We love living in this beautiful area and we want our guests to really enjoy it, too.
We need no encouragment to put on the kettle, spread out the map, and point out the main landmarks, plus our own favourite places to visit - many of which do not get mentioned in commercially produced tourist brochures.
The North Devon Coastline offers an extraordinary range of Land and Seascape:
The North coast has towering cliffs and dramatic headlands interspersed with many beautiful rocky coves and charming little fishing harbours.
The vertiginous cliff path (part of the South West Coast Path) passes Roman fortlets and has spectacular views along the coast and across to Wales.
Rivers flowing off Exmoor have carved out steep-sided, wooded valleys which provide many exquisite walks beside limpid pools and tumbling waterfalls.
Picturesque twin villages Lynton (with its famous Valley of Rocks) and Lynmouth are today powered by their own hydro-electric scheme -and are still connected by their historic Victorian water-powered Cliff Railway. (a must-see!)
Rugged Morte Point (wonderful walks) knifes jaggedly out into the crashing surf where Bristol Channel meets Atlantic, before the coast turns south - and sheltering in the lee are delightful sandy coves and rock pools.
Atlantic breakers roll in over the famous sands of Woolacombe, Croyde (chocolate box village of thatched cottages) and Saunton - with views of Lundy Island.
Perfect seaside beaches for swimming, sandcastles, walking by the waves or sunbathing - and Surfers, who skim the waves throughout the year.
Miles of sandy beach, backed by dunes and nature reserve (a UNESCO World Heritage site) culminate at Crow Point where the glorious River Estuaries of the Taw and Torridge unite and flow into the sea.
Here the charming old fishing villages of Instow and Appledore (with its many artists) face each other across the water below historic Bideford.
Across Bideford Bay lies Clovelly, descending from clifftop to tiny harbour via its famous stepped high street between picturesque cottages bedecked with flowers.
The Bay ends at rugged Hartland Point with its numerous wrecks and Light House - which, on a clear day, you can see flashing from the top of our drive (24 miles away across the sea).
Inland, North Devon is characterised by moorland and hills covered with a patchwork of woods and small green fields grazed by sheep and cattle and enclosed by ‘Devon Banks’. The countryside is crisscrossed with ancient lanes no more than a cartswidth wide and bounded with hedgerows which bloom with a veritable garden of wildflowers, especially in Spring and early Summer. Life moves at a slower pace here - be prepared to wait while tractor drivers swap news or the cows amble slowly back to their milking parlour...
Exmoor - heather-covered moorland, wild ponies, tumbling streams, ancient stones, wooded valleys and picture book villages. Wonderful country for exploring by car or on foot.
Local towns Barnstaple, Bideford, South Molton and the Victorian sea-side resort of Ilfracombe, each have their own distinctive character and history (all have museums) and are within easy reach.
The first three have regular Pannier Markets selling local produce.
Many excellent restaurants ranging from the glamorous, e.g. Damien Hurst’s Ilfracombe harbour-side eaterie and tapas bar, to cheerful family ‘chippies’ frying local fish. Most Country Pubs serve food and Cottage Tea Gardens serve toasted teacakes and wicked but wonderful Devon Cream Teas...with scones and jam and clotted cream...yum!
The nearby Old Station Inn has a family restaurant serving a wide range of good value food and has a take-away service.
Walking - numerous public footpaths cross unspoiled countryside, moorland, and follow Coast and River Estuaries (including the Tarka Trail which can be explored on foot or by hired bicycle).
One footpath crosses our land, goes down the valley, across an old stone bridge and up past the pub into the village of Bratton Fleming. In the other direction it crosses fields to arrive at the local farm shop.
There are many others close by, including one up through the pretty woods of ‘Frog Street’ and a scenic path round Wistlandpound Reservoir.
Wildlife - Foxes and Badgers track through our field, Buzzards wheel overhead and Red Deer cross the hillside. Woodpeckers and Spotted Flycatchers visit and pheasants raise chicks and dig up our flowers! We haven’t seen the Exmoor Beast ...yet...but the neighbours have....
A number of local Historic Houses and Gardens include nearby Arlington Court(NT)-ancestral home of the Chichesters (who once owned Tidicombe). Lovely grounds and walks, interesting house, walled garden and large Carriage Museum - offering rides and carriage driving lessons.
There are several excellent Open Gardens, including wonderful RHS Rosemoor.
A little further afield (but a pretty drive) is the dramatic Eden Project with its vast climatic ‘Biomes’ enclosing tropical rainforest and other ecosystems.
Numerous Art and Crafts Galleries, an International Sculpture Garden, Live Theatre and many Music and Arts Festivals throughout the year.
Fishing trips, Coastal tours and day trips to Lundy Island.
Sports: Golf, Sea/Freshwater Fishing, Surfing, Windsurfing, Riding, Cycling (Tarka Trail with bike hire), plus excellent indoor facilities for Swimming, Tennis, 10 pin bowling, Gym/Fitness Studios etc.
Holiday Attractions for both adults and kids (many are under cover): Fairground Rides - Adventure Parks - Farm Parks - Falconry and Sheepdog Displays - Wildlife Parks - Animatronic Dinosaurs - Sheep Racing (yes, really!) - Glass Blowing at Dartington Crystal - Quad Biking - Train Rides and Railway centres - Tropical Adventure Pool - Brass Rubbing - Pottery throwing - Working Beehives - Cider Making - Paintball - even ‘Barometer World’ and The Gnome Reserve (visitors wear red pointy hats) - so all tastes and weather are catered for!
North Devon Links:
Devon Holiday Directory
North Devon & Exmoor - The Complete Guide to the Perfect Holiday
North Devon UK
North Devon Festival
North Devon Theatres