The Webbery Guide to North Devon
Welcome to Webbery! Just by coming here you are already in on one of the best kept
secrets in British tourism - our North Devon homeland. The enduring charm of this
beautiful area is in large part a product of the relative isolation it enjoyed until the
Link Road was opened in the late 1980s. Rumour has it that the first avocado pears
were seen in Barnstaple shops within a couple of days of its opening!
Here you will find an old-world charm that has sadly largely disappeared from the rest
of the country. There are many lonely places where you can totally escape the tumult
of modern life to find true rural peace and tranquillity. There are no Cities or large
Towns in North Devon. To put things into perspective, Barnstaple is our regional
capital but still has a population of only some 23,000 people. Yet the best of
civilisation is not far away, with a range of good places to eat, shop and patronise the
We have prepared this little guide as an introduction to what the region has to offer. It
can, at best, only be limited in scope as there is so much more to North Devon than
we can possibly describe in these few pages.
Dining Out in the North Devon Area
Andrews on the Weir
Tel: +44 (0)1643 863 300
Actually in Somerset on the other side of Exmoor about 20 minutes drive from
Lynmouth. This is a serious foodie’s restaurant overlooking the small harbour at
Porlock Weir where chef Andrew Dixon provides beautifully prepared and presented
food using local produce. The restaurant is in the former home of the mother of a
friend of mine and has a cosy atmosphere. There is a very nice woodland walk from
the Weir up to the ancient and tiny church at Culbone. Just the thing to burn off a few
calories after a good lunch! Booking recommended.
Broomhill Art Hotel
Muddiford, Barnstaple, North Devon, EX31 4EX
01271 850 362
Award winning restaurant with menu based around Mediterranean cuisine, using
organic, Fairtrade & fresh produce from six neighbouring farms
The Old Custom House
9 The Strand, Barnstaple North Devon EX31 1EU
Riverside restaurant recently re-opened under the ownership of chef James Duckett.
Provides food of the quality to be found in a top London restaurant at a fraction of the
price. Menu changes daily to reflect availability of local produce. Al fresco dining on
the Quay in Summer. Booking advised.
Instow, Devon, EX39 4JJ
Hatton Croft, Marine Parade, Instow, North Devon EX39 4JJ
Seafood speciality restaurant right on the Front at Instow. Fantastic views of the sun
setting over the sea on Spring and Summer evenings. Upstairs dining room decked out
like a ship. Al fresco dining on outdoor terrace at the front. Booking recommended.
East of the Water
2, Barnstaple Street East-the-Water, Bideford
Tel: 01237 425329
Chinese cooking as you have never tasted it before. Former riverside pub converted
into a restaurant serving Chinese “home cooked” food with an emphasis on seafood
dishes. Very good wine list at sensible prices. Highly recommended. This place is
very popular with the locals so be sure to book!
Han Court Chinese Restaurant
Main Road, Fremington, Barnstaple, North Devon, EX31 2NX
01271 373 865
Excellent Cantonese & Peking cuisine. A wide choice of speciality, fresh seafood
dishes & set menus. All dishes are freshly cooked to order. 99% MSG Free. Friendly
personal service from the owner.
High Bullen Hotel, Golf & Country Club
High Bullen Chittlehamholt, Umberleigh, North Devon, EX37 9HD
Dine surrounded by breathtaking county views in the Pavilion Brasserie or hotel
restaurant and during the summer months on the terrace or in the secluded hotel
courtyard. A unique family-run country house hotel with first rate leisure facilities.
Honey Moon Chinese & Thai Restaurant
3 The Strand, Barnstaple, North Devon, EX31 1EU
Authentic Chinese and Thai cuisine.
Lemongrass Thai Restaurant
30 Caen Street, Braunton, North Devon, EX33 1AA
Freshly cooked authentic Thai food using only the best local produce. Fully licensed
with a range of good wines from around the world
The Mason’s Arms
Mark & Sarah Dodson, The Masons Arms, Knowstone, Devon, EX36 4RY
Renowned Michelin starred restaurant in a 13th Century village pub at Knowstone.
About 40 minutes drive from Webbery, but well worth it. Mark was head chef at the
Waterside Inn for many years and provides consistently wonderful food at sensible
prices using the best of local produce. Booking recommended.
8 Fore Street, Northam, Bideford, North Devon, EX39 1AW
Small is beautiful! Winner of best restaurant in North Devon award. Chef-patron Brett
provides innovative, constantly changing menus utilising excellent local produce,
while wife Naomi runs front of house. Brett is a keen fisherman and you will often be
eating his catch of the day! The restaurant is air-conditioned and offers an intimate
atmosphere. Our personal favourite. Booking essential.
Kinevor House, North Morte Road, Mortehoe, North Devon, EX34 7EE
A real fish and seafood experience. The spectacular evening platter with whole
lobster, crab and 12 varieties of seafood is not to be missed.
Northcote Manor Country House Hotel
Burrington, Umberleigh, North Devon, EX37 9LZ
9 Grenville Street, Bideford, EX39 2EA
Frankly the best Thai Restaurant we have ever visited outside Thailand. Chef-patron
Phansit is from the island of Koh Samui and settled in North Devon because it
reminded him of home. Wonderfully authentic Thai cooking using fresh local
produce. The restauarant has no alcohol licence, so just bring your own wine or beer
for a very reasonable corkage charge. An absolute gem. Booking recommended.
11 The Quay, Ilfracombe, EX34 9EQT
Tel: 01271 868090
Damien Hirst’s award winning restaurant and bistro on the harbour side at Ilfracombe.
