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North Devon holiday tips

(8 Posts)
Rivercam Thu 06-Aug-15 20:56:59

Hi, I'm going with my family to North Devon soon on holiday. Can anyone give me tips where to go (and avoid), what to do etc. I've never been to that part of the country before.

SaulGood Thu 06-Aug-15 20:57:44

Where are you staying?

Marymaymay Thu 06-Aug-15 21:09:34

Hey River - how old are your kids and where are you staying? A few top tips:

Ilfracombe for a day out to see Verity, ride the land train, see the harbour, take a boat trip, see tunnels beach. Food here is amazing - try the Gendarmerie, Olive Room, Espresso for great dinners or Maddys fish n chip shop for a cracking meal.

Woolacombe/Putsborough/Croyde/ Saunton for beautiful sandy beaches. Sandleigh tea rooms in Croyde for a lovely cuppa or lunch with gorgeous gift shop. Parking at beaches is pretty pricey esp Puts and Saunton (around £7).

Lynton and Lynmouth for a good day out by the sea, has a funicular railway to get up the hill. The Rising Sun pub does great grub.

Learn to surf - can highly recommend Barefoot Surfschool.

Tarka Trail is good for getting on your bike - everywhere else is pretty hilly esp with kids

Days out to attractions - good ones are Milky Way/Big Sheep. Water mouth Castle is good with smaller kids. There is an indoor skate arena at Mullacott near Ilfracombe which is proving to be a good hit. Petorama at Stowford Meadow campsite is fun for the kids, they get to see and hold lots of animals. Exmoor Zoo and Combe Martin Wildlife Park are ok too but animals don't always look the happiest.

Good walks include Baggy Point, any of the beaches - Crow Point near Braunton is stunning - river to estuary, over sand dunes to the sea. Always quiet even on the hottest days.

Braunton is good for surf shopping - Squires Fish and Chip shop is renowned for being the best (although I prefer Maddy's in Ilfracombe, I am regularly laughed at for this though). Riverside restaurant in Braunton has a great relaxed vibe with super food and lots of healthy options.

Kings Arms pub in Georgeham does good pub food with a welcoming local feel to it.

There is also 'the other side of the river" as we call it - Bideford and Westward Ho! way. My knowledge of over there is not as great but it's very pretty and close to the Big Sheep and Milky Way.

If I can think of any more I'll let you know.

Happy holidays - it really is a great place, but I'm biased smile

Rivercam Thu 06-Aug-15 21:37:37

Wow, what a lot of info. Thank you.

My kids are teens, aged 15 and 13.

The food places sound brill. May have to do a taste test from both chippies to see which is best...!

We're quite near Watermouth so we'll certainly go to the castle. I love a good castle.

Can you hire bikes easily? We like a good cycle ride.

Can't wait to go now.

SaulGood Thu 06-Aug-15 21:50:16

We're off to Ilfracombe for a fortnight on the 15th. My children are considerably younger so we'll be off to The Big Sheep and Watermouth Castle. We used to holiday in Ilfracombe as children and I've been a few times in recent years. I love:

Beaches:
Woollacombe (and the shell beach next to it, Barricane I think)
Croyde
Combe Martin
Lee Bay
Hele Bay
Woody Bay

Always go to Lynton and Lynmouth and ride the furnicular railway
Ilfracombe is lovely. The little museum is fascinating and Maddys does great fish and chips.
A ride out to Barnstaple or Clovelly is worth it if you want to go further afield. We also go out to Lorna Doone country for some hiking.
Hiring bikes is good but I'd agree about picking where you go. It can be v steep.
Chambercombe Manor is beautiful and has an interesting history
Tunnel Beaches are fabulous too.

Marymaymay Thu 06-Aug-15 21:51:50

There's so much to do! We often have nieces and nephews down who are the same age as your guys, they mainly come to go to the fudge shop on Ilfracombe Harbour, though they say they like seeing us too...

You can hire bikes from Braunton near the Tarka Trail, also Fremington and the bus station in Barnstaple.

Water mouth Castle is a kids attraction, fun for those up to about 10 - its not a real castle -disappointing I know! If you want a real castle then Dunster isn't too far away and is a nice day out.

If you're a foodie then other places to try in Ilfracombe are grassroots cafe (vege lunches), the Deli on the High Street (lunch again) - also heard good things about the swanky new hotel 'The Habit' on Fore St and Blacksands (not been to either yet). Italian - Giovannis is good for a cheap, simple but really tasty meal in the evening (can you tell I am obsessed by food?).

IF you're near Watermouth then the coastal walk to Ilfracombe is beautiful as is Ilfracombe to Lee and onto Woolacombe - hard on the knees though!

If you want a trip out on the sea then the Ilfracombe Sea Safari is a lot of fun - it's on a rib which goes fast - we have seen seals and dolphins. Fishing trips are also good though you can do this from the pier.

I'll shut up now and make sure you still have some places to discover yourself. Have a great time - if you've got any questions, feel free to PM me.

Marymaymay Thu 06-Aug-15 21:56:36

Ooh, Saul, you just reminded me - Barricane beach in the evening do Sri Lankan curries - it's a BYO. Take a picnic blanket and some drinks and watch the sun go down.

Hope you both have great holidays.

LocalEditorDevon Tue 11-Aug-15 19:55:51

Hi there,

You can find more things to do on the Mumsnet Devon site.
smile

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