Things to do in North Devon!
To help plan your visit to North Devon, we have listed some of the amazing local attractions below.
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The Big Sheep
Receive a 25% discount to the Big Sheep Family Attraction when booking with us direct.
Beautiful family rooms available with children under 12 half price when sharing with 2 full paying adults.
The Big Sheep is an amusement farm park located in Abbotsham, Devon, England. Before The Big Sheep was an amusement park it was known as Barton Farm, a busy sheep farm owned by six generations of the same family.
Milky Way Adventure Park
Don’t miss out on North Devon’s top award winning family day out! It’s all weather mix of fun, rollercoasters, soft play, shows and education makes it a must for your holiday.
There’s something for everyone from the innovative Little Stars play area designed just for babies to six years to the Cosmic Typhoon roller coaster and spectacular bird of prey displays.
RHS Garden Rosemoor
If you’re looking for a great family day out come along to RHS Rosemoor. More than a garden, Rosemoor is a unique place that people of all ages return to time and again for ideas, inspiration or simply to enjoy a fun family day out. Spanning 65 acres Rosemoor is set in the beautiful Torridge Valley.
There is something for everyone to enjoy from the stunning gardens (including Lady Anne’s original garden the arboretum and the cottage garden) to the Woodland Walks which offer interesting glimpses of local wildlife and wild flowers. We also have ‘The Brash’ – a family friendly picnic and activity area in the woods – a range of seasonal Children’s Trails and lots of exciting activities for the whole family.
Pebble Ridge Adventure Golf & Go-Karts
Located right next to the beach, Pebble Ridge Adventure Golf and Go-Karting entertains holiday-makers and locals with adventure games such as mini golf and go-karting.
Kids can ride the electric motorcycles or shoot the fire hoses while parents watch from the picnic table sidelines and enjoy a refreshment from the on-site cafe.
Royal North Devon Golf Club
Royal North Devon at Westward Ho! can rightly claim to be the cradle of English Golf. Founded in 1864, it is the oldest golf course in the country and is regarded as the St Andrews of the South. The golf course is as tough as any of the UK’s more famous links layouts and has recently been placed in Golf World ‘s “Top 100 Courses in the World” that a golfer “must play”.
Not only is Royal North Devon a great course, it is also a place of huge historical importance. Inside the warmly welcoming clubhouse, the golf museum, honours boards and the clubs top competition trophies are worth a visit on their own and help to tell the story of the game and this remarkable club’s unique place in it.
As the UK’s only remaining glass factory a visit to Dartington Crystal is a unique and fascinating experience for all. Discover our story and development in the exhibition centre and watch our skilled glass makers in action on the factory floor.
Get creative with a range of glass activities and of course there’s great factory shopping and our relaxing cafe and restaurant.
In a place of wide spaces and big skies, without roads, cars or pollution, simply walking is a profound pleasure. Lundy has a milder climate than the mainland, with more sunshine and less rain.
The particular character of Lundy derives from its varied terrain; on the west side, exposed to the Atlantic, there are high and rugged cliffs, on the east, sheltered from the prevailing wind, the coastline is gentler with grassy slopes, trees and many types of wild flowers. This contrast explains the rich diversity of the island’s animal and plant life and its attraction to walkers, climbers and divers.
People return time and again to the simple pleasures that Lundy affords; the sea is clear, the landscape spectacular, and at night, without competition from street lights, it is truly dark and the stars shine with unfamiliar brilliance.
Hartland Abbey & Gardens
2016 Gold Award Winner North Devon Journal ‘Best Country House and/or Garden in North Devon’
Hartland Abbey with its beautiful gardens and grounds welcomes visitors from the end of March until October. It is the cherished home of the Stucley family with treasures and memorabilia collected over many generations. The beautiful 18thC Walled and Woodland gardens, the walks and the parkland provide visitors with extensive grounds through which to wander and enjoy the stunning valley leading down to the rugged Atlantic cove and cottage at Blackpool Mill, the location for many notable films. The BBC adaptation by Andrew Davies of ‘Sense and Sensibility’, German ZDF’s production of the Rosamund Pilcher novel, ‘The Shell Seekers’ ,(Die Muschelsucher), the major BBC drama production, ‘The Night Manager’ starring Hugh Laurie, Tom Hiddleston and Olivia Colman and ‘The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society‘(2017) with Lily James have all been filmed here recently. BBC Antiques Roadshow was filmed here in 2012. Coach parties are very welcome.