Saunton Sands Hotel
Saunton, Braunton, North Devon, EX33 1LQ
The Saunton Sands Hotel offers one of the most spectacular dinning experiences in
the County. Standing in an elevated position it offers unique views directly along
miles of sandy beach. Contemporary and traditional cuisine using locally sourced
produce. High quality establishment with an emphasis on service. Al fresco lunches
on the sun-trap terrace are a particular treat. We regularly cycle there from Webbery.
Weirmarsh Farm Restaurant
Weirmarsh Farm, Umberleigh, North Devon, EX37 9BE
Novel dining experience in a relaxed farmhouse atmosphere using quality local
produce. Pre booking is essential. Open Thursday, Friday & Saturday evenings. Open
weekdays for lunch
Yeoldon House Hotel
Durrant Lane, Bideford, Devon, EX39 2RL
Newly refurbished Soyer's Restaurant at the Yeoldon House Hotel, lends a casual
elegance to a unique dinning experience. Good place for Sunday lunch
Unit 1, Market Street, Barnstaple, EX31 1BX
Highly recommended bistro style restaurant in the centre of Barnstaple next to the
Pannier Market. Food has a Carribean/Mediterranean focus.
Cafés and Tea Shops
The Corn Dolly Tea Shop
115a East Street, South Molton , North Devon, EX36 3DB
This delightful tea shop, which has won awards of excellence from the Tea Guide in
2004 & 2005, provides a delicious range of meals & snacks throughout the day. The
best local produce is used. Fantastic coffee! A favourite of ours.
The Quay Café
Fremington Quay, Fremington, Barnstaple, North Devon, EX31 2NH
This award winning, family-run café located in a renovated railway station on the
Tarka Trail right on the Eastern bank of the River Taw Estuary. The visitor book says
"Wonderful locally sourced food, friendly staff, great music & fantastic views." We
agree with every word! Bike Trail cycle hire is next door.
The Sand Cats
2 Golf Links Road, Westward Ho!, Bideford, North Devon, EX39 1LH
Award winning café open all year round from 10am serving home made cakes, jacket
potatoes, main meals, all day breakfasts, Sunday roasts and evening menu. Will
certainly get your taste buds purring.
The Beaver Inn
Irsha Street, Appledore, Bideford, North Devon, EX39 1RY
Riverside pub & restaurant with stunning estuary views across to instow. Good food
with an emphasis on local fish. Steaks and vegetarian options. Live music- home to
North Devon Jazz Club. Children welcome. Al fresco eating and drinking on riverside
The Black Venus
Challacombe, Barnstaple North Devon, EX31 4TT
Tel: 01598 763251
Delightful 16th Century Inn in a beautiful valley setting in the Exmoor National Park.
(Challacombe is the highest parish in North Devon) Excellent home cooked food, well
kept local ales and a decent range of highly palatable wines available by the glass.
Mark and Liz are extremely convivial hosts. Highly recommended particularly if you
are having a day out on Exmoor, well worth a detour if you are not.
The Boathouse Pub and Restaurant
Marine Parade, Instow
Food-focused pub with adjacent restaurant in converted boathouse on the front at
Instow. Pub very family-friendly. Battered haddock and chips especially
The Hunter’s Inn
Our “local” pub which you probably passed on the way to Webbery as you negotiated
the tight bend at Newton Tracey. Under new ownership but we have had some good
reports about the food. Cosy country pub with open fires.
The Grove Inn
Kings Nympton, Umberleigh, North Devon, EX37 9ST
North Devon's Best Pub 2005. A 17th century thatched pub with heavily beamed
ceilings and stone fireplaces set in the middle of an award winning village in the
famous Tarka country.
The Old Smithy Inn
Welcombe, Bideford, North Devon, EX39 6HG
Award winning thatched pub with gardens situated in a most delightful village just
one mile from the sea. serving delicious contemporary coastal cuisine, fresh fish and
homemade pizza. An absolute gem!
The Rock Inn
Rock Hill, Georgeham ,North Devon EX33 1JW
Tel: 01271 890 322
This 17th Century Inn located in a pretty village close to Croyde Bay was the favourite
watering-hole of author and local resident Henry Williamson (Tarka the Otter etc).
Excellent home-cooked food with well kept beers and a decent selection of wines.
Well worth a visit.
The Royal George
Irsha Street, Appledore
Traditional pub serving very good food with an emphasis on local fish. Dining room
offers panoramic views over the Torridge estuary towards Instow.
The Westleigh Inn
Westleigh, North Devon EX39 4NL
Tel: 01271 860867
Charming 15th Century pub in village occupying a commanding position above the
Torridge Estuary between Bideford and Instow. Easy access from the Tarka trail.
Excellent food cooked with ability and care. Large beer garden with Estuary views.
Places to Visit
There are too many treasures in North Devon to list them all in this small guide, so
what follows is just a selection. Please don’t hesitate to ask us for more information if
you need it.
Appledore, situated where the River Torridge & River Taw flow into the Atlantic is
steeped in maritime tradition. Appledore has been a thriving port since it was settled
by the Cistercian monks in the 14th Century and before that, the Anglo-Saxons fished
from its shores.
Appledore is a historian’s delight, with watch towers, look-outs, a smugglers tunnel,
fishermen's cottages, captains' houses and a quay overlooking the confluence of the
two rivers. Away from the quay the narrow streets, hidden lanes and cobbled
courtyards preserve the intriguing history and transport the imagination back through
Probably the oldest existing building in Appledore is Docton House which was built
by the monks and occupied by them until about 1540. It is thought to have been a
“rest house” for pilgrims on the way to Hartland Abbey. The area’s maritime history
is well documented and preserved in the North Devon Maritime Museum in Odun
Road at the top of the village.
