North Devon is one of the most beautiful places in the world, but it isn’t just style over substance, there is plenty to uncover during your visit. Here are just some bits of North Devon’s heritage you might not know about.

England’s biggest sand dunes are in North Devon

It’s true, you can find them at Braunton Burrows, not only are they the biggest sand dunes in England but in terms of size, it is the same amount of acres as Mount Vesuvius! Braunton Burrows is a must visit location, it falls within the region’s Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and is a haven for wildlife and plantlife.

England’s oldest lighthouse can be found in North Devon

In Ilfracombe, St Nicholas’ Chapel has been running since the 1300s and has been used as a beacon for years making it the oldest lighthouse of its kind in the UK

And that’s not all…

The oldest golf course in England is also in North Devon

The Royal North Devon Golf Club is one of the top 100 courses to play in the world and was founded in the 1800s making it the oldest course in England. It still features in competitions to this day and is one of the leading courses in professional golfing

While we’re talking about old things, England’s oldest borough is also in North Devon.

North Devon’s premier town, Barnstaple is England’s oldest borough, in fact it was even classified as a borough during the English Civil War and you can still see bullet holes left over from battles if you look closely enough. You can find them at the Almshouses in Litchdon Street.

Also, while on the subject of Barnstaple, did you know that the remains of an elephant were found in the town? During an excavation in the 1800s, the fossils of straight tusked elephants were found and you see some of them on display at the Barnstaple Museum. Other fossils can be found at the Natural History Museum in London. It is thought that these kinds of elephants used to live in Europe but were rare in the UK – so how they came to be in Barnstaple is anyone’s guess!

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Things to do

North Devon has a wide variety of attractions on offer. From all-weather family attractions to award winning zoos, intriguing museums and beautiful parks and gardens, there’s something to suit everyone.