Woolacombe is ideally located on North Devon’s golden coastline making it a great place to stay and explore this wonderful area. Whether you are looking to spend time on the beach, walking the South West Coast Path or discovering Exmoor National Park there really is somewhere for everyone to visit when staying at Coast View.
Although Woolacombe is a hub for much activity and a great place to enjoy a holiday, there are also several wonderful villages nearby that are well worth visiting. Just a short walk from Woolacombe is Mortehoe a pretty village with plenty of places to eat, as well as some wonderful walks along the headland as you head to Morte Point and Bull Point, a National Trust managed area with a history featuring smugglers and wreckers.
Along the coast from Woolacombe is Lee Bay, another small village with a dog-friendly beach perfect for playing in rock pools and a nice pub, The Grampus Inn that overlooks the sea. Like Woolacombe, Lee Bay is on the South West Coast Path and has some great walks to discover as you stroll through the aptly named fuchsia valley.
The Victorian harbour town of Ilfracombe is only a short drive from Woolacombe and is well worth a visit. Stroll along the harbour and stop off to enjoy some of the freshly caught seafood on offer in many of the local cafes and restaurants. At the harbour you will find ‘Vertity’, contemporary artist Damian Hirst’s bronze clad statue, there are also plenty of walks along the seafront, a theatre and a bustling high street, where you will find shops, a cinema and further places to eat.
If you are looking to get out and about on a boat then check out some of the sea safaris on offer from Ilfracombe harbour, there are also fishing charters and the MS Oldenburg, which takes visitors to the small island of Lundy in the Bristol Channel.
Heading east from Ilfracombe you will find Combe Martin a seaside town with one of the longest high streets in the country. The town, which has its own beach also has several small shops and a few cafes, which are mainly found near the beach. The beach at Combe Martin is popular with sea kayakers, but if you want to go jet skiing please head to Watermouth Cove, which lies between Ilfraocmbe and Combe Martin.
North Devon’s largest town is Barnstaple. This large town that lies alongside the River Taw is packed full of history, which can be seen in its Pannier Market and adjoining Butchers Row. The town’s high street and centre is home to several well known shops and many cafes, whilst on the outskirts you will find all the major supermarkets. Barnstaple also has its own multi-screen cinema, a theatre and a leisure complex, other attractions include a trampoline park and tennis centre. From Barnstaple it is easy to hop on board the train to Exeter or to cycle the Tarka Trail, a largely traffic free cycle route that begins in Braunton and goes all the way to Meeth.
The gateway to North Devon’s golden coastline is the beautiful village of Braunton. This thriving village, which is thought to be one of the largest in the country is filled with some excellent pubs, cafes and restaurants, as well as several shops, such as an independent greengrocers. Braunton is also the home to the Burrows, a Site of Special Scientific Interest and a great place for a walk. These Burrows go all the way to Saunton, which has a privately owned, dog-friendly beach. Saunton Sands, which is perfect for a number of water-sports is also popular with families thanks to its soft golden sands (check out the annual sandcastle building competition held here) and clean blue waters.
Next door to Saunton is Croyde, a mecca for surfers that want to ride some of the best waves in the country. This golden beach is where many experienced surfers can be found riding the waves, as well as families enjoying the beach, which is patrolled by lifeguards in the peak summer season. Croyde itself is a busy village and features some excellent places to eat, including The Thatch.
Separated by the Torridge estuary are the two seaside villages of Appledore and Instow. Appledore, which has colourful terrace lined cobbled streets is the ideal place to spend some quality time relaxing as you watch the boats go past or stop off in one of the many cafes or restaurants and enjoy some of the local seafood on offer. Appledore is also very popular with artists and literary folk with the local September/October book festival a highlight for many visitors.
Across the estuary from Appledore is Instow, a wonderfully relaxed village with excellent pubs and a sandy beach backed by sand dunes. Please note the water quality at Instow is poor and not suitable for swimming. Instow is a great place to watch the world go by or to take the dog for a walk.
A few minutes drive from Appledore and Instow is Bideford, a small market town with some nice shops and places to eat. This town also has a great park with splash area for the kids and is the first stop for the MS Oldbenburg on its way to Lundy Island.
Lying on the edge of Exmoor where the National Park meets the sea are the twin villages of Lynton and Lynmouth. Sitting at the top of the hill is Lynton, a small thriving country village with cafes and shops, it is also the entrance to the Valley of the Rock, a wonderful place to enjoy a walk or watch the sunset as you stroll along the North Walk - make sure you look out for the goats that call the valley home.
At the foot of the hill and accessed either via the road or the water powered Cliff Railway in Lynmouth, otherwise known as Little Switzerland. This seaside village with harbour and small pebble beach is both family and pet friendly and filled with places to eat and small souvenir shops. If you fancy a walk, wander along the path to Watersmeet where there is a lovely National Trust managed cafe.