The North Devon coast is designated an Area Of Outstanding Natural Beauty in 1959 and in 2002 was designated the first Unessco Biosphere Reserve in England. North Devon boasts some of the finest beaches in the U.K. including the three miles of golden sands at Woolacombe and the beaches of Putsborough, Croyde and Saunton.
Woolacombe Beach (3 miles)
Vast sandy beach that stretches for almost three miles, popular with surfers and families with plenty of parking. Voted “Best beach in Britain by Trip Advisor.
Saunton Beach (5 miles).
Lifeguards ensure safe family swimming in the great waves and clean water, there are many rock pools to explore when the tides are right and some wonderfully breathtaking walks. The lively village of Woolacombe has great pubs and restaurants.
Hele Bay (2 miles)
Hele Bay is a small cove and bay next to Ilfracombe. A sandy beach with fun to be had in rock pools and easy access to the beach.
Saunton Golf and Other Activities
The area has four golf courses within five miles including the championship standard Saunton Golf Club with its two beautiful links courses; the East Course is ranked number 32 in the Golf World “Top 100 Courses”.
There are several other golf courses locally including the Ilfracombe golf course with its spectacular views of the sea and harbour.
Other activities include all types of water sports from surfing and paddle boarding to scuba diving and kayaking.
Cyclists can ride for miles on the Tarka Trail and there are miles of stunning coastal walks on the North Devon Coastal Path. The area has many Houses and Gardens open to the public including Tapeley Park, the RHS gardens at Rosemore and Arlington Court.
Exmoor National Park is within easy reach with its many picturesque villages and gastro pubs.
Things to Do in Ilfracombe
Lower Buttercombe Farm is just 3 minutes from Ilfracombe.
There’s been a port at Ilfracombe since the 12th century and is still a working harbour, with fish and seafood landed daily.
Damien Hirst’s “Verity”, a 20m tall bronze statue of a pregnant woman, overlooking the harbour entrance.
The Landmark Theatre. Voted one of the ten most significant buildings of the 90s is an arts and entertainment complex situated right on the seafront.
Tunnel Beaches. Ilfracombe’s award winning beach, hand carved in the 1820’s, it provides a unique access to a beautiful area of coastline inaccessible by any other means.
Boat trips. Trips to Lundy Island, coastal cruising, mackerel fishing, game fishing, sea life safaris are available along the quay. Trips on the Ilfracombe Princess to see, seals, porpoises and sea birds.
Michelin Star Dining Out
The Olive Room in Ilfracombe offers a relaxed and unpretentious environment for dining. Chef Thomas Carr prides himself on producing food of a consistently high standard; establishing a passionate, dynamic and creative dining/kitchen environment. Always experimenting with ingredients, ﬂavours and techniques to push the boundaries of food and exceed the expectations of each customer.
We are incredibly lucky to live and work in such a beautiful area, and the restaurant takes full advantage of the location! Sourcing the very best in local, seasonal ingredients, and making the most of the abundance North Devon has to offer.
All the food is homemade on the premises, from the bread, to the ice creams and sorbets. A combination of the very best local produce, and skilled craftsmanship in the kitchen results in a thoughtfully prepared, contemporary British Menu. With strong North Devonian influences, they present mouth-watering dishes that are as pleasing on the palette as they are on the eye.
There are many great restaurants serving many varied cuisines.