Mostly a conservation area, Appledore is close to the South West Coast Path and
beautiful safe beaches for surfing, swimming and sandcastles. Also, nearby is the
Northam Burrows Country Park, home to the oldest 18 hole links golf course in
Try the locally-produced Hockings Ice cream – Worlds apart from the mass-produced
rubbish we so often have to contend with.
Barnstaple is the commercial capital of the North Devon region and combines
sophisticated shopping with the bustling atmosphere of markets and speciality shops.
The modern Green Lanes Shopping Centre compliments the traditional Pannier and
Craft Markets held since 1855 in the Pannier Market Hall. Around every corner there
are pretty little alleys and courtyards, as well as the unusual Butchers Row, a line of
open fronted shops selling speciality foods from meat and fish to laver and traditional
This attractive market town is the oldest and largest town in North Devon, nestling in
the Taw valley on the other side of the estuary which the Saxons first settled in
Barnstaple (Barum) over 1000 years ago.
The medieval Long Bridge, crossing the tidal River Taw was thought to have been
built in the 12th and 13th centuries and in Litchdon Street are the Penrose Almshouses
built in the early 17th century. The Merchants Walk and the bottom of Cross Street
are believed to have been built during the reign of Charles II. The recommended way
to explore historic Barnstaple is to follow the Heritage Trail starting at the Barnstaple
Heritage Centre. Many significant buildings along the trail are each marked with
The Victorian novelist Charles Kingsley described Bideford as "The Little White
Town which slopes upward from its broad river tide ". Indeed, little has changed from
when Kingsley lived in the area nearly 150 years ago; much of its architecture and
historic associations are still with us. Kingsley's statue, located adjacent to the Tourist
Information Centre, serves as a permanent reminder of this famous resident and the
time he spent here writing part of his well-known novel Westward Ho!
Today, Bideford is both a thriving market town and a working port visited by ships
flying the flags of many nations. Amongst the many buildings and places of interest
is the historic covered Pannier Market, dating from 1883, which holds a market every
Tuesday and Saturday. Modern shopping facilities, however, coexist happily with the
history. The town boasts an eclectic mix of pubs, cafes, bars and restaurants together
with a broad range of visitor attractions for all ages.
Compact, accessible and with good parking facilities, Bideford manages to blend
tradition and heritage with sensible and planned development in a way that ensures
that this little white town remains a unique experience for every visitor!
Braunton and Saunton
The village of Braunton is situated on the A361 between Barnstaple and Ilfracombe,
at the crossroads of the main coastal road to the fine sandy beaches of Saunton and
Croyde. The nearby UNESCO Biosphere Reserve of Braunton Burrows boasts over
3,000 hectares of North Devon landscape and has been formally recognised by the
UN as Britain's first new-style Biosphere. The Biosphere has Braunton Burrows at its
core but stretches out to include Braunton Marshes and Great Field, Northam
Burrows, the Taw/Torridge estuary and as far as Croyde Dunes and Kipling Tors.
Braunton lays claim to be the largest village in England and its old part of contains
narrow ancient streets where cob-walled cottages may still be found. The local shops
offer a good selection of local produce, together with antiques, gift & craft items.
There is also that rarity of the modern age – a free car park!. A large number of surf
shops in the village sell and hire equipment for use at the nearby beaches and
Braunton is also a centre for the manufacture of Wet Suits and Surf Boards. There is a
good selection of pubs and restaurants including an extremely popular Fish and Chip
Restaurant and Take Away, which has won an award for Best Fish & Chip Shop in
the South West. An Art & Craft Centre and a new Heritage Centre complete the
Breathtaking Saunton Sands stretches as far as the eye can see. It is backed by
Braunton Burrows which is now the centre of the Biosphere Reserve, which is
considered to be of international significance because of the diversity and abundance
of rare plants and its continuous human use from ancient times.
Although there are 400 other Biosphere Reserves world-wide (including the area
around Mount Vesuvius in Italy and the Danube Delta in Eastern Europe) ours is the
first in the UK and likely to be the only one in the South-West. Renowned for its
outstanding beauty, the beach plays host to many activities such as sand yachting,
surfing and kite flying, and has been used as a location for many film, video and
Located nearby is the famous Saunton Golf Club with its magnificent 18 hole
championship standard links courses. Golf has been played at Saunton for more than
100 years and the East course, redesigned in 1919 by the famous W. Herbert Fowler,
has remained essentially unchanged since that date. The newer West course was
originally built in the mid-thirties but was lost as a battle training ground during the
Second World War.
The Brendon Valley is an outstandingly beautiful valley cut over the millennia by the
East Lyn River as it twists and turns before tumbling into the sea at Lynmouth.. The
area boasts magnificent specimens of Exmoor wildlife and plants, as well as
breathtaking scenery. This is archetypal Doone Country; the little church at Oare was
the setting of Lorna Doone’s shooting in R.D. Blackmore's famous novel.
Shortly after leaving Lynmouth travelling towards Malmsmead you will come first to
Brendon Church at 700ft amsl, which is still some distance from the village of
Brendon itself. The church was built and restored in the 18th and 19th centuries and
has a Norman font. It was moved literally stone by stone from Cheriton.
Brendon remains an unspoilt Exmoor village steeped in history nestling in the tranquil
valley of the East Lyn river immortalised by Blackmoor in his novel. Open moor land
spreads upwards from the river valley rising to the mighty cliffs of the Bristol
Channel. The East Lyn is the river of my boyhood adventures. Many an hour have I
spent with my fly-rod stalking salmon and sea trout in its deep pools – taught by the
local poacher who always knew where the finest fish were lurking.
