The Area

There is a whole host of pretty villages and towns to visit in and around Woolacombe and Mortehoe for you to explore, and the Exmoor National Park is just a short drive away.

Lee Bay

This picturesque village is situated in a deep combe, heavily wooded in places. The small rocky cove with its many rockpools and small sandy beach remains a tranquil spot even in the height of summer. The bay is a paradise for kids to clamber over the rocks, explore the rockpools for sea creatures, and discover the path to the 'secret beach' of Sandy Cove at low tide. 

Lee is often referred to locally as ‘Fuchsia Valley’ during the flowering season, many of the village hedgerows are ablaze with the scarlet flowers, and has a wild meadow with a small children's play area at the heart of the village - the perfect spot for a family picnic.

Lee Bay has a history of smuggling and wrecking, and it's easy to see why with its' high cliffs and rugged rocks. From here you can walk to Ilfracombe or Mortehoe and Woolacombe on this spectacular section of the South West Coast Path. 

There is a pub in the centre of the village where you can get lunch and evening meals, as well as a seasonal Art & Craft Gallery, which in addition to selling paintings, prints and photographs, local crafts and gifts, and walking maps, also sells ice-creams, takeaway hot drinks, beach goods, etc.

Lee Bay Near Mortehoe And Woolacombe North Devon

Ilfracombe

A picturesque Victorian seaside resort with something to do whatever the weather all year round. 

The historic harbour is the focal point of the town, with quayside galleries and shops, and Damian Hirst's infamous statue 'Verity' stands proudly at the end of the Pier. Take a boat trip from the harbour for a wildlife cruise or fishing trip or sail to the unique island of Lundy a completely unspoilt island paradise with some of the most important and best protected coastline in Europe. 

Also at the harbour worth visiting is the Ilfracombe Aquarium; Housed in the Old Lifeboat Station on the Pier, the aquarium provides a fantastic insight into the wonders of the aquatic world found locally around North Devon. From here you can also visit St Nicholas' Chapel at the top of Lantern Hill, where you are rewarded with panoramic views across the Bristol Channel to the Welsh coast (on clear days!)

The Landmark Theatre, situated on the seafront,  stages a diverse programme of events all year,  including music, drama, comedy, dance, film, festivals and much more. Close by is a small Museum, jam packed with local history - well worth a visit!

The town is also home to seaside resort favourites such as crazy golf, amusement arcades and fish and chip shops!

For further and fuller holiday information on Ilfracombe, visit Ilfracombe Tourist Information Centre.

Ilfracombe Harbour at Sunset

Croyde

Croyde is set within an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and is a picturesque Devon village dotted with thatched cottages and a selection of cafes, pubs, restaurants and shops. The sandy beach is sheltered by Baggy Point and, like Woolacombe, is renowned for Surfing and Body Boarding. The coast path links Croyde and Woolacombe, offering stunning views along the way. Every June, Croyde hosts the annual Goldcoast OceanFest, a popular surf and music festival.

Croyde North Devon

Saunton

Saunton is set in the North Devon Biosphere, and lies between the villages of Croyde and Braunton.

The three mile stretch of golden sands backs on to Braunton Burrows, a vast area of dunes, with Crow Point lying at the southern end of the beach, at the mouth of the River Taw. The area is a nature lover’s paradise with a variety of flora and fauna; great for exploring and walking.  Saunton also has a championship golf course, and a pretty church.

Saunton Sands Beach in North Devon

Barnstaple

Barnstaple is the commercial centre of the region, combining sophisticated High Street shopping with the bustling atmosphere of markets and speciality shops.

It is a haven for food lovers with its array of quality bakeries, fish-mongers, cheese sellers and butchers.

Its many restaurants offer something for everyone.

An habitual winner of ‘Britain in Bloom’ each summer the town is a wash with a cascade of colour, as the beautiful floral displays compete for your attention.

Barnstaple Long Bridge on a sunny day

Exmoor National Park

Combe Martin

Combe Martin lies at the gateway to the western side of the Exmoor National Park. The pretty cove is perfect for kayaking, and the long village street has plenty of places to eat, and shops to browse. There are some lovely walks from here too; notably to Broadsands Bay and Watermouth Cove to the west, and Little and Great Hangman to the east - all part of the South West Coast Path.

Heddon Valley

Park at the National Trust car park at Hunter's Inn, and follow the riverside walk through ancient woodland down to the rocky beach at Heddon's Mouth. It's a relatively easy walk, so great for families. You can even hire an all terrain mobility scooter if you struggle with mobility.
https://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/heddon-valley

Watersmeet

Dramatic river gorge and ancient woodland walk, in stunning surroundings, where the East & West Lyn Rivers meet. Aside from walking, canoeing and fishing are also popular here - follow the link for more information.
https://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/watersmeet

Lynton, Lynmouth & The Valley of the Rocks

Lyrnton & Lynmouth are picturesque villages linked by the highest and steepest fully water powered Victorian cliff railway in the World. There are spectacular views as you travel between the villages. Lynton, at the top, is lovey to wander around the little independent shops and cafes, and, if you head west from the village, you reach the famous Valley of the Rocks, aka, Little Switzerland. As well as dramatic scenery, you'll find goats meandering on the hillsides. Lynmouth lies below Lynton, and also has plenty of eateries and shops to explore, as well as it's little harbour and pebbly beach.

There are a whole host of places worth exploring on Exmoor - also look out for Doone Valley, Dunkery Beacon, Porlock, Tarr Steps, Simonsbath and the Barle Valley. https://www.exmoor-nationalpark.gov.uk/

Watersmeet Exmoor National Park