If you’re coming to North Devon for the summer holidays and want to find out more about the region, before you visit, here are some little known facts about North Devon.

Did you know England’s oldest borough is in North Devon?

Yep, North Devon’s premier town, Barnstaple, is the oldest borough in the whole of England. It is so old in fact that you can still see bullet holes left over from battles from the English Civil War at the Almshouses in Litchdon Street!

Did you know an elephant fossil was found in the region?

This one is Barnstaple based too! During an excavation in the 1800s the fossils of straight tusked elephants were found in the town. These types of elephants once lived in Europe but were extremely rare in the UK and became extinct thousands of years ago. Some of the remains are on display at the Barnstaple Museum, while other parts were taken to the Natural History Museum in London.

Did you know the biggest sand dunes in England are in North Devon?

You can find them at Braunton Burrows! It is part of the region’s Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and is a haven for wildlife. Another fun fact about the dunes is that in terms of acres, they are the same size as Mount Vesuvius!

Did you know we have the oldest working lighthouse in the UK?

Well… This one is debated, but St Nicholas Chapel on Lantern Hill in Ilfracombe was built in the 1300s and has worked as a beacon for hundreds of years. It is thought to be the oldest lighthouse in the UK, but historians like to argue this fact.

We do have the oldest golf course though!

This one is completely provable – the Royal North Devon Golf Club is not only the oldest course in England, but is also in the top 100 courses to play list. It was founded in the 1800s and is one of the leading courses in the world of golf.

Will you be visiting Barnstaple, Ilfracombe or Braunton Burrows and sharing your new found knowledge this summer? Let us know!