For years I tried to leave North Devon. I wanted to move to a city, full of endless opportunities and a much faster pace of life. But since getting ill last year, my feelings have changed to this place I call my hometown and I feel so lucky to live in such a gorgeous part of the country, albeit even if it’s far away from everything.
North Devon is beautiful and doesn’t quite get the same recognition as Cornwall and South Devon and because of that, I want to shout about North Devon to as many people that will listen. So here are my 5 reasons why you absolutely must visit North Devon this summer.
Just like Cornwall and South Devon, North Devon has an abundance of pretty spectacular beaches. Woolacombe, Saunton and Westward Ho!* are the most well known, however, with miles and miles of beautiful coastline, there are some gorgeous hidden beaches that are virtually untouched by tourists.
If you want somewhere a little less crowded, try Putsborough but you also have Hele, Instow and Lee Bay which are some of my favourites.
*Westward Ho! is the only place in the world which has an explanation mark in its name.
North Devon is also chock full of some beautiful villages, from harbour villages to villages tucked away in the rolling hills. A firm favourite for a lot of people is Clovelly, a historical harbour village that is well known for its cobbled streets and its stunning coastal views. You do have to pay to get into Clovelly (£7.50 at time of writing), but it is well worth it for the scenery.
Other postcard-worthy villages include Appledore and my favourite twin villages of Lynton and Lynmouth. Each little village offers something different and you can’t fail to find a gorgeous village pub or tearoom to enjoy a Devonshire cream tea!
I think the best part of where I live is how varied the landscape can be. From dramatic coastal views, lakes, beaches and fields that can go on for miles. We have farming towns, villages and seaside resorts. Exmoor, our national park, is also on our doorstep which offers another change of landscape as well as opportunities to spot a variety of wildlife such as the Exmoor ponies and wild stags.
My favourite thing to do in North Devon is to go for a coastal walk, with Valley of the Rocks and Abbotsham Cliffs my firm favourites. I also enjoy watching the sunset on the beach, driving to a little-secluded spot and having a picnic, or going for a roast in a local village pub. During the summer, North Devon has so much to see and do, you’d need to do a couple of trips to really appreciate it’s beauty.
As North Devon isn’t as touristy as it’s counterparts South Devon and Cornwall, there is plenty of hidden gems that are virtually untouched by tourists. Tourists tend to hit the main beaches of Woolacombe and Croyde, however, there is a lot more to be explored. Discover a hidden beach, go for a picnic in a pretty little spot, have a roast in a local village pub or go for a walk along the coast.
Whistle & Pound is one of my favourite hidden gems as it’s so secluded not many people know it’s there. Furthermore, Bishops Taunton offers a fantastically peaceful spot in a place called Newbridge and Broadsands Beach is so hidden that I only discovered it’s existence this summer. Think outside the box and you’ll appreciate just how stunning North Devon is.
Now if the above hasn’t managed to convince you, then I am sure the promise of the best ice-cream in the UK will make your head turn. You know when they say you should eat where the locals do? You’d find EVERY local queuing for an ice-cream at a Hocking’s van.
Made from clotted cream and churned locally in Appledore, a Hocking’s ice-cream is a locals favourite and something we are delightfully proud of. You’d find Hocking’s vans dotted about some of the coastal towns in North Devon but they mainly appear at Westward Ho!, Appledore, Instow and Bideford.
Having a Hocking’s ice-cream is one of the things that you absolutely must add to your North Devon bucket list. You can thank me later.
Have I convinced you to want to visit Nort Devon? I do hope so! If you have any questions about here then do let me know, I’d be happy to help with planning your North Devon travels!
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