Things to do in North Devon

North Devon has a wide variety of attractions on offer. From all-weather family attractions to award winning zoos and aquariums, intriguing museums and beautiful parks and gardens, there’s something to suit everyone.

Visit the beach

The rugged coastline of North Devon means it’s ideally suited for adrenaline pumping activities, this area is known for the quality of its surfing and watersports activities. You’ll find everything from the perfect conditions, to companies offering guided tours of the bays and places where you can have lessons and hire equipment – so whether you’re a novice or a pro, you can get involved.

Of course, the miles of golden sand is also perfect for sunbathing, building sand castles and visiting with the whole family. Many of the beaches are welcoming of dogs, with a few restrictions at certain times of the year – make sure to check the local signage for the full details. You’ll find that most of the beaches in this part of Devon are award-winning with several holding Blue Flag Awards for their cleanliness and their swimming conditions.

The action isn’t all based on the water though, North Devon has become a mecca for cyclists and walkers with its miles upon miles of challenging cycling routes and one of the most spectacular sections of the South West Coast Path winding its way along the cliffs. Plus, you have the world famous Tarka Trail, which can be accessed from Barnstaple and takes in plenty of the beautiful countryside sights.

Find out more about the local wildlife

If you’re a nature lover, make sure to get out onto Exmoor and see what local wildlife you can spot or if you like your marine conservation, hop on one of the boats heading out to Lundy Island where you can see puffins and seals among other creatures in their natural habitats. To guarantee you see something exciting, head to one of the many aquariums or animal attractions that can be found in the region.

Watch, shop, learn

If you’re looking for some retail therapy then you’ll find big named brands right through to small, independent retailers and everything in-between.

Theatre performances and live events are rife in this part of Devon. Whether you want to sit down to a play, join in with a pantomime or catch some incredible local talent, you’ll find all manner of events taking place all over the region. Check our what’s on pages for more details – if you fancy doing the performing, there’s plenty for you to choose from as well with music and theatre as well as craft activities to keep you entertained.

If you can’t get tickets or there is nothing on that takes your fancy, why not visit a museum or two and learn more about this beautiful part of the south west? North Devon was a haven for pirates and smugglers back in the day as well as having several connections to the world wars, so there is plenty for you to get your teeth into. Many of the museums have free entry, with some welcoming donations during your visit and there is an ever changing programme of exhibitions, so you get to experience something different every time you visit.

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