One of North Devon’s most dramatic and picturesque places is the Hartland Peninsula, while the village itself is remote when compared to some of North Devon’s other popular destination but its charm heavily outways that. It is the perfect location for anyone who loves stunning, coastal views while also being somewhere tranquil and hidden away from every day life.
Hartland is a great destination for anyone who wants a walking holiday – it is a great central location for walking the South West Coast Path – Britain’s longest national trail. The path cuts through Hartland on its way across the county and there are several wonderful trails to follow around the area.
If that wasn’t enough, you can also easily explore Lundy Island from the town, the Lundy Company operates a helicopter service to the island in the winter months. The island is a marine conservation area that is run by the National Trust and the Landmark Trust, there are a number of activities that you can enjoy while on the island including swimming, climbing and more but because it is a conservation centre, these activities, like the helicopter, need to be booked in advance with the island manager. It is perfect for anyone who loves nature and has a population of puffins, as well as seals, dolphins and other coastal birds, some of which can even be seen from Hartland Point!
Considering Hartland’s small size and tranquil atmosphere there are plenty of things to see and do for the active holiday maker. Though it is a great destination for anyone who wants somewhere quiet and picturesque, there are a range of attractions, suitable for the whole family. Hartland Village is a real social hub and is packed with history, shops and activities, especially arts and crafts. The Peninsula regularly hosts festivals and events, including a food festival and music festivals as well as flower events. The spring is always a good time to visit because the daffodils and bluebells are out – making the dramatic scenery even more stunning!
Hartland Abbey and Gardens is a great cultural attraction. Formerly an Augustinian monastery surrounded by award winning gardens, it is a fascinating family home. In fact, it is one of the most historically important ancestral homes in North Devon, mainly due to its royal connections (it was gifted to the keeper of Henry VIII’s wine cellar) and regularly features in films and TV programmes, including the recent Netflix adaptation of Rebecca and The Guernsey and Literary Potato Peel Society.
The village also has its own museum dedicated to the many shipwrecks that have occurred on the rocks below, as well as an abundance of wildlife that live among the cliffs and in the bay. The whole area is designated as a Heritage Coastline and you can find out more about this beautiful region at the Museum and Hartland Quay Gift Shop.
Image: Hartland Point
With the dramatic scenery, it’s no wonder that the hotels and other accommodation options are so eye catching. One of the region’s most popular places to stay is the Hartland Quay Hotel which is right on the coast. Full of amazing views, history and a relaxing atmosphere, the hotel has been frequented by artists, visitors and nature lovers for years. The main building has been a hotel since the 1800s with other buildings refurbished to create the Wrecker’s Retreat bar and additional accommodation. The onsite bar and restaurant serve locally sourced food and drink all year around and provide welcome refreshments after walking around the South West Coast Path and exploring the various cliff hideaways.
If you’re visiting Hartland this summer, make sure to take plenty of photos and to tag us on Instagram!