhood blast from the past !