North Devon

Coast

map of ilfracombe area
appledore
north
appledore harbour

Appledore

Picturesque village with narrow, steeply sloping cobbled streets. Its sheltered position enabled it to grow originally as a shipbuilding community, and you will see see lobster pots and fishermen mending their nets

 

Barnstaple

Originally granted a charter in 930 AD, Barnstaple prospered as a port in the Middle Ages, though the port declined as the River Taw silted up. Particularly worth a visit is the covered Pannier Market, built in the 19th century, and which still houses a market. There is also the historic Queen Anne's Walk, with its colonnade.

 

Bideford

A charming little town clustered round the 17th century quay, which dates back to the time when Bideford seamen and the Royal Navy were almost synonymous. Bideford is at the mouth of the River Torridge, and there is an imposing old 24 span stone bridge over the estuary

 

Braunton

For some obscure reason Braunton claims to be the largest village in England. It has a fine 13th century church, and a few miles to the west are the expanse of sand dunes that are the Braunton Burrows Nature Reserve.

To the coastal side of Braunton Burrows are 3 miles of a good sandy beach - Saunton Sands

 

Clovelly

A picture post card village. Cars cannot go down its steep, stepped, cobbled high street. The street and the whitewashed cottages, covered in flowers, tumble down to a tiny harbour at the bottom. There are views of Lundy Island out to sea

 

croyde street clovelly arch clovelly view

Croyde

A bathing and surfing beach

Hartland


Hartland Hartland village is a pleasant place, about 3 miles inland from Hartland Point, a dramatic sea cliff with equally dramatic views.

Hartland Quay, the old port, where the harbour has long since been destroyed by the sea, is on the sea a mile west off Stoke. Little is left of the port, but again the views are worth the visit

Lynmouth

Lynmouth is the one at the bottom of the hill. A cliff railway runs up to Lynton. Lynmouth is still a traditional fishing village, with a promenade along the East Lyn River, and a little harbour to shelter fishing boats.

The village was badly ravaged by a flash flood in 1952. 32 people were killed as water, mud and rock, washed off Exmoor by heavy rain, smashed its way through the village, flattening houses

The cliff railway, constructed in 1890, climbs a slope of 1 in 2, and operates by two counterbalanced cars. The top car takes on water to sink it to the bottom and at the same time lift the lower car. When it reaches Lynmouth, the water is jettisoned, lightening the car for the return journey

Lynton

The one at the top of the hill. Sitting on the top of a bowl shaped cliff, Lynton grew up as a Victorian resort. It is not therefore as olde worlde as Lynmouth, but it has the advantage of magnificent views out over the cliffs

Worth excursions are The Valley of the Rocks, a mile to the West, and Watersmeet a mile inland

Ilfracombe

Ilfracombe grew in late Victorian times as the end point of steamer excursions from South Wales, and with the arrival of the railway bringing visitors from the rest of England

Today it is still popular, because its setting is very lovely. Set in the folds of the hills, with the little harbour below, and a choice of several bathing beaches. Beaches include Tunnel Beach, which has to be reached via a tunnel cut into the cliffs

Porlock

Perhaps best known for the hill leading out of the town. It is a 1 in 4 gradient, and has always presented a challenge to motor cars. The village itself is attractive, it being surrounded by the Exmoor Hills, except on the sea side. There are thatched cottages, and a narrow winding main street

Westward Ho!

Probably best known for the eponymous novel of !855 by Charles Kingsley. Today there are good bathing beaches and the two mile long Pebble Ridge

Woolacombe

Woolacombe has the sandy beach, and its near neighbour, Mortehoe, the rocky cove. A family resort with a repertory theatre in summer. Visitors come to enjoy the beaches, thought the 12th century local church is said to contain the tomb of one of the murderers of Thomas a Becket, who sought repentance in this corner of Devon

harbour cliff path coastal view exmoor view

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