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near Barnstaple for 1 week recommendations please?

(24 Posts)
1dilemma Fri 31-Jul-09 10:00:46

that's it really
wet or dry grin

for 2-7 yr old

would especially like a nice beach suggestion we have had tears on holidy in the past at our failure to find a nice beach in IOW and it rained the whole time too

mrsdisorganised Fri 31-Jul-09 10:04:23

Do you want to find accomodation and places to visit?

bigchris Fri 31-Jul-09 10:07:59

paignton zoo
brixham is a pretty seaside town, no beach though

Sagacious Fri 31-Jul-09 10:11:18

westward ho for rockpools and wide flat beach ( rest of town is pretty meh but go to pottwallopers for lunch or the bunty cupcake 50s cafe next door for hot chocolate)

Instow is nice (but the beach is tiny and very slopey in places .. not a swimming beach IYKWIM)

1dilemma Fri 31-Jul-09 10:25:05

thanks all things to do places to go
your favourite cafe

that kind of stuff

(places not to go too I guess!)

we're off tomorrow no doubt bringing rain with us

GetOrfMoiLand Fri 31-Jul-09 10:40:40

Hello, I used to live in Ilfracombe (about 14 miles from Barnstaple) so have know the place like the back of my hand!

Beaches - you are spoilt for choice. Woolacombe, Croyde and Saunton are all within 30 mins drive and are beautiful. They are really gorgeous beaches. Croyde is very surfy (watch the undertow with your little ones), Saunton is a very long, wide beach which doesn't get as busy as the other two, and Woolacombe is the busiest of the lot, there are rides on the beach, plenty of shops and ice cream places. These are all sandy beaches but there is a pebbly beach called Barricane next to Woolacombe main beach, which is great fun for rock pools etc.

Woolacombe has also got plenty of seaside shops, pitch and putt, crazy golf, all the rest.

There are also plenty of places to go with your kids, some (frankly bizarre) theme parks. The ones I would go to are The Milky Way (you can feed lambs, watch falconry, there is a bid indoor and putdoor play area), Watermouth Castle, Exmoor Zoo, The Big Sheep, Combe Martin Wildlife Park - all of these are within 40 mins drive. I think they have all got websites.

What else would you like to know?

GetOrfMoiLand Fri 31-Jul-09 10:45:53

www.themilkyway.co.uk
www.thebigsheep.co.uk
www.watermouthcastle.com
www.exmoorzoo.co.uk
www.dinosaur-park.com

Dinosaur Park (Combe Martin) and Exmoor Zoo are brilliant.

Cafes - The Red Barn in Woolacombe is good, very relaxed and full of families. The Old Mill at Ossaborough (just at the top of the hill above Woolacombe) is good as well, the food is nothing fantastic but there is a great adventure playground alongside it, and plenty of outside seating with patio heaters etc.
The Tarka Inn - a nice family pub just outside Barnstaple on the way to Braunton.

middymo Fri 31-Jul-09 10:58:36

Bude beach is nice. We didn't like Instow, litter and dog poo put us off!

sweetheart Fri 31-Jul-09 11:30:57

I'd second Woolacombe - it's lovely!

LadyGlencoraPalliser Fri 31-Jul-09 11:36:15

Putsborough beach is lovely (other end of Woolacombe but much quieter) and much more suitable for smallies to paddle than Croyde or even Saunton as no rip tides.
If wet, Cascades pool in Croyde (Ruda Holiday Park) is worth a try though small and very busy.

hocuspontas Fri 31-Jul-09 11:38:47

Off to Woolacombe tonight! Can't wait. It's probably raining but hey, who cares? Going to the Big Sheep, revisiting our 'courting' days in Ilfracombe and I'll be skipping about Exmoor pretending I'm Lorna Doone! Say hi if you see me! I'll be the one with 3 embarrassed dds grin

1dilemma Fri 31-Jul-09 11:43:33

oh thanks all
really quite excited now

hocus maybe we can get our children to entertain each other and nip off to the pub grin

getorf I love your name very suitable for Devon no doubt grin

does anyone know of a nice swimming pool or a walk maybe on Exmoor with the ponies etc?

hocuspontas Fri 31-Jul-09 11:45:33

Mine are old enough to babysit so even better!