I could write a book about our poacher and the love-hate relationship he enjoyed with
the local water-bailiff. Taken to court by the former for illegal fishing more than once
he inevitably declined to pay his fines and would be sent by the local beaks to Exeter
prison to purge his contempt. On the day that he was released who was always there
to pick him up and drive him home ? – you’ve guessed – the water-bailiff!
Country life being what it was in those days of (relative) innocence our man
supplemented his income by supplying the local hostelries with fish with no, or at
least very few, questions being asked about its provenance. He always had the best
specimens around. One particular Inn had a special code understood only by the locals
to be used when our man had delivered a couple of leviathans snatched from the river
within an hour or two hours of a spate. When “ordinary” fish was on offer the
landlord would write “poached Lyn salmon” on the menu. When our man’s fish was
on the menu he wrote the code words “Lyn poached salmon”. That subtle change
would bring the locals in to dine from far and wide. I once sat in the dining room of
that pub with my parents watching the water-bailiff tuck into a very large plate of our
man’s salmon. I always speculated that he might have had his own Enigma machine.
This picture-postcard fishing villages clings to a steep hillside on the North Devon
coast. Its colourful, flower bedecked cottages line the main stepped, cobbled street on
such a steep incline that you can almost see down the chimney of the cottage below!
Visitors to Clovelly manage the steep cobbled streets to the ancient harbour on foot as
traffic is banned from the village. The only other form of transport are sledges, which
are used to deliver weekly supplies to the community.
There are a wide range of facilities in the village that will enhance the enjoyment of
your visit. There is the award winning Clovelly Centre which includes a gift shop,
picnic area and self service restaurant. In the village you will find the New Inn and the
Fisherman"s Museum and Charles Kingsley Exhibition. In addition, the Clovelly
Pottery and the Silk Shop are open seasonally.
There is a small entrance charge to the village covering parking which contributes to
the upkeep of Clovelly.
Croyde and Georgeham
Croyde Village dates back to pre Saxon times and is one of the prettiest villages in
Devon with many thatched cottages. Croyde is named after the Norse Raider Crydda
who landed in Croyde Bay, and each year the village celebrates its Viking origins
with a Viking Festival held in June.
The village is well known for its ice cream and clotted cream shops, and there are
many cafes and pubs serving traditional local food.
Croyde is also home to the Rock and Gem Museum which contains a unique
collection of rocks, gems and shells from all over the world.
Georgeham can be found on a little coastal road near Croyde, south of Ilfracombe. It
was noted only as "Ham" in the Domesday Book. The church in the village is
dedicated to St. George and was rebuilt in 1876. There are signs of a church having
existed in 1261 and a 13th century font was discovered in 1967. The church contains
an interesting effigy of a medieval knight thought to be a local landowner.
Encompassing the churchyard is Millie's Cottage (featured in a BBC documentary of
the area) built in 1678 by Ian Fletcher for his wife Elizabeth (Millie).
Henry Williamson, author of "Tarka the Otter" (and many other books) lived in
Georgeham in Skirr Cottage which is now a private dwelling. He also had a hut at
Oxford Cross which he used when he needed solitude for his writing.
On the extreme West of North Devon is the large unspoilt parish of Hartland with
contrasting moors and delightful wooded valleys; towering cliffs rise dramatically
above the rugged coastline hiding secluded bays.
A sizeable village has developed around the square where St John's Chapel, with its
ancient town clock was built on the site of the old market and town hall. St John's is
now home for the town band and the male voice choir.
There are various craft workshops in the village with occasional art and craft fayres in
the Parish Hall. Across a sheltered valley is the 12th Century Abbey, with gardens
which lead down to the rocky cove. At the west end of Hartland, Springfield leads
into The Vale, where a pleasant walk takes you to Stoke, where you will find the
parish church of St. Nectan with its commanding 128ft tower, described as "the
Cathedral" of North Devon.
The waters in the area can be treacherous as the wrecks that can be seen from
Hartland Point testify.
This pretty estuary village lies on the banks of the River Torridge. Its wonderful
scenic views and position facing the setting sun make it a favourite haunt for artists. It
is also a great place for fishermen, watersports and sailing enthusiasts.
Instow commands some of the most spectacular sunsets ever to be witnessed in North
Devon as the Sun disappears behind the horizon of Bideford Bay. Home of the North
Devon Yacht Club, Instow has a small 17th century quay from which a summer ferry
crosses to Appledore, and a long promenade forms the backing for the sandy beach.
At the North end the sand dunes are a popular place for family outings; beyond them
lies the cricket pitch with its picturesque thatched clubhouse, and a second beach,
traditionally famous for its shell fish catch.
The riverside Tarka Trail passes through Instow, with access beside the restored
signal box near the Quay. The parish church and school overlook the estuary from the
hillside behind the village.
John’s Supermarket offers local organic meat, fresh fish and a superb selection of
local farmhouse cheeses.
Lundy lies off the coast of North Devon, where the Atlantic ocean meets the Bristol
Channel with nothing between it and America, a granite outcrop, three and a half
miles long and half a mile wide. In the hubbub of the modern world it is a place apart,
peaceful and unspoilt. It is a wonderful nature reserve and not to be missed.
