Park your car and then forget about it, Ilfracombe’s harbour area is an ideal spot to escape the rat race, even if just for a weekend break.
After your Breakfast claim a bench in the sunshine on the harbour side and spend a lazy couple of hours watching the boats and the people come and go. Then amble back along The Quay browsing the quaint souvenir shops before enjoying a cream tea at one of the many tea gardens along St James Place.
In the afternoon take a stroll along Capstone Parade to fully appreciate the glorious North Devon coastline. On a clear day you can see Lundy Island and South Wales in the distance.
If however you are feeling more energetic and adventurous there is a wealth of interesting and exciting opportunities nearby.
Within Walking Distance,
We have listed some of our personal favourites here (not in any particular order)
The Oldenburg sails to Lundy twice weekly from Ilfracombe harbour. The crossing takes about 2 hours and you will have about 4 hours on the island, just enough time to get to know the ponies, count the seals basking on the eastern shoreline and maybe spot a puffin.
Housed in what used to be the laundry of the prestigious 5-star Ilfracombe Hotel (now demolished). Spend a fascinating couple of hours delving into Ilfracombe’s long and rich history. For example, did you know that in the 16th century Ilfracombe was a bigger, more important port than either Liverpool or Bristol. This attraction has been renovated for the 2017+ seasons.
Housing the Tourist Information Centre for Ilfracombe and the surrounding arears.
St Nicholas Chapel/Lantern Hill
In the mouth of the harbour, the 14th century chapel is the site of the UK’s oldest working lighthouse. The views along the coastline will leave you lost for words.
The house is mentioned in the Domesday Book and has been featured on Living TV’s ‘Most Haunted’. The extensive gardens and Lady Jane’s Tearoom are also worth a visit.
Ladies and Gentlemen’s beaches and sea water bathing pools reached by tunnels cut through the hillside. A bugler sat on the headland that separated the sexes and blew hard if anyone ventured too far to one side or the other!. Fabulous views and amazing tidal rock pools.
A Short Drive Away
All of the following can be reached in an hour or less by car.
Combe Martin Wildlife and Dinosaur Park
Combines a small zoo and a theme park.
Not just an old building but also a fascinating collection of memorabilia plus children’s rides and a working penny arcade filled with slot machines from before the electronic age.
National Trust property housing the National Carriage Collection. Extensive grounds and gardens.
Some of the UK’s best beaches are on the North Devon coast, including Woolacombe, Croyde and Saunton, all of which have been awarded prestigious Blue Flag status.