North Devon is a wonderful part of the world to visit; famous for its brilliant beaches, intricate little villages and cycling routes. There are many things you can do in this area, whether you are simply visiting for a weekend, or staying for an extensive holiday; but sifting through all the various activities and making an itinerary can be quite a daunting task. To cut through the noise, here is our guide to the best things you can do when on your North Devon holiday.
The Tarka Trail
The Tarka trail, named after the famous otter that appears in Henry Williamson’s popular novel, contains some of Britain’s best off-road cycleways. This means that it has become a Mecca for British cyclists. If you are a biking fanatic, this is an area that must be explored. At the centre of Ruby Country, there is the town of Holsworthy. Here you can stock up on supplies for your cycling adventures at their lively pannier markets, or if you are less interested in cycling you can also enjoy the spectacle of the town square coming alive on wednesday as the town market opens up. Tarka country has much more to offer than just otters and cycling opportunities though, there are plenty of rolling hills, lush valleys and a patchwork of picturesque farmland plots for you to explore if you go rambling or enjoy a good hike.
Bideford is a lovely Port town that has a wonderful blend of town life in its pubs, local music venues and restaurants. It is also a dramatic coastal location with an expansive waterfront and grand quay you can walk along. For those of you who are less interested in local life or stunning views, Bideford is also a tourist hotspot with cutesy independent retailers, craft and antique shops where you can indulge in a bit of retail therapy if that is more your thing.
The Golden Coast
Whilst North Devon is more than just a stretch of coastline, the Golden Coast is famous for good reason. There are plenty of brilliant beaches you can explore on your holiday. “Westward Ho!” is a lovely family friendly place to visit, with a 2 mile long stretch of wonderful sand and complimentary bucket and spade shops, as well as tea rooms and restaurants you can visit after your time on the beach.
Woolacombe has been consistently recognised as one of the best beaches in the world, and is a must visit destination in North Devon, especially if you can find a day of good weather outside the normal peak visitor times. Or if you have timed your holiday right, you can attend Oceanfest, a 3 day surfing and music bonanza that is one of the UK’s quickest growing festivals.
If you prefer a more striking beach location, Saunton Sands is the one for you. Nestled within an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, it has been used as a location for many film, video and television productions. Often rather empty, it is the perfect beach to go for a brisk walk if you are trying to escape the hustle and bustle of everyday life.
Slices of Village life
If you want to transport yourself into what feels like a different world, North Devon has plenty of small villages to lose yourself in. Clovelly is an isolated and picturesque fishing village, previously the possession of the Royal Family. The town has preserved it’s unique character due to it’s separation from the modern world, location on the side of a cliff and ban on cars. The only method of transport within the village remains a collection of donkeys and sledges. It has an ancient fishing harbour you can explore, and as you move up the cliff there are cottages with lovely floral gardens you can peer into.
Hopefully this guide to holidaying in North Devon has got you intrigued ahead of your next adventure!