Children enjoy the freedom to explore the open spaces and winding paths and love meeting our donkeys Becky and Snowdrop, the wandering peacocks and our flock of black Welsh Mountain sheep. The Quiz and the Nature Trail are great ways to keep children amused!
Explore over 25 famous name stores offering up to 50% off every day including GAP, Crew Clothing, Peacocks, Nike and many more. So you can discover a fantastic range of men’s, women’s and children’s fashions and footwear plus gifts, homeware and accessories all at amazing low prices.
There’s also a tasty selection of places to eat, drink and relax including Costa and Cornish Bakery.
Affinity Devon is part of a family of outlet centres, all under the Affinity name. United by a shared vision and values, we strive to offer an exceptional shopping experience for our valued customers.
The Ulitmate Adventure Centre
The Ultimate Adventure Centre offers the most comprehensive range of outdoor activities available in North Devon, with an Ultimate twist. Our most popular activity is the Ultimate Assault (formely known as the Ultimate Wipeout), which is just one of the many on-site and off-site activities we have available.
Book a jump session and experience 8 adrenaline-filled activities, freestyle across a sea of wall to wall interconnected trampolines and bounce high to the latest tunes, Practice your tricks all with a super soft landing in the airbag. Perfect your flips on the dual tumble tracks.
Gymnasts will enjoy the thrill of the full-size olympic style performance trampolines. So if your looking for things to do in North Devon then head on over to Barnstaple for a fun-filled jump session.
Clovelly is timeless
From Elizabethan times until today, Clovelly has been in private ownership, which has helped preserve its original atmosphere. The village remains a fully functioning working village, clinging to a 400 foot cliff, overlooking Bideford bay.
It has no vehicular traffic on its steeply cobbled street, just donkeys and sledges. Donkeys used to be the main form of transport for centuries, but now mainly give children rides during the summer or can be seen posing for photographs in the street. The man-powered sledges transport all goods to and from the village, from groceries to furniture.
Located in the parish of Westleigh, Tapeley Park sits high on a hill overlooking the River Torridge and the North Devon coastline. Home to the Christie family for two centuries, Hector Christie is the current custodian of the estate.
The Tapeley Park grounds are renowned for their beautiful gardens, particularly the Italian terraces, and include a lake, ponds, old woodland and a number of fields where Hector’s herd of Highland cattle graze. As well as a sizeable organic vegetable garden, Tapeley Park has one of the oldest permaculture gardens in the UK.
The gardens are open to the public six days a week (closed on Saturdays), from 10am – 5pm. Visitors can explore the grounds and are free to bring their own picnic or pop in to the tea rooms for cream teas, drinks and snacks (prepared with ingredients fresh from the Tapeley gardens). Please note that tours of the house can also be arranged by prior appointment through the gift shop.
Marwood Hill Gardens
This magical and very special 20 acre private garden with three lakes is set in a valley tucked away in North Devon only 4 miles from Barnstaple. Created by Dr Jimmy Smart VMH in the late 1950’s the gardens are a wonderful haven in which to relax and enjoy the impressive collections of plants, shrubs and trees and experience the views and peaceful atmosphere.
The garden has featured on many garden programmes over the years and is enjoyed by visitors of all ages looking for inspiration, relaxation or just a great day out with the family. The view across the valley from the Garden Tea Room is spectacular, the food served is delicious, and the Plant Sales area is sure to tempt you with the variety of unusual plants for sale. Dogs on leads are welcome too.
The Gnome Reserve & Wild Flower Garden
Enjoy a magical day out for the whole family, join in the fun – gnome hats and fishing rods loaned free of charge so the gnomes think you are one of them, so bring your cameras!
Set amid truly rural countryside between Bideford and Bude just 7 miles from the Devon Cornwall border. the 4 acre Reserve comprises woodland, stream, pond, meadow and garden – home to 1000+ gnomes and pixies.