Have noted down the eateries and good beaches - thanks

GetOrfMoiLand Fri 31-Jul-09 12:03:04

I am off to Ilfracombe tomorrow morning, all my family are there and I am looking forward to it very much. Yes, my name is based on the fact I am a Devon girl (ooh arrr! etc).

Yes, forgot about Putsborough, it is far nicer imo than the Woolacombe end, however in the summer it is an arse to get there, you can only access it by country lanes (unless you walk across from Woolacombe) and I have spent many glorious hours stuck in traffic when leaving the beach at Puts!

Only really good sdwimming pool is the one at Ruda (Croyde Bay holiday park), there is a Leisure Centre at Barnstaple but that is nothing special, just a normal swimming pool.

GetOrfMoiLand Fri 31-Jul-09 12:08:33

I don't know anything about ponies, but a beautiful walk across Exmoor whcih you could do with your kids (it doesn't have to be too far) is Tarr Steps en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tarr_Steps, there is a car park at the top, you walk about a mile down a slope to the river and the bridge, there are footpaths alongside each side of the river too (and a pub!). It is a lovely walk, I have often seen deer and Exmoor ponies in this area.

LadyGlencoraPalliser Fri 31-Jul-09 12:13:53

Hate to tell you but it is really wet here atm and the 5-day forecast shows no let up. There is a really good pottery painting cafe at the Golden Coast Holiday Park in Woolacombe and another in Braunton.
Big Sheep has a large indoor play area also (hideous for adults but great for amusing smallies in the rain).

GetOrfMoiLand Fri 31-Jul-09 12:22:01

The one thing that is fun to do in the rain is to go in the sea. I have done this before - hired wetsuits and boogie boards from Woolacombe, the weather turned into pissing down rain, and we just carried on anyway. There is something really fun about mucking about in the sea in the rain, you're wet anyway.

Getting changed afterwards was less fun, though.

GetOrfMoiLand Fri 31-Jul-09 12:23:00

Think Milky Way play area is huge as well (it has one of those bloody godforsaken death slides, I remember that well, dd made me go down the thing).

LadyGlencoraPalliser Fri 31-Jul-09 15:00:13

Oh yes, buy a copy of the North Devon Journal, there are lots of vouchers for the major attractions in this week.

1dilemma Fri 31-Jul-09 22:12:15

Thanks ever so much

Just written down all your suggestions the Tarr steps walk looks fab just what we wanted (we're in London so a nice shaggy pony on the other side of the river is just what we need don't actually want to ride them or anything grin)

showed the dcs the websites for the other stuff from getorf and they want to go to them all grin

LGP (you're all so regal down there) we have retrieved the wellies from nursery and we're all good to go (we had a very tired dc screaming 'get it off it's raining on me get it off me' with much hand thrashing the other day so we're looking forward to the rain it was only spitting too)

still if you have your own rain at least I wont feel I brought it with me

GetOrfMoiLand Mon 03-Aug-09 12:08:15

Hope you have a lovely time down there. I went down this weekend and came back yesterday - 4 and a half hours on the sodding M5 to get home!

GrimmaTheNome Mon 03-Aug-09 12:32:59

If you get this in time... the classic 'Lorna Doone' walk starts from Malmesmeade, gift shop & cafe by river. Use bridge not ford - DH ripped bottom plate off car once, nice place to wait for AA though!). We hired a small pony when DD was too small to walk far from Cloud farm on t'other side of river (that has tea shop too) - went well till we came to an uphill bit of path whereat pony turned round and wouldn't continue grin but fun anyhow.

1dilemma Fri 11-Sep-09 23:23:25

Hi everyone
Have been meaning to find this thread and come back and thankyou all for your help.
we had a fantastic time lovely beaches, Exmoor was just lovely for us really beautiful scenery
we did a walk at tarr steps but got it a bit wrong and waded through mud for part of it (the track was out but it only said that at the steps end not the top of the hill) however a nice ice cream helped

went to Putsborough (missed the bit about country lanes!!!) am amazed everyone gets there and back in one piece

kids all loved the dinosaur park much roarrring ever since

so thank you all once again for helping our holiday go so smoothly, it was nice to have a few pointers to start with

pipsqueak Fri 11-Sep-09 23:28:03

glad you liked it ! love this area too

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