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5 Reasons to Visit North Devon this Autumn

23rd September 2019

Categories: Visitor News

5 Reasons to Visit North Devon This Autumn

Photo Credit: Linda Thompson

Contrary to what some people apparently believe, North Devon doesn’t shut down during the winter months - and it’s not just a summertime destination.

Yep, you heard us right; just because the days are a little shorter and the weather is a little colder, our businesses don’t all close at once, and the general populace doesn’t go into hibernation! 

In fact, North Devon in the autumn is a magical time. As pumpkin spice season sets in, our stretch of coast boasts some of the most beautiful (and dramatic) autumnal scenery, everything gets a little cosier, and surprisingly, our calendar doesn’t get any less jam-packed. If you’re in need of a break away from reality in the next couple of months, here are 5 of our favourite reasons to pick North Devon.

Autumnal Walks

Credit: Tracie White

North Devon is well known as a walkers paradise. It’s unsurprising, with an impressive chunk of the South West Coast Path winding its way through the region, alongside a multitude of National Trust sites, the Tarka Trail, and seemingly endless amounts of beaches, woodlands and valleys.

Autumn is one of the best times of the year to walk in North Devon. If you’re meandering through the woodlands, you can catch sight of beautiful fallen leaves in gorgeous shades ranging from gold to rustic brown. Some of the best places to walk for these views are Halsdon Nature Reserve, Heddon Valley, and Arlington Court

If you choose to wander along the Coast Path, you can catch sight of incredibly dramatic coastal views as the waves crash against cliffs or shores below (it looks pretty impressive on camera too.) Take a trip near the Valley of the Rocks, Baggy Point, Morte Point or Hartland Peninsula for some of our favourite sights. 
That’s not to mention the beaches, which will now be quieter and less packed out with tourists hoping to soak up the last of the sun. Most beaches, such as Westward Ho! and Croyde, also lift their restrictions on dogs during the autumn and winter months, and we all know that few things compare to a happy dog let loose upon miles of sand. 

Better Surf

Credit: Robert Newall

Speaking of beaches, the autumn months are some of the best times during the year to catch some North Devon waves. We’re England’s Adventure Coast, and while several people would think our adventurous outdoor activities are a summer-only affair, they couldn’t be more wrong. 

We’re lucky enough to play host to some of the UK’s very best beaches for surfing, including Woolacombe, Saunton, and Croyde, which is well known as a surfing mecca throughout the whole of the South West. After the summer months has passed, the swell returns to our shores, and the sea isn’t too cold before we’ve reached the height of winter.

In addition, with quieter beaches, there’s more space to get out on the waves without an overflow of people, so you’ve got plenty of opportunity to hone your skills, or just enjoy the whole experience without feeling quite so cramped. 

Autumn Events

Credit: The Milky Way

Halloween is fantastic at this time of year. North Devon really gets into the spooky spirit of things, so it’s easy to come across ghost walks, history tours, Halloween parties and themed events suitable for all ages and all interests. Little ones will absolutely love The Big Sheep’s Fun by Day, Scary by Night evenings, or the Hocus Pocus Wizard School down at The Milky Way.

Bonfire Night is also always exciting. It’s a time when a lot of the local communities come together, creating impressive bonfires and beautiful firework displays, accompanied by bustling pubs and a lively atmosphere. Appledore’s Firework Display is particularly impressive, but you can expect to see an event being held in most larger villages or towns.

It’s well worth timing your autumn break in North Devon to align with some of these events, so that you can best enjoy the culture and community that our party of the country has to offer!

Cosy Pubs

Credit: The Thatch, Croyde

While we’re avid pub fans at any time of year, it’s indisputable that there’s just something a little bit different about visiting them in the autumn or winter, when it’s cold outside and all you want is a roaring fire or some homemade pub grub. 

Here in North Devon, we’re lucky enough to have a huge array of different pubs dotted all over our villages and towns. Ranging from the English traditional to those that are a little more quirky, we’ve got something to suit everyone, including those that welcome children, are entirely dog-friendly, and have busy schedules and vibrant atmospheres, with live music, quizzes or other entertainment on the regular.

Try The Masons Arms in Knowstone, which has a real open fire and a Michelin-star for fantastic food, or The Red Lion in Clovelly which overlooks beautiful harbour views. The Pyne Arms near Barnstaple is known for its dog-friendly approach, while The Beaver in Appledore is great for live music, quiz nights and music bingo. 

That’s far from all though - there’s The Chichester Arms in Bishops Tawton, The George Hotel in Hatherleigh, The Thatch in Croyde, and many, many more to discover. Find them on the North Devon Food Trail.

The Perfect Balance

Credit: Julie Thomas

It might be a quieter time of year for us in general, but that doesn’t mean there’s not still plenty to do all over North Devon.

Whether it’s local events throughout the community, or activities at some of our biggest family attractions, there’s still plenty to keep you occupied during your stay. 

During autumn, we seem to strike a pretty perfect balance; there’s still a lot on, and your favourite attractions will most likely still be open. However, it’s less packed out that in it is in the summer months, meaning you have more of a chance to enjoy these activities - and make the most of the natural landscape and areas of natural beauty.

While you’ll never be bored, you have way more of an opportunity to embrace everything North Devon has to offer, including the tranquil way of life that makes so many people fall in love with our coast. Though adventures are still never far away, it’s way easier to connect with the landscapes, communities and cultures of North Devon’s unique little locations.

Will you be visiting North Devon this autumn? Is there something about the season we haven’t mentioned that you just adore? We’d love to hear from you - let us know on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram!


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