North Devon & Ilfracombe.......
North Devon is an area of great natural beauty, escaping much of the modern day commercialism associated with many UK resorts. You will find a coastline of spectacular cliffs, secret coves and golden Blue Flag beaches, rolling green hills, wide-open moorland and sleepy market towns which all make North Devon and Exmoor a very special place to take a holiday or short break - at any time of the year. The mild climate makes it ideal for relaxing for a spring or autumn break, whilst the sun, sea and sand provide the perfect setting for a memorable summer family holiday.
Explore the seasonal wonders of the Exmoor National Park, the beaches and rugged coastline of North Devon where Exmoor dramatically meets the sea. The sandy beaches of the North Devon Atlantic coastline, which include the Blue Flag Beaches of Woolacombe, Croyde Bay where the crashing waves challenge the surfers, especially outside the summer season and Saunton Sands, backed by the natural beauty of Braunton Burrows.
And where better to base your visit than the cosmopolitan resort of Ilfracombe, with its charming natural harbour, lazy pavement cafes and flower strewn shopping streets. Ilfracombe is North Devon's premier holiday resort. There is such a vast range of things to see and do that the most active of visitors will be satisfied. Alternatively, simply relax, unwind and enjoy the glorious North Devon coastline and countryside. The natural attractions are available and "open" all year round and provide a constantly altering vista with the changing seasons of the year. The coastline around Ilfracombe forms part of the South West Coastal Path encompassing spectacular walks around sandy estuaries and over towering rugged cliffs.
If you are looking for more than some of the best sandy beaches in the West Country, secluded coves, and spectacular coastline, then do not worry - there is an abundance of differing activities and attractions all easily available from Ilfracombe. Local centres provide traditional country based activities such as golf (five local courses), shooting, fishing, riding and walking. Cycling enthusiasts will love The Tarka Cycle Trail with facilities for safe family cycling. Beach based sports enthusiasts are well catered for with surfing and sailing from most of the sandy beaches.
There are theme parks and animal country parks for children of all ages. The new Landmark Theatre with its striking award winning architecture offers a full and varied programme throughout the year. The area boasts many National Trust and stately homes with grounds and wonderful gardens at Marwood Hill and Rosemoor.
Ilfracombe itself is continually changing with the new Landmark Theatre & Pavilion and the harbour development. This was completed in 2001 to allow for increased usage by visiting yachts, local fishing boats and pleasure craft. You can also sail from here to our very own Atlantic island - Lundy Island for a day trip or longer stay.
The Blue Flag golden sands of Woolacombe, Croyde Bay and Saunton Sands are only ten minutes by car. The Britain In Bloom, award winning market town of Barnstaple with its shops and the famous Pannier Market and Butchers Row is twelve miles away. The nearby villages of Croyde, Mortehoe, Berrynarbor and Combe Martin all offer wonderful experiences of traditional North Devon life.
From Lynton and Lynmouth to the east and Clovelly to the west, Ilfracombe is the middle of some outstanding countryside for you to wander and explore.
Ilfracombe has been recorded as the second warmest town in England! This not only means that summers tend to be warmer than the rest of the mainland, but also that out of the summer season, the climate is also much warmer and more pleasant. The wonderful floral displays that stretch the whole length of the promenade and the town during the summer season reflect that warmth. The Gulf Stream carries seashells from the tropical waters of the Caribbean to Barricane Beach at Woolacombe, and is responsible for the abundance of interesting sealife off Lundy Island, which has been designated a Marine Conservation area.
The seasons of spring and autumn are particularly temperate due to the warming affect of the prevailing south-westerly airstreams. This makes Ilfracombe a good bet for a weekend away or short break. Frost and snow are rare in the Ilfracombe area during the winter, but catch the higher elevation of the Exmoor National Park after a winter snow shower, and the breathtaking scenes will leave you speechless - especially if you catch a glimpse of deer herds on the moors.