Steeped in history, Tunnels Beaches makes a fascinating visit for all ages…
Hand carved in the 1820’s, the four tunnels provide a truly unique experience. Read extensive history information throughout our website – including hilarious guides to Victorian etiquette for boys, girls and for when boating with ladies! Learn how local entrepreneurs developed the tunnels and pools, and transformed Ilfracombe from a small fishing village into a popular seaside tourist resort. Sit back and admire the lovely rugged scenery while the kids play safely in the tidal pool or explore our fantastic rock pools – we’ve been rated the 3rd best beach for rock pooling in the UK by BBC Wildlife Magazine.
Enjoy a day out in North Devon experiencing wildlife from around the world by visiting Exmoor Zoo! From the creepy crawlies of the Amazon to the wobbly wallaby joeys of Australia there are plenty of hands-on activities with our animals for you to take part in.
Set in the North Devon countryside the zoo hosts winding paths lined with shrubs and trees providing homes for many of our wild species of birds and invertebrates, bringing you that much closer to nature. What’s around the next corner? Take a look and enjoy the atmosphere of a relaxing stroll around our family-run zoo.
Take your pick of a mixture of talks, handling and feeding sessions we provide all year round. You could make a friend with an Alpaca by stroking their soft warm fleece, or conquer your fears by handling a spider and snake! Ever wondered what the Exmoor Beast favourite meal is? Find out at our Exmoor beast feed and talk!
There is lots to see and do whatever the weather here at Exmoor Zoo. We look forward to seeing you soon!
A favourite walk of mine is the pleasant stroll to Abbotsham Cliffs and Green Cliff beyond. Sauntering along the footpath from Westward Ho! you are shadowing a piece of history This was once the route of the railway that ambled peacefully along the cliff path and will have proffered magnificent views. Truly inspirational, this walk offers a fascinating combination of wildlife, butterflies and birds all interspersed, with a maze of wild flowers and gorses which make this walk so appealing and enjoyable.
Arriving at Abbotsham Cliffs you are aware of the sheer solitude that this idyllic beach offers. You are saluted by a beach, shrouded with rounded pebbles and interesting rock pools which are ideal for shrimping at low tide or finding the odd lobster or two. The fishing is good here too and as for the surfing, well we will leave that to the experienced!
Quince Honey Farm
Now one of Britain’s leading honey farms Quince Honey Farm is family run and first established in 1949 by George Wallace with 2 hives of bees, an inexorable work ethic and a wild dream. A fiery Scotsman, George served in the paratroop regiment during WW2 and after the war served in Palestine until 1949. Near the end of his service George read a book about beekeeping and became obsessed with the craft. He was one of only a few men in the entire British Army to be demobbed into beekeeping. He gained practical beekeeping experience at Yorkshire apiaries where he was told he worked too hard. George moved South to North Devon to live with his father in Quince Cottage. George had two hives of bees and ambitiously called his operation Quince Honey Farm.
Combe Martin Wildlife and Dinosaur Park
Set in over 28 acres of spectacular, sub tropical gardens within the North Devon Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, The Combe Martin Wildlife and Dinosaur Park has been giving great enjoyment to its customers for 31 years. The Park is an independently family run business that relies solely on the income from its customers to look after its animals, maintain the beauty of the park and make improvements every year.
Our aim is to give our customers a wonderful experience, surrounded by natural beauty, incredible animals, dinosaurs and lots of fun and enjoyment. The park has a genuine passion for encouraging respect for the natural world. As well as lions, wolves, sea lions, primates, meerkats, penguins and more, we are well known for our impressive life sized animatronic dinosaurs!
With a daily schedule of Free Shows, talks, encounters and a number of ‘Animal Experiences’ to enjoy, we encourage close interaction with our knowledgeable keepers and some truly magnificent animals. In addition, we offer an exhilarating Dino Express Train Ride, a Dinosaur Museum with small cinema, Critter Cavern, a Tropical House, the Tomb of the Pharaohs and a Gigantic Indoor Soft Play Area for Dinomite fun, whatever the weather!
One of the West Country’s premier family tourist attractions
In a stunning location overlooking the picturesque Watermouth Cove, Watermouth Castle is an all inclusive family day out offering a unique magical experience with entertainment for all ages. Enter the Castle’s Great Hall with its magnificent suits of armour, classic handcarts and sporting trophies, and step back in time to enjoy some of the simple pleasures of Victorian life. Descend down into the depths of the Castle to the Dungeon Labyrinths and see magical fairytales come to life, peer into the craft shops from bygone days and play the arcade machines from yesteryear. Then take your seats for the breathtakingly beautiful performance of lights, music and fountains in the famous underground Water Show Extravaganza.
