For those that like their coastlines a little more rugged, the sea slightly choppier and scenery a smidgen more dramatic head for north Devon. Flanked by the bracing Atlantic, as opposed to the more sedate English Channel of south Devon, a holiday in the north of the county holds much of the charm but with a dash of drama. Need more of a reason to visit? Well then off we go…
There are longer stretches of beach in north Devon, couple that with the Atlantic rollers that crash onto the sand and you’ve got the perfect combination of elements for those looking to learn to surf. North Devon is renowned for its numerous surfing coves, with the best beach for beginners (aka Barneys) being Saunton Sands. The beach stretches for miles, leaving heaps of space for novices to catch waves and wipe out. And for the nature enthusiasts, pay a visit to Braunton Burrows, a UNESCO listed biosphere reserve site encompassing the largest sand dune in the UK. It supports over 400 plant species so take a notepad to scribble down what you see.
For those hankering after a bit of history, a trip to Clovelly is not to be missed. But be warned, the village has been left untouched to such an extent that modern modes of transport ie cars are forbidden. The ability to navigate the cobbles on foot is a must. The steep main street descends 400 foot to the pier, and it’s so steep that sledges are still used now to transport goods (wheels simply won’t work). Imagine what fun the villagers have when it snows! Clovelly is, and has always been, privately owned. A small fee is paid at the visitor centre on entry and then you’re free to explore the village, museum and a couple of local pubs at your leisure.
Devon is also famous for its local produce. There’s simply not enough room here to do justice to the many farmers markets, shops and pubs stocking the delicacies of Devonshire so instead we’re going to recommend one of north Devon’s foodie delights, Squires Fish & Chips. Head over to Braunton and order up haddock, chips and a side of mushy peas. You won’t be disappointed. Rick Stein, Devon’s very own head of state, is said to be a fan. High praise indeed.
One for the family that likes a bit of fun; visit The Big Sheep in Bideford. Most famous for its sheep racing that takes place daily throughout the summer months sheep and jockeys race around a course, legs a leaping and puns a plenty. Place your bets using “ewe-ros” and cheer your chosen steed home. Of course there are plenty of other activities to do once you’re there – animal barn petting, inflatable jumping pillow and splash zone all vie for attention. A good mix for both toddlers and tweens.
North Devon is a fascinating region to explore on a cottage holiday. Whether you opt for a short break or longer one thing’s for sure… you’ll lose a little bit of your heart to the north of the county that’ll keep you coming back for more. Browse our North Devon holiday cottages and choose your home from home today!