Visitors are carried to Lundy on the MS Oldenburg, Lundy's own ship. Formerly a
German Railways steamer she is a graceful motor vessel, fast, comfortable and built
on traditional lines. Below decks she retains her original panelling and brass fittings,
but has been skilfully modernised to provide heated saloons, bar, buffet, shop and
The MS Oldenburg has on board a bar, buffet, shop and information centre. The bar
offers a wide range of drinks and a relaxing atmosphere, whist hot and cold food is
provided at the buffet. You can while away the time in our well stocked shop or find
out more about the island at the information centre.
M.S. Oldenburg can carry 267 passengers, has a licensed bar and small buffet, (for
larger functions we have contacts with outside caterers), and is available for private
charter. Whether it is for a cruise to Lundy, an evening river cruise from Bideford, a
coastal cruise from Ilfracombe or a venue to hold a meeting etc.
Helicopter flights to the Island are also available.
Lundy Shore Office
The Quay, Bideford
Devon, EX39 2LY
Tel: 01271 863636 Fax: 01237 477779
Lynton and Lynmouth
The dramatic juxtaposition of sweeping, heather-clad moorland with high, craggy,
cliffs dropping sheer into the clear cool waters of sheltered bays make Lynton and
Lynmouth the jewels in the crown of the North Devon Coast.
Lynton and Lynmouth developed gradually over the centuries around two splendid
deep and wooded river valleys, those of the East and West Lyn which have their
origins in a matrix of small streams on the high ground of Exmoor and then come
together in confluence just before they flow into the sea at Lynmouth. It was the
Victorians who made these twin settlements a Mecca for discerning holidaymakers,
giving the area the title 'The Little Switzerland of England'.
Really just large moorland streams in normal conditions it was these two rivers,
swollen by 48 hours of continuous heavy rain in August 1952, that brought tons of
rock crashing down through Lynmouth devastating the village with fatal
consequences. The effects of the flood can still be seen to-day.
About a mile from the centre of Lynton lies the renowned Valley of Rocks. It can
easily be reached by car but the reward is so much the greater (if for nothing other
than the cardio-vascular system.) if one makes the journey on foot coming up via
North Walk or Hollerday Hill. Dominating the valley is Castle Rock. Other bizarrely
weathered formations bear names such as Ragged Jack and the Devil's Cheesewring.
The Cliff Railway was officially opened in 1890 and operates at a gradient of 1:1¾
achieving a vertical ascent of approximately 500 feet. With a gauge is 45 inches the
railway is a minor masterpiece of Victorian engineering. Each car has a 700 gallon
water tank which is filled at the top and emptied at the bottom. This displacement of
water causes the lower car to be pulled up to Lynton, while the heavier car at the top
descends to Lynmouth.
The beautiful river walk from Lynmouth to Watersmeet is not too taxing and promises
the reward of lunch or tea at the excellent National Trust café at the confluence of the
Welcombe lies on the Atlantic Coast just on the Devon side of the North
Devon/Cornwall border midway between Bideford and Bude. The parish of
Welcombe comprises a scattered group of hamlets incorporating approximately 100
households. The village sits astride a deep valley which leads a meandering stream to
the cliff edge at Welcombe Mouth where it ends in a picturesque waterfall. St
Nectan's Church looks over the northern flank of the valley while The Old Smithy Inn
lies on the southern side.
On a narrow strip of land beneath the wooded hillside and golden sands of Bideford
Bay, lies this little seaside resort that has been a popular family holiday destination
since Victorian times.
The village is fronted by over two miles of golden sand and is protected by the
famous pebble ridge and long promenade. Behind the pebble ridge lies the Northam
Burrows Country Park, with nearly 1000 acres of common ground to explore. To the
west of the village you will find wonderful scenic walks too. All the traditional
seaside attractions you would expect are situated on the promenade and within the
village, which provides a vibrant atmosphere and happy bustling shopping centre.
Woolacombe and Mortehoe
Between Braunton and Ilfracombe lie some of Europe’s finest and cleanest beaches,
ideal for both families with children and watersports enthusiasts. The small village of
Woolacombe is located along this spectacular coastline of soft, golden sandy beaches
flanked by the dramatic headlands of Baggy Point and Morte Point.
Woolacombe"s popularity has never been greater; it was given the accolade "Family
Holiday of the Year 1999" by the English Tourism Council, having been nominated
by a regular holiday maker. The Village has also achieved both the Blue Flag and
Premier Beach Seaside Award for it’s attractive sandy beach making it the ideal base
for a family holiday.
And if its beaches you want, nigh on three miles of golden sands stretch from
Putsborough in the south to Woolacombe village itself offering scope even for the
most energetic beachcombers. The shallowness of the waters means that they are
readily warmed by the Sun making bathing a safe and pleasant experience in good
weather. The beaches are patrolled by lifeguards during the main summer season.
The little settlement of Mortehoe is a pretty stone village named in the Domesday
Book. The village boasts a number of tea rooms and pubs, a thirteenth century church
and Mortehoe Heritage Centre which celebrates the area’s rich maritime history.
Mortehoe is also the starting point for the many scenic walks along this dramatic
stretch of coastline. Just north of the village and reached only on foot, lies Rockham
Beach at the base of a 100 ft cliff, the ideal spot for a quiet day’s relaxation on the
Gardens and Country Houses to visit
A true gardener’s garden , often featured on TV. Displaying a stunning variety of
garden styles, maturity, and planting with all year round interest, Rosemoor is rapidly
evolving into a garden of national importance. Its 40 acres are designed to delight and
inspire a wide range of visitors, from the novice to the professional, and its fascinating
explorer trails are popular with children.
