Explore North Devon

Step into North Devon where you'll find Tarka Country, little changed since Henry Williamson wrote his famous novel, Tarka the Otter. 
Having been named as the UK's First Surf Reserve, North Devon is a haven for watersports enthusiasts and wherever you go, you'll find surf boards for sale and hire and plenty of tuition and sessions on offer across the coast. It isn't all about surfing though, the region is full of golden sandy beaches perfect for rock-pooling, swimming and relaxing against dramatic coastlines, rugged moors and verdant valleys, all of which demand to be explored. That combined with amazing attractions, great local food and drink and a wealth of cultural experiences are what you can discover in North Devon.
When asked what they love about North Devon, everyone's answer is different. One thing is constant though: it's the perfect playground for doing what you love. Be it spending time with the familywalking the dogeating out or celebrating with friends, to the people that live here, and visit here, North Devon really is the perfect place.

Rolling hills, lush valleys and miles of patchwork farmland

Made famous by Henry Williamson's book Tarka the Otter, the Tarka Trail is now a180 mile path with 32 miles of off road cycleway, allowing you to easily explore some of the biggest and best loved towns and villages in North Devon. Sitting in the centre of Tarka Country is Barnstaple, North Devon's oldest and largest town. Home of the historic Pannier Market and full of theatres, pubs, restaurants and shopping opportunities. Like many places in North Devon, Barnstaple, along with places like Great Torrington played an important part in the English Civil War and you can still find evidence of this in the buildings and museums around the Tarka Trail. 

Another area to explore is known as Ruby Country, full of rolling hills and farmland, perfect for a farm stay and a great destination for anyone who loves sustainable and flavourful food and drink. In the heart of Ruby Country is Holsworthy which boasts one of the busiest and largest livestock and pannier markets in the country. The pretty town square comes alive every Wednesday as visitors enjoy mingling with local people and farmers.

A magnet for cyclists, rambers and a gateway for activity

For those of you who love adventre, make Bideford your base. Not only will you have the very best in pubs, music and restaurants to satisfy every palate, but you'll be able to easily access the coastline and the region's best loved attractions.  Bideford is the perfect place for a spot of retail therapy, with dozens of independent retailers, craft and antique shops. From here you can easily visit the family friendly Westward Ho! The beach is fronted by a 2 mile long sandy beach, and backed by traditional bucket and spade shops, tea rooms and restaurants. Westward Ho! is a fascinating place, it was created and named from a book by local author Charles Kingsley and remains the only place in the UK with ! in its name! 

The golden coast, perfect for families and watersports

For an award winning beach, head to Woolacombe, its miles of golden sand are recognised as one of the top ten beaches in the world. It constantly wins accolades like Britain's Best Beach and with miles and miles to enjoy, you can always find the perfect space. Head through Georgeham and you'll find Putsborough, with great facilities, and a beach cafe that serves local produce.

Further around the coast you will discover Croyde, a picturesque village dotted with thatched cottages and one of the region's best beaches, the perfect place for families and surfers alike.  Each year, Woolacombe and Croyde play host to several surfing competitions and every June, to Oceanfest, a 3 day surfing and music festival. Nearby Braunton is the gateway to the Golden Coast, packed with delicatessans, gift, craft and surf shops, the area makes an excellent base for your beach holiday and the breathtaking Saunton Sands is one of the great jewels in this Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and has been used as a location for many film, video and television productions.

Peace, tranquillity and breathtaking views

On the western tip of North Devon you'll find Hartland with some of the most stunning coastal scenery in Britain. Hartland is the perfect retreat for those wishing to escape the hustle and bustle of city life. Further along the coast you will find historic Clovelly, untouched for centuries its cobbled streets and flower strewn cottages tumble down 400 feet to a 14th century fishing harbour.

Seaside fun and centuries of heritage and tradition

Seekers of curious coastal charm will adore Ilfracombe. History is everywhere, from grand Victorian hotels to the old working harbour boasting some of North Devon's best restaurants and cafes. Culture abounds with the Landmark Theatre, catch a show and you could be anywhere, but step out onto the balcony at the interval and you could only be in Ilfracombe.

For children who are intrepid rockpoolers and crabbers, the pretty cove of Hele Bay begs to be explored. Nature lovers, walkers, cyclists and foodies unite in their love of Ilfracombe as the perfect place for exploring North Devon.

Valleys, waterfalls, pathways and secret coves

Situated within the designated Natural Landscape (AONB), Combe Martin and its neighbour Berrynarbour and simply beautiful.

With the longest street of any village in the UK, Combe Martin sits at the very edge of Exmoor, surrounded by amazing coastal views, medieval field patterns, and bathed in a history of silver and tin mining. Overlooking the sheltered Watermouth Cove you'll discover Berrynarbour. With its quaint houses and floral displays you'll discover first hand why Beatrix Potter found the area the perfect place for inspiration.

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Take part in the Great Wool Weekend at RHS Garden Rosemoor on 13-14 April and discover new ways to use this sustainable, natural material practically and creatively in your life. Whether you are already a fan of wool or not, there is plenty for the whole family to see and do. Discover a new skill in…

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Finalists announced for South West Tourism Excellence Awards

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Step into spring with the National Trust in Devon

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Action-Packed February Half Term at Devon's Top Attractions!

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Devon’s Top Attractions open up their doors to welcome visitors back for the half term break. There is plenty of indoor fun to keep all family members entertained no matter what the winter weather. With the varied range of attractions, there is an activity for everyone including creative craft…

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