The days are getting longer, the weather is getting warmer (albeit wetter) and the children are getting excited - it’s official, the summer holidays are just around the corner!
We bet there are already plenty of people counting down the days until the beginning of their North Devon break, and if you’re one of them, we can’t wait to see you. However, if you’ve put off the planning, there’s no need to be disappointed. There’s still plenty of availability for the next few months across North Devon.
From Appledore to Ilfracombe, whether you fancy sleeping under the stars or in a luxurious hotel, break away with friends, family, or that special someone, keep reading to discover the best breaks available in North Devon this summer.
Credit: Bampfield Farm Cottages
North Devon is the perfect place to visit for the family. With a range of different accommodation options, an array of beaches, and a vast number of family-friendly attractions, there’s an adventure available for every age and interest.
Bampfield Farm Cottages in Goodleigh offers the perfect rural escape for families, providing a proper farm experience for its guests. In addition to warm and cosy cottages, visitors of all ages can enjoy the farm activities, including collecting eggs, feeding goats, riding ponies and watching the cows being milked - make sure to bring your wellies!
Similarly, Stowford Farm Meadows in Combe Martin offers a wide variety of rural memories to be made. Offering holiday cottages, or caravan and camping pitches, amongst 500 acres of rolling countryside, there’s plenty for families to enjoy, including golf, horse riding, and swimming, as well as easy links to local beaches, Exmoor, and the South West Coast Path.
Skern Lodge in Appledore offers another unique set of activities for its guests, because a stay here is all about adventures, challenges, and trying something new. Families can book two night stays and keep busy with surfing, assault courses, river kayaking and much more, as well a campfire in the evening and 6 meals included in your booking.
Credit: Braddicks Holiday Centre
Holiday parks are always popular with families, and Sandaway Beach in Combe Martin is one of the best. With sweeping sea views, as well as a walkway to their own private ‘Mermaid’s Cove’ beach, as well as an on-site pool, and other family attractions like amusements, soft play, and regular evening entertainment. It’s also very dog-friendly, meaning every member of the family can get involved on your holiday.
Similarly, Braddicks Holiday Centre in beautiful Westward Ho! offers exciting activities and homely accommodation all year round. Located right next to the famous Westward Ho! Beach, as well as its array of amusement centres, mini golf and more, entertainment is easy to come by.
Credit: Willingcott Valley
Just two miles from Woolacombe Beach is Willingcott Valley, a village of cosy self-catering cottages accompanied by a heated outdoor pool and clubhouse. Alongside their close proximity to one of North Devon’s beaches, meaning easy access to surfing and other watersports, there are a number of fantastic walks and family attractions nearby to keep the kids busy.
Credit: Calvert Trust Exmoor
There are plenty of accommodation options in North Devon that specialise in offering more accessible holidays for their guests.
Apple Tree Farm in High Bickington are a care farm, who offer day opportunities and farming experiences for children and young adults with disabilities. They’re entirely accessible, with wheelchair friendly toilets and paths. If you’re looking for something accessible - or just a little bit different - their farming experience packages would be absolutely ideal.
North Hayne Farm Cottages are based in South Molton and have been running family focused holidays for almost 15 years. Recently they were recognised as Autism Friendly in recognition of the work they’ve been doing to provide inclusive holidays for children with additional needs. With an on-site farm offering animal feeding sessions, donkey rides and animal handling activities, there are a variety of unique memories to be made - as well as hot tubs and holistic therapy treatments for adults in need of a bit of relaxation.
Calvert Trust Exmoor specialise in outdoor adventure holidays for families with disabilities. Based at beautiful Wistlandpound, they’re the only location in the South of England with a 5-star Activity Accommodation rating from Visit England. Holidays can be tailored for those with physical, learning, behavioural or sensory disabilities, allowing them to experience exciting outdoor activities with their families with a friendly instructor - including horse riding, canoeing, abseiling and archery.
With a mixture of tranquil surroundings and exciting attractions, North Devon is absolutely perfect for couples looking for short breaks.
Credit: Robin Hill Farm
Robin Hill Farm, near Bideford, offers relaxation and rejuvenation amongst acres of meadow and woodland. It’s an idyllic location to get out and enjoy local wildlife by strolling through the woods, lounging on the sundeck or watching the stars at night - you can also enjoy a dip in the heated indoor pool or hot tub. They have a fantastic offer on too, where 4 nights are the same price as 3, making them a great destination for a long weekend.
Hele Valley Holiday Park is perfectly located. Just a twenty minute walk from the bustling town of Ilfracombe, they have cosy, romantic accommodation that is perfect for couples, as well as easy access to the secluded and beautiful beach of Hele Bay.