The Fame of 2000 roses in 200 varieties is spreading - and rightly so, for they are
truly a magnificent sight. There are beds of tender perennials, a quarter of a mile of
herbaceous borders; contrasting beds of hot and cool colours, a newly planted Winter
Garden and spectacular Plantsman's and Foliage Garden with its bamboos, grasses
and carefully selected shrubs of fine architectural form. There is a stream that rushes
through a 'new' rock gorge planted with ferns and bamboos, then meanders through
the bog garden before tumbling down into a magnificent lake.
Tapeley Park Gardens
On the road between Webbery and Instow. With its four distinctly different themed
areas set in a twenty acre site, Tapeley Gardens are home to a rich and fascinating
variety of flowers, trees, shrubs and vegetables.
The well known terraced Italian garden, created by Lady Rosamond Christie in the
late 19th century, have recently been restored by Mary Keen and Carol Kleins. They
now brim with new scents and colours, complimenting the existing rare and tender
plants. This, with the stunning views, woodlands and lakes, walled kitchen garden and
dairy tea rooms, plant sales and childrens play area make for an extensive and
uplifting day out.
Located in a beautiful, sheltered valley by a small trout stream, only a miles walk
from a spectacular Atlantic Cove. From 1157-1539 the Augustinian Canons lived and
gardened in this hidden paradise. In the 18th Century shrub gardens were created
either side of the abbey with a woodland walk to the walled kitchen gardens.
The winding paths in the Baronet's Bog garden, designed by Gertrude Jekll and until
recently hidden by undergrowth, lead to the newly discovered Victorian Fernery and
the charming secret walled garden. Being an informal mixture of tender and rare
plants, summer perennials, shrubs and vegetables for the house, they are pretty in all
seasons. The woodland walk to the beach is a carpet of wildflowers in spring.
These gardens are the end result of the owner's passion over 50 years collecting an
enormous number of trees and shrubs, many of them very rare, together with many
herbaceous and alpine plants. These have now matured and every season sees an
exuberance of flower with large collections of Camellias and Magnolias in Spring
with a mass underplanting of Snowdrops and Daffodils.
A succession of dramatic Himalayan and other species Rhododendrons and a great
variety of flowering trees take us through into summer.The three lakes, linked by the
biggest bog garden in the west are alive with ducks and multicoloured carp.
Less than a mile from the sea, in one of Devon’s outstanding beauty spots lies Docton
Mill. The mill itself, mentioned in the Domesday Book, has been restored along with
its waterways and now generates electricity for the house.
The internationally renowned garden blends with natural landscape. Eight acres of
sheltered wooded valley with millpond, leats, trout stream crossed by footbridges and
smaller streams. The encompassing bog garden is exceptional.
Just outside Tiverton Designed by William Burges and begun in 1869, Knightshayes
is a rare survival of his work. The rich interiors combine medieval romanticism with
lavish Victorian decoration, and the smoking and billiard rooms, elegant boudoir and
drawing room all give an atmospheric insight into grand country house life. The
celebrated garden features a water lily pool and topiary, fine specimen trees, rare
shrubs and delightful seasonal colours. Attractive woodland walks lead through the
The plain exterior of this house, built in neo-classical style in 1822, does little to
prepare the visitor for the astonishing rooms inside. Full of collections for every taste,
many of them amassed by the eccentric and widely travelled Miss Rosalie Chichester,
they include displays of model ships, costume, pewter, shells and other fascinating
objects. The Trust's large collection of horse-drawn carriages is housed in the stables
and there are carriage rides in the grounds, starting at the house. Walks lead through
attractive gardens into extensive parkland grazed by Shetland ponies and Jacob sheep
North Devon Beaches
North Devon has some of the finest beaches in the Country. Here are our
1.5 miles of sandy beach protected by its ridge of huge pebbles. Ideal for swimming,
surfing and sailboarding. There is a visitors centre explaining the ecology of the sea
and surrounding area. This is open Easter - September 10am - 5pm, although the park
is open all the time. There is a car park behind the pebble ridge and toilets at the
A seaside resort with amusement arcade, putting green,tennis courts,playground,
beach shops, snack bars and seaside pubs. The beach - sand/pebbles - is easily
accessible from the car park and is ideal for swimming and surfing. There are also
pools in the rocks which have been adapted for swimming
Our nearest beach. Long, sandy esturine beach.. When the tide is out it is very
pleasant walking along the beach by the edge of the river Torridge with picturesque
Appledore on the opposite side, or just sit down and enjoy and ice cream.
3 miles of flat sand backed by massive sand dunes. Excellent surfing beach and ideal
for all water sports. Manned with lifeguards. Wheelchair accessible. Shop, toilet etc.
at car park end of beach. Arrive early as car parking space is limited and can fill up on
This award winning sandy beach is just around the corner from Saunton Sands, but
because it is smaller it can get crowded. However it is easily accessible, there is plenty
of car parking and it is excellent for swimming, surfing, windsurfing etc. The beach is
manned with lifeguards. At one end of the beach there is equipment hire, a shop,
refreshments and toilets.
A modern settlement rather swamped by hotels guest houses and caravan parks.
However once you get past all this you come to one of the finest beaches in the West
Country. 3 miles of golden sand with numerous awards. It is very clean and tidy, has
good toilet facilities, first aid, life saving equipment and even a lost children service.
There is a large car park near the beach. Woolacombe is ideal for all water sports and
there are lifeguards on the beach. However attention should be paid to warnings not to
bathe at low tide.
(At the southern end of Woolacombe Sands) Another award winning sandy beach
manned with lifeguards. Again ideal for surfing, swimming and water sports. There is
a beach car park but access for wheelchairs is difficult. Toilets and snack bar.
