Where to eat:
Squires is the best place for fish and chips in Braunton.
The best Sunday lunch is at The Williams Arms, the far side of Braunton.
The Porthole, overlooking Middle Beach, Woolacombe is a great stop for coffee and cake whilst on a walk.
The best pubs with a play area for kids are Billy Budds or The Manor (both in Croyde).
Ilfracombe has a fishmonger and eatery straight from the fishing trawlers.It’s on the working side of the harbour; S and P fish shop.
For food with a sunset, try a Sri Lankan curry on the beach at Barricane Beach (the far side of Woolacombe).Take your own drinks and blanket and remember it’s cash only, but amazing food and amazing views. Alternatively, Sands Café/Beachside Grill at Saunton carpark.
Instow has a lovely deli called Johns of Instow and there is a great place to eat dressed crab and chips at the Boat House in Instow.
The Pig on the Hill, Westward Ho! serves great food and has a kids’ play area. There are also lovely coastal walks starting from here.
Saunton is the closest beach and has the mellowest waves for surfing.As you arrive your registration number is scanned and you will need to know your reg number to pay to leave.If the queues are massive at the parking ticket machines then go to the beach shop to pay – it will save you lots of time!
Croyde has a carpark at either end of the bay. The closest to here is Down End – park at this end to avoid the traffic in the middle of Croyde.Alternatively, park at the National Trust car park at the far end of the bay.This is also the start point for the walk around Baggy Point.
Woolacombe is a huge beach and if you get there early you might be able to park on the esplanade – parallel to the beach.
Putsborough is situated on the south side of Woolacombe Beach and being further away from the hotels and shops usually means that the beach is quieter then neighbouring beaches.
Our favourites are:
Braunton Burrows (head to the blown-out sand dune for loads of fun).To get there from here, follow the red military BBTA road signs off Saunton Road to Sandy Lane carpark.
Valley of the Rocks
Any where on Exmoor!
If you are looking at taking your four legged friend to a local beach, Saunton Sands offers access to dogs 365 days a year. Owners are asked to keep their pets on a lead in front of the beach hut area at the start of the beach.
Putsborough allows dogs onto the beach, except for the far left of the beach from Easter until November 1st.
Other local dog friendly beaches include:
The Tarka Trail is a brilliant cycle path taking you into Barnstaple and round to Fremington (the far side of the estuary) or further….You can access the Tarka Trail from here by turning right on to Field Lane and biking past the Cricket Club and then left along the path through the new houses, past Tescos and then slightly right at the roundabout beyond and on to the Tarka Trail at Velator.
There is a lovely café only a few miles along the Tarka Trail called ‘Waterside Café’ (it’s just beyond Chivenor).There is another lovely café at Fremington Quay.In Barnstaple itself, the best café on the Tarka Trail is ‘Tea on the Taw’.
To hire bikes, there is a hire centre within walking distance called Otter Cycles and it is beyond the far end (past the Police Station) of the central carpark in Braunton.
Biking to Crow Point is also fun (you do have to pay 20p toll though!)
There is a bowl behind the Surf Museum in Braunton.
Barnstaple Rock Park has a skate park, bmx track and play area by the river.
Ilfracombe has a skate park near Larkstone Park – you need to park in the top carpark and walk down the steps to find it.
Ilfracombe Sea Safari/fishing trip
The Milky Way
Coasteering at Croyde
Sheepdog and Falconry display (Wednesday evenings on the way to Woolacombe)
Keypitts Quad Biking
RHS Garden Rosemore
Lynton and Barnstaple Railway
The Big Sheep
North Devon Arena
The Quay soft play in Braunton
Jump in Barnstaple
Rock and Rapid climbing wall