In the beautifully landscaped Victorian gardens, discover Jumping Fountains, a Floating Marble Ball, a Haunted Mill, a Rolling Bridge and Shadow Barrels. Have a go at Crazy Snooker, lose yourself in the Maze, and plunge down the mighty Snake Tube Slide. Explore Gnomeland, battle with your friends in the Indoor Cannon Shooting Area and fire water balloons at each other in the Water Wars Zone. Children will love to fly through the air on the thrilling Aviator Ride, and the Peter Petz replica Steam Carousel and Swing Boats will add a touch of nostalgia to your day. Challenge your family and friends to a round of Crazy ‘Fountain’ Golf on our 9-hole terraced course, relax and enjoy a gentle ride on the Sea Lion Water-Go-Round, then speed things up on our fast and furious spinning Cooking Pot Ride. Let the children run wild in the Great Adventure Playground before heading up to the Snail Trail Ride with its fantastic views and wonderful animations of the ‘Teddy Bears Picnic’. Captain Andy and his River Town Band will be around to treat you to some foot tapping tunes and then jump on board for the ‘Big River Ride’ where who knows where you might end up!
Outdoor Shop & Kayak Centre
North Devon’s premier kayak & stand up paddleboard hire & sales centre. We are the only kayak/paddleboard hire company in Combe Matin that has fully qualified instructors to ensure your ultimate safety whilst out on the water. We boast decades & an unrivalled amount of knowledge & maritime experience around the North Devon coastline, this includes nearly 10 years as a full time Coastguard instructor in North Devon
South West Lakes – Tamar Lake
Surrounded by British countryside and nestled on the Cornwall and Devon border, Upper and Lower Tamar Lakes are steeped in industrial history and bursting with wildlife. The Lakes offers a great day out for families, bird watchers and fishermen alike.
North Devon Shooting Ground
Family friendly, we welcome all levels and abilities, visit North Devon Shooting Ground for clay pigeon shooting near Ilfracombe and the south west UK. Clive and Jackie have been running the ground for the last fourteen years and are proud to offer the highest quality and service for all levels of shooting experience. Our staff are friendly and welcoming, come along and have a go !
Portmore Golf Park
Portmore Golf Park and Restaurant, is set in the heart of North Devon on the outskirts of Barnstaple Town. 27 holes consisting of the 9 hole Landkey par 3 course and Barum 18 hole course.
Whether you wish to become a member or pay and play on the day all visitors are welcome. The Dress code for the Landkey course is smart casual and more traditional for the Barum course. We have a 21 bay golf range, floodlit and fully undercover, using Srixon golf balls with viewing area and seating for the family. We also have putting and chipping green facilitys. There is selection of golfing accessories, trolley and buggy hire ,professional lessons.
We have a bar and restaurant for all visitors and drop in guests, as well as a range of function rooms, perfect for Weddings, Birthdays, Funerals or Corporate functions.
Ilfracombe Aquarium is an award-winning, all-weather, educational, family attraction located in the Old Lifeboat House alongside Ilfracombe’s picturesque and historic harbour.
The aquarium provides a fantastic insight into the wonders of the aquatic world found locally around North Devon. Its beautiful exhibits are carefully recreated natural habitats, providing home to over 75 species of fish, some of which for many visitors, have never been seen before. Whether you enjoy rockpooling, fishing or scuba diving you will be fascinated.
Arlington Court is an unexpected jewel on the edge of Exmoor, a complete family estate held by the Chichester family for over five hundred years. The collection consists of treasures for all tastes, from model ships to shells, collected over several generations. The house itself, built in 1823 and extended in 1860, has an austere facade. However, inside the cosy rooms purvey a homely, family atmosphere.
The Carriage Museum in the stables has a vehicle for every occasion from cradle to grave. Currently on loan from the Houses of Parliament is the Speaker’s State Coach, a glorious, gilded carriage with over 300 years of history.
