Here in North Devon, we’re well-known as a summer holiday hot-spot but just because the weather is cooler doesn’t mean that the excitement has to stop. North Devon in winter is a spectacularly, ethereal site to behold and boasts a myriad of action-packed adventures, from the adrenaline-inducing to the downright chilled. Fancy kayaking around England's Adventure Coast? Or maybe an epic trek to take in the panoramic coastal views? The choice is wide and it’s yours to make.
So, whether you’re local to the area or headed here on a cosy, winter break, read on to discover some of the best winter adventures that North Devon has to offer.
Walks, and trails
[susiejanie8 on Instagram]
If there’s one thing North Devon isn’t short of, it’s breathtaking landscape, and what better way to immerse yourself in such winter serenity than being swept off down one of our staggeringly picturesque walks?
Whether you’re looking for a leisurely afternoon stroll or a truly exhilarating hiking challenge, the South West Coast Path can both cater to and excel your requirements. Teetering beautifully on the edge of the North Devon coast and providing an inspirational experience that includes heritage, wildlife, geology, and scenery - this remarkable route is set to inspire and amaze. The path picks up from Lynton & Lymouth and spans the coastline, meandering through Ilfracombe, Woolacombe, Croyde, Braunton, Westward Ho!, Clovelly and Hartland to name a few. Crashing waves, enchanting skies, and the romantic countryside await you on this wondrous adventure.
Speaking of the countryside, North Devon also boasts one of the UK’s longest, continuous off-road cycle paths - the Tarka Trail. A 180 mile, figure-eight route that peregrinates unspoiled landscape, dramatic sea cliffs and pristine beaches. Much loved by tourists and locals alike, the Tarka Trail is conveniently speckled with captivating local eateries, like Johns Deli, and boasts an array of accommodation options, from luxurious hotels to delightfully Devonshire campsites. Don’t own a bike? No problem, bikes can be hired from major towns such as Barnstaple, Bideford, Braunton, and Torrington, with child trailer, tandem and even dog trailer options available over at Tarka Trail Cycle Hire.
If you’re in the mood for something a little electrifying then you’re in luck. Why not explore England’s Adventure Coast from the deep blue itself? The outdoor action doesn’t cease in North Devon, with many local, established adventure providers combining thrilling activities with the outstanding natural beauty of the area all year round. From kayaking to stand-up paddleboarding, abseiling to archery and everything in-between - there’s a plethora of unique, experience to dive into for the whole family.
[seacadetsuk on Instagram featuring Skern Lodge]
Skern Lodge is one such provider, open all year round and maintaining an exceptional reputation, they offer a wide range of activity options, from surfing to climbing. Skern is located in Appledore, and set within 22 acres of their own ground, with the Atlantic surf on their doorstep, making for a truly unbeatable location. Whether it’s kayaking down the River Torridge or traversing the wilds of Hartlands heritage coast - Skern offers guests the chance to explore North Devon in a truly remarkable way. Accommodation options are also available, with family adventure mini-breaks being an extremely popular choice. Skern is all about having fun, taking on new challenges, getting active and exploring the great outdoors - together.
[flick_cowley on Instagram featuring H2Outdoor]
Another notable provider of North Devon adventures is H2Outdoor, located in Ilfracombe. Allowing you the opportunity to see the coast from a different perspective, H2Outdoor offer guests a multitude of adventure options, including coasteering, surfing, kayaking, and stand-up paddle-boarding to name a few. Whether you’re looking for a unique winter experience to try as a family, ready to test your own nerve or just want to escape for an exciting day in the fresh, North Devon air - H2Outdoor have created a selection of adventure options from one-off tasters to full weekend or week-long packages.
Speaking of the deep blue, one thing we’re known for in North Devon is surfing! Want to try your hand at it? They do say that the best waves are in winter and we definitely agree. Fortunately, surf schools such as Surf South West and Croyde Surf Academy in Croyde are open all year round and offer lots of lessons options, from beginner to intermediate surfers.
If you’re more of a land-lover, then don’t fret - Keypitts Off-Road Adventures may be the one for you! Based in Ilfracombe, they are an established off-road activity centre with over 20 years experience. There are a variety of quad-bike options available, dependant on experience, so whether you fancy an adrenaline-fuelled ‘super skill ride’ tackling the famous ‘Big Hill’ or a slower, scenic course to take in the views, Keypitts cater for all abilities (including an enclosed track for younger children). Battlezone archery (we’ll let you discover this one for yourself), Land Rover experiences and axe throwing can also be undertaken.
The excitement isn’t just limited to the outdoors, here in North Devon we’re lucky to have a fantastic range of equally as enthralling indoor activities that are set to engage and entertain.
Rock and Rapid Adventures in South Molton is one such example. Say hello to the biggest rock climbing centre in North Devon. Guaranteed fun for the whole family, the centre pride themselves on making rock climbing accessible to people of all ages and backgrounds. Their impressive walls offer everything from top-rope climbing and lead climbing to bouldering and dry tooling. Perfect for adventurers that fancy a roof over their heads!
If extreme fun is your thing then AIR EXTREME in Barnstaple is the ultimate trampoline park in Devon. Packed with activities to suit everyone, Air Extreme is a thrilling experience where guests can bounce off the walls in a safe, controlled environment. A truly adrenaline-inducing adventure!
Something a little more chilled…
After a long day of exciting winter activities in North Devon, we absolutely understand that some relaxation is in order. Fortunately, North Devon has a variety of opportunities for you to do exactly that.
Fancy a spot of golf? Then Portmore Golf Park on the outskirts of Barnstaple is a stunning course enveloped by truly serene North Devon countryside. Or if you’re really in the mood to be pampered then there a variety of leisure and spa options available to you such as the Spa at Saunton Sands Hotel, Leisure at High Bullen Hotel and Home Place Farmhouse Eco Spa to name a few.
So whether it’s adrenaline-inducing coasteering, kayaking down the River Torridge or bouncing until you drop - North Devon proudly offers a range of winter adventures for all ages, from the exhilarating to the relaxing. Make sure to follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, and let us know your favourite winter adventures in North Devon!