The Broomhill Art Hotel in Muddiford offers a beautiful romantic getaway, absolutely perfect for art lovers with their impressive Sculpture Garden, showcasing over 300 fine works of art. Bedrooms are light, airy and en-suite, and are surrounded by 10 acres of beautiful woodland garden. The award-winning Terra Madre restaurant is also a dream for a romantic evening meal.
Also in Ilfracombe is The Collingdale - a beautiful Victorian guest house with breathtaking views of Ilfracombe Harbour and Hillsborough Nature Reserve. Centrally located with plenty to do in the town, including galleries and fantastic eateries, the guest house offers luxurious bedrooms, a beautiful guest lounge and cosy bar. As finalists in the AA Friendliest B&B Awards, a warm and welcoming stay is guaranteed.
Credit: The Collingdale
Longlands in Combe Martin offers a unique opportunity to get back to nature whilst enjoying holiday luxuries with their glamping packages - the ultimate romantic escape. There’s a hot tub and on-site spa room for winding down, but quick access for more active adventures across North Devon, including water sports and abseiling for the best of both worlds.
Also located in Combe Martin is Newberry Valley Park for touring and camping holidays. A perfect place to relax, there are a variety of different wellbeing sessions that can be booked ranging from pilates and meditation to massages. It’s a great location for exploring the beautiful seaside town of Combe Martin, as well as its peaceful beaches and quick links to other coastal locations.
Sometimes, there’s nothing better than getting away with a good group of friends. Being England’s Adventure Coast, North Devon is the obvious choice for exploring and trying something new with your closest group.
Credit: Ocean Backpackers
Ocean Backpackers in Ilfracombe offers a different style of accommodation from the norm. Perfect for those who want to budget a little on accommodation and save money to spend on adventures, dorms are very reasonably priced whilst remaining cosy and homely for guests. You can even cook your meals in a communal kitchen and save the hassle of eating out on your holiday - whilst getting to know other guests. Alternatively, the whole venue can be hired privately for larger groups.
The Carlton Hotel is also in Ilfracombe, and is a great pitstop for getting involved in all that North Devon has to offer. Kick back and relax - in your rooms, or in the on-site therapy studio - with a range of treatments at therapies at great value prices for groups. Alternatively, get involved in the action with a variety of Ilfracombe’s unique experiences - from golf to clay pigeon shooting.
Credit: Marsdens Devon Cottages
Marsdens Devon Cottages have holiday cottages based throughout North Devon, with plenty of options accepting short notice bookings - sometimes with last minute discounts! The variety means that you can tailor your stay to the places you want to explore the most, with easy access to each corner of the region. With so many different options, these are perfect for groups of friends looking for a bit of flexibility.
Over in Bideford is the Old Keepers Cottage - a perfect spot for respite for a group of friends looking to get away from the hustle and bustle of busy life. With countryside and estuary views, surrounded by wildlife, peace and tranquillity, it’s the ultimate spot to wind down and get back to nature.
What to do on your break
Now the accommodation is sorted, here’s a couple of tips from us on what to do once the time ticks away to your holiday.
First of all, those with children will absolutely love Ilfracombe Aquarium. North Devon’s only aquarium takes a unique approach, promoting the significance of local aquatic life with exhibits, following from an Exmoor stream out to sea. As well as a decking with a beautiful harbour view, the attraction comprises a brilliant gift shop and delicious Pier Cafe.
Credit: Broomhill Sculpture Gardens
We mentioned Broomhill Sculpture Gardens earlier, but it’s makes for a fantastic day out for those with kids - particularly those interested in sculpting or art. Speaking of art, if this year’s visit to North Devon feels a little bit later, make sure to pay a visit to the North Devon Art Trek. This open studio event will showcase some of the finest talent in North Devon, as artists meet the public in their homes, studios and workshops, as well as a variety of other local venues.
Tarka Pottery offers a fantastic day out for those looking to get creative themselves with a fun experience surrounded by countryside. Providing unique pottery wheel experiences, visitors of all ages can get involved and learn a little bit about pottery - before saying hello to the on-site Shetland ponies afterwards!
And finally, satisfy those hungry appetites by popping into Johns of Instow or Appledore. A family-run business comprising a delicatessen, café and grocers, there’s something to suit every tastebud, from traditional Devon cream teas to freshly made crab sandwiches. Stocking over 200 local and small producers, it’s the finest way to get a true taste of North Devon.
That’s far from all though. North Devon is brimming with places to see, things to do, and beautiful locations to sleep - and we can’t wait to welcome you all this summer! Hurry up and get booked in for your next visit, or follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram for the latest local updates. We’ll see you soon!