Woolacombe Beach & Village
This amazing coastal village is the hive of activity for many months of the year beause of its popularity with surfers, walkers and visitors. It has everything, shops, pubs, restaurants, a fantastic beach and a superb landscape.
The golden sands stretch for 3 miles and the rolling surf pounds the shore, creating an atmosphere, which is truly invigorating. Lying between Baggy Point and Morte Point there are far reaching views out to Lundy with prominent sandy hills and the Woolacombe Downs making this a truly remarkable place to visit. Unspoilt and dramatic, with its rugged coastal cliffs and rock pools, this idyllic location gives plenty of opportunity to explore and photograph.
One of the most motivating things for me is the awe inspiring sunsets, which emanate such powerful colours in the sky towards Lundy and beyond.
Whether you walk or cycle on the Tarka Trail it is a wonderful amalgamation of lush green woodland, countryside and coastal views and offers so much to unearth and to discover. Unfamiliar terrain that cannot be reached by car and which is unblemished by the touch of man and is a truly wonderful haven of peace and serenity.
Stretching for over 32 miles from Braunton to Barnstaple, then to Instow, Bideford, Great Torrington and on to Meeth. Entirely traffic-free, this section of the “Devon Coast to Coast” is known as the Tarka Cycle Trail as it follows the journey of Tarka the Otter in the classic tale written by Henry Williamson.
North Devon Surf School
North Devon Surf School is a family-run business and we pride ourselves on the service we offer. We have been graded as a “Centre of Excellence” by the UK surfing governing body. This is the highest rating possible covering safety, coaching, equipment and facilities. Our coaches are very proud to have won the Trip Advisor “Certificate of Excellence” award (based purely on customer reviews) every year for the last 5 years.
To ensure your comfort at the surf school we use winter wetsuits and we have heated changing rooms, toilets, hot shower and a wood fired Pizza café for hungry surfers!
Cobbaton Combat Collection
Hidden in deepest North Devon, this family run tourist attraction is one man’s magpie collection of items from the 39/45 war. The collection has survived without any government grants or handouts, and is still growing, with over 50 military vehicles and artillery pieces, and literally thousands of smaller items from 1939/45. The quantity and range of items restored and preserved over the last 50 years is quite mind boggling.
Situated on the Southern edge of Exmoor and in the rolling hills of North Devon, these beautiful gardens showcase 50 acres of historic Parkland set against the breath-taking 18th Century Palladian Mansion House. As you arrive at Castle Hill your eye will be drawn to the long ochre coloured house with the Castle on the hill behind.
There is always so much to see whatever the season that you will want to spend the day here. Young visitors can climb on one of the oldest trees in the garden – the Tanglewood Tree and explore the acres of garden and woodland. Four legged friends on leads are welcome too.
After an exhilarating walk stay and enjoy delicious homemade cake, cream tea or light lunch in our tearoom.
Bucks Mills is a picturesque retreat which has been trapped in a bygone age. This charming hamlet is immune to the trappings of the 21 century and oozes a sense of history and adventure. Its beauty lies in its uncommercialised status, with no pub, or shop, just the raw atmosphere of the coastal scenery and woodland that surrounds it. It is an ideal location for artists, photographers and families to explore and take in the ambience of such purity.
Half way down the steep beach path you see the most intriguing building. Standing here is a quaint chalet, which was once the Summer House of two artists, Judith Ackland and Mary Stella Edwards. For many years during the Summer,they lived and worked here. Then, after Judith’s death in the 1970’s it was locked up, with its memories and left like a shrine, with all the contents left as if frozen in time.
Lynton & Lynmouth Cliff Railway
The famous Lynton and Lynmouth funicular Cliff Railway opened in 1890 and is the highest and the steepest totally water powered railway in the world! This historic funicular Cliff Railway is bronze winner of Devon’s Large Attraction of the Year 2018. The Cliff Railway connects the twin towns of Lynton and Lynmouth providing stunning coastal views that will be the highlight of any visit. This working heritage railway is grade II listed, the UK’s only fully water powered railway and one of just three examples left in the World!
Perched on the cliff top, and at 500ft above the lower station, is our grade II listed Cliff Top Cafe offering perhaps the best location for a Cream Tea in the Westcountry. With amazing views and great food, it’s just what you need before discovering what other secrets Lynton and Lynmouth has to offer.