(just north ofWoolacombe Sands) A Small rocky cove with a beach made of broken
sea shells not native to Britain. Rock pools amongst the flat rocks. Wheelchair access
is possible if a little difficult. Parking is on the Mortehoe road (opposite the Devon
Beach Hotel) or at Woolacombe Beach car park five minutes walk away.
Combesgate, Rockham & Grunta
Small secluded bays with deep safe rock pools. Unfortunately the only access to these
bays is by footpath. A good starting point is the ancient parish church at Mortehoe - St
Mary's. The Chichester Arms in Mortehoe does a good lunch.
The Tunnels at Ilfracombe are passages hewn through the cliffs to a privately owned
bathing beach. The Victorians also built up walls between rocks to make two bathing
pools - One for ladies and one for gentlemen. There is a cafe at the entrance to the
tunnels as well as a snack bar by the beaches There is a small charge to use the
Just east of Ilfracombe this safe shingle beach is popular with canoeists. There are a
few amusements and a tide filled childrens swimming pool. In the village is a working
16th century watermill open April - October. There is also a pottery at the mill where
you can make your own pot. From the village there is a paths up the impressive 447ft
Hillsborough hill which provides a good view of Ilfracombe Harbour. Its summit is
also one of the few places in the country where you can see the sun rise and set over a
sea horizon. Just yards from the beach is the Hele Bay Pub with good food.
This pretty little village nestles in Fushia Valley - a deep combe where fushias grow
in profusion. The beach is delightful at low tide with lots of rock pools to explore and
a stretch of sand giving good bathing. At high tide all this is covered and the beach
becomes very uninviting.
At high tide the beach looks uninteresting but as the tide goes out there are large rock
pools to explore and stretch of level sand appears outside a ridge of stones known as
the breakwater. The sea is free of currents and therefore popular for bathing. Just a
little to the west is Sandy Bay which is reached by Sandy Bay Lane. Steps lead down
to the beach, but unfortunately there is no sand. However it is a great spot for picnic.
Wild Pear Bay
A delightful beach often used by naturists. Although steps have been cut into the cliff
down to the beach, the descent and climb back are quite arduous. The beach is a
mixture of sand and pebbles and on the north side is a stream of drinking water. The
nearest car park is the beach car park at Combe Martin. Take the footpath to Lesser
Point which then goes on to Little Hangman and you will come across the path down
to Wild Pear/Hangman beach.
A lovely sheltered bay where the steep cliffs are covered in woods and a fast flowing
stream gushes down the hillside to the beach below. There is a small car park next to
the road and the path zig-zags down through the woods to the beach below. The
beach, made up of rocks, large pebbles and shingle, is safe for swimming and is a
lovely place to just sit, relax and enjoy the scenery. The only disadvantage is having
to walk back up
A very narrow scenic road brings you from Woody Bay to Lee Bay. Another very
attractive bay with rocks to climb and a sandy/shingle beach to play on. However
bathers should beware of strong currents. Car parking is in a field near the bay and
there are some facilities. Have tea in the delightful tea shop at Lee Abbey.
This secluded little bay is surrounded by high cliffs. The path down to it is quite steep
and not really suitable for very young children. There is a car park in the Valley of the
Rocks and the path is sign posted from the little roundabout near the car park.
If you want to use Webbery as a base to explore the wider region here are one or two
suggestions for places to visit.
The Eden Project Bodelva, Cornwall PL24 2SG
In the warm temperate biome natural gardens bloom as in the Mediterranean,
California and South Africa, habitats halfway between the wet green woods and the
deserts. The Eden Project combines ecology, horticulture, science, art and
architecture. It provides an informative and enjoyable experience while promoting
ways to maintain a sustainable future in terms of human global dependence on plants
and trees. The exhibits include over one hundred thousand plants representing five
thousand species from many of the climate zones of the world.
Dartmoor Village over 1000ft amsl giving direct access to the High Tors
Visit Porthmeor Beach and the Tate
Telephone: 01736 796226
Padstow and Rock
Have Lunch at Rick Stein’s Restaurant, Bistro, Café or Fish and Chip Place
All Reservations: 01841 532700
Please note that delightful as they are Padstow and Rock can be an absolute nightmare
at busy holiday times
The Lost Gardens of Heligan
Pentewan, St.Austell, Cornwall
United Kingdom, PL26 6EN
Heligan, seat of the Tremayne family for more than 400 years, is one of the most
mysterious estates in England. At the end of the nineteenth century its thousand acres
were at their zenith, but only a few years later bramble and ivy were already drawing
a green veil over this "Sleeping Beauty". After decades of neglect, the devastating
hurricane of 1990 should have consigned the Lost Gardens of Heligan to a footnote in
history. Now restored and open to the public
The South West Peninsula Coast Path (The South West Way)
This is Britain's longest footpath stretching over 600 miles from Somerset to Dorset.
The North Devon section of the Coast Path is 90 miles (140km) long and boasts some
of the most spectacular scenery of it all.
The Tarka Trail
This 180 mile (280km) trail follows a figure of eight path centring in North Devon. It
takes the walker through a variety of Devon scenery including peaceful countryside,
wooded valleys, rugged moorland and coastline. Details of these and many more
walks are available from the local Tourist Information Centres. Some can offer self
guided or guided walks.
