Ilfracombe and the surrounding North Devon Coast is an area of South West England that mixes maritime heritage, traditional rural and coastal pursuits, and a wealth of modern facilities. All of which makes it an interesting place to live, work, and visit.
The area first entered the tourism industry in the Victorian era as rail travel became more widespread, and is now easily accessible by road, rail, and air, from all over the UK.
IIfracombe itself is a good place to visit if you want to experience traditional seaside life, through its mix of independent shops, quaint attractions such as the chocolate museum, and annual events like Victorian Week and May Day Celebrations.
Exploring the nearby coastal and countryside areas is also popular with visitors, who often head down to the Harbour and Quay, and from there catch a boat to Lundy Island. This island is just one of a list of Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty on the North Devon Coast, and holds great interest among walkers.
With the North Devon Coastal Path and Exmoor National Park also nearby, there is plenty for keen ramblers to see, along with facilities for those interested in outdoor sports such as tennis, fishing and cycling. The North Devon Coastline has its fair share of beaches too, with The Tunnels and Hele Bay Beaches in the IIfracombe area. Further afield is the famous Westward Ho! Beach along with sandy stretches at Saunton, Croyde and Woolacombe.
North Devon isn’t just a place that inspires active pursuits though, the history of the area chronicles the works of several prominent authors who set various books in North Devon after living or spending time here. ‘Tarka The Otter’ is one such book that is heavily promoted, and visitors can take the ‘Tarka Trail, exploring various sites that appear in the book.
Market towns have also grown up around the area, some of which have held markets dating as far back as 1883. Old market halls and merchants houses point to the heritage of the town, while some industries, such as the working port at Bideford are still in operation. There’s also a Cliffside Railway still in working order to transport people between the twin towns of Lynton, and Lymouth, the site of a famous flooding in 1952.
An overview of North Devon and Ilfracombe isn’t just about a list of beaches, towns, tourist hotspots though, there is a hint of the paranormal here too. Chambercombe Manor, once mentioned in the Doomsday Book, has been mentioned in guidebooks as one of the most haunted places in the UK, and was once the home of Lady Jane Grey’s Father. Now available for weddings, guided tours and paranormal activities, it’s one of a whole host of other attractions you’ll find on a visit here.
If this sounds like your ideal destination for a short break or holiday, why not take a look at one of the many hotels, guest houses, holiday parks, and Bed and Breakfast’s, and start planning a visit to Ilfracombe and the North Devon Coast.