With the summer holidays in full swing, you might find yourself in the North Devon region over the next month. It’s likely you’ll already have plans in place, but if you need some inspiration, we’ve pulled together some of our favourite summer activities to help you create the best summer ever.
North Devon isn’t known as England’s Adventure Coast for nothing, it is the place to go for anyone who wants to have an adventure or two this summer. The entire coastline in this part of Devon forms part of the UK’s first surf reserve, so of course surfing and watersports have to be part of your trip. At this time of year, there are no shortage of companies offering tuition and equipment hire and with a host of beautiful beaches to choose from there are loads of opportunities to challenge yourself or brush up on old skills. If you want to try your hand at some watersports without having to commit with an audience on the beach, book a session at the North Devon Wake Park, where you can take to the water in a controlled environment. You can also enjoy some watersports, among other things at Skern Lodge where there are a host of activity packages available during the summer holidays. Whether you are looking for a short break or a day out, there is something for everyone here.
Image: North Devon Wake Park
Of course, the region’s beaches are always a huge draw and its hardly surprising, they are a designated Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. Families will especially love the beaches at Woolacombe (which was voted Britain’s best beach again this year!), Croyde Bay, Saunton Sands, Westward Ho! and Combe Martin, which are all ideal for kids and adults alike. These beaches are all surrounded by excellent family friendly holiday accommodation and attractions and have a host of facilities right on the seafront, so whether you need access to a toilet or want some refreshments, you won’t have to search too hard.
Not everyone is into spending their days on the beach, especially the curious among you. Why not discover more about the region’s history over the summer holidays by visiting a heritage attraction like the village of Clovelly p2286053 which has been mostly preserved and is completely car free. All the deliveries are made using donkeys! It’s a lovely place to take a walk around and to watch the fishermen come in and out with the catch of the day from the harbour which has lovely views across the ocean. Another option for those of you wanting to learn more about the region is Hartland Abbey, which is also situated in one of the most beautiful areas of North Devon. You might recognise it from a host of films and TV programmes and with a calendar of family activities planned through the summer, there is plenty to keep the whole family entertained. Alternatively, immerse yourself in North Devon’s Victorian history by taking a trip on the Lynton and Lynmouth Cliff Railway – the only way to travel between the two villages. As the only fully water powered railway left in the UK, it has been the steepest since it was built in 1888! The line is open daily and is a great way to experience not only how visitors travelled in yesteryear but also the awe-inspiring view.
Image: Lynton and Lynmouth Cliff Railway.
If your idea of adventure includes being thrown around on rollercoasters or themed rides, you’ll want to head to the Milky Way Adventure Park. This award-winning theme park is a great day out, no matter what your age or ability and with new rides and activities added all the time, no two visits are the same. Another great family friendly option is the Big Sheep. Featuring their world famous sheep races alongside some of the largest rides and coasters in the region and a variety of activities, this is somewhere that truly does have something for everyone. One of the things visitors love about the Big Sheep is the chance to meet all the cute farmyard animals, so if you want to meet some new furry friends, visit Exmoor Zoo. Interactive encounter sessions run at timed intervals throughout the day and you can even get involved with feeding some of the animals! You can even meet some extinct animals by heading to Combe Martin Wildlife Park, where there are not only exotic animals from around the world but also a collection of dinosaurs! If you’re more of a fan of marine life, you can spot birds, dolphins and more by joining the ferry across to Lundy Island, which is a conservation area and home to lots of seldom seen creatures. Alternatively, you can go to Ilfracombe Aquarium which is home to over 75 species of aquatic creatures and is located in the heart of the town, right next to the harbour and the famous Verity.
Image: Ilfracombe Aquarium
Feeling inspired yet? You can find loads more things to do while in North Devon this summer here.