Ruby Country Initiative
This is a new regeneration project in and around Holsworthy and Hatherleigh that will
create a series of circular routes in this area of unspoilt countryside. A number of
circular walks are already available in the area and further details can be obtained
from the local Tourist Information Centre or from the Project Co-ordinator on 01409
The Webbery Wood Walk
This is our own primer for some of the more energetic walks in the area. Turn left at
the entrance to Webbery and go to Rice cottages (the two thatched cottages you will
have passed when you arrived. Please be careful as you walk along the road! Take
the signposted public footpath and follow it down into the gorge through the woods
past fishing lakes and fishing lodges until you come to the confluence of two streams
at the lane. Turn left and follow the lane past Furze Ball until you come to Webbery
Cross. Turn left and about half a mile further on you will be at the main entrance to
Webbery. A beautiful walk through a deep wooded gorge.
The Tarka Trail
A section of the trail offers traffic free, flat cycling along the disused railway line
from Braunton to Petrockstowe. The route offers 25 miles (40km) of safe cycling
making it ideal for families.
National Cycle Network
Route 3 of the National Cycle Network now passes through North Devon joining the
Tarka Trail at Petrockstowe and continues through Great Torrington, Bideford and
Barnstaple onto Exmoor and runs along the edge of the moor before descending into
In addition to the walking trails mentioned above, this project will also establish a
number of cycling routes and will culminate with the completion of an off road cycle
route between Holsworthy and Hatherleigh, linking up to the Tarka Trail and thereby
providing one of the longest stretches of off-road cycle route in the country.
Completion is expected in 2006. For further information contact the Project Co-
ordinator on 01409 220036 or the local Tourist Information Centre.
The whole area offers a series of quiet country lanes ideal for exploring the local
countryside. Cycle hire is readily available locally at Bideford..
For a Rainy Day
It’s raining - cock-a-doodle-do, what shall we do? Here are some suggestions
Take the Tarka Line train from Barnstaple Station to Exeter Central meandering along
the stunning River Taw Valley with its numerous stations straight out of Huff-Puff
Junction where the train stops on request only.
Milky Way or Big Sheep
A great fun day for adults and children alike.
General Places to Visit
Atlantic Village Clovelly Road, Bideford. Tel: 01237 422544.
Under cover discount shopping outlet with Discovery Island family adventure park.
Barnstaple Pannier Market Estates Unit, North Devon District Concil
Civic Centre, Barnstaple, EX31 1EA
Tel: 01271 372 759 Fax: 01271 379 084
Bideford Pannier Market Market Place, Bideford, EX39 2DR
Tel: 01237 478 777
Bideford Railway Museum The Old Station, East-the-Water, Bideford. Tel: 01237
Big Sheep Abbotsham, Bideford, EX39 5AP
Tel: 01237 472 366 Fax: 01237 477 916
Burton Art Gallery & Museum Kingsley Road, Bideford, EX39 2QQ
Tel: 01237 471 455 Fax: 01237 473 813
Castle Hill Filleigh, Barnstaple, EX32 0RQ
Tel: 01598 760 336 Fax: 01598 760 457
Cobbaton Combat Collection, Chittlehampton, Umberleigh, EX37 9RZ
Tel: 01769 540 740 Fax: 01769 540 141
Dartington Crystal Great Torrington, EX39 2EQ
Tel: 01805 626 242 Fax: 01805 626263
Milky Way Adventure Park, Downland Farm
Clovelly, Bideford, EX39 5RY
Tel: 01237 431 255 Fax: 01237 431 735
Hartland Abbey & Gardens Hartland, Nr Bideford, EX39 6DT
Tel: 01237 441 264
Marwood Hill Gardens Marwood Hill, Barnstaple, EX31 4EB
Tel: 01271 342 528
North Devon Maritime Museum Odun Road, Appledore, Bideford. Tel: 01237
Plough Arts Centre 9-11 Fore Street, Torrington, EX38 8HQ
Tel: 01805 624624 Fax: 01805 622 113
Queens Theatre Queens Theatre
Boutport Street, Barnstaple, EX31 1SY
Tel: 01271 324 242
Quince Honey Farm North Road, South Molton, EX36 3AZ
Tel: 01769 572 401
Useful Addresses and Telephone Numbers
Fremington Quay (Next to the café)
Tel: 01271 372586
Bideford Bicycle Hire, Torrington Street
East the Water, Bideford, EX39 1QS
Tel: 01237 424 123 Fax: 01237 425 959
Bratton Water Fly Fishery, Rye Farm
Loxhore, Barnstaple, EX31 4ST
Tel: 01271 850 642.
Independent Boat & Fishing Trips (The), Whyte Cottage, Bucks Mill
Bucks Cross, Bideford, EX39 5DZ
Tel: 01237 431 374
Hartland Forest Golf Club, Hartland. Tel: 01237 431442
9 holes, 18 tees. 5641 yds.
Holsworthy Golf Course, Pyworthy, Holsworthy. Tel: 01409 253177/254771
18 holes. 6000 yds.
Libbaton Golf Club, High Bickington, Umberleigh. Tel: 01769 560269
18 holes, 6482 yds.
Royal North Devon, Westward Ho! Tel: 01237 473817
18 holes. 6444 yds.
Torrington Golf Club, Weare Trees, Great Torrington. Tel: 01805 622229/623878
9 holes. 2205 yds.
Saunton Golf Club, Saunton, Nr Braunton, EX33 1LG
Tel: 01271 812 436
North Devon District Hospital
Tel: 01271 322577
Tarka Tennis, Tarka Tennis, Barnstaple, EX31 2AS
Tel: 01271 377 701
Surf South West, PO Box 39
Croyde, Braunton, EX33 1YP
Tel: 01271 890 400 Fax: 01271 890 050
North Devon Surf School, Westward Ho!, North Devon,
Tel: 01598 710 818
Tel: 01237 473278