Explore & Moor
The village of Appledore is located in North Devon at the point where the rivers of the Taw and the Torridge meet before their convergence into the Atlantic at Bideford Bay. Appledore has a wealth of maritime history founded from its shipbuilding and seafaring past. Shipbuilding is still carried out today in Appledore Shipyards, a large indoor shipyard now privately owned. The Village itself, with its narrow streets, cobbled court yards and fishermen’s cottages was once described by the victorian novelist Charles Kingsley as the ‘little white fishing village’. The village, stretched along the river, is small with attractive walks along the quay and towards Bideford or Westward Ho! using the footpaths. The quay is actively used by boat owners.
Barnstaple is the oldest borough in the country and is the commercial and agricultural centre of North Devon. Saxons first settled in Barnstaple (Barum) over 1000 years ago; In 930 AD it was a Saxon stronghold serving as a market for the surrounding countryside. Today it has a wonderful mixture of Victorian, Medieval and Georgian architecture and is proud to be a multiple winner of Britain in Bloom. Visit the Barnstaple Heritage Centre, sited in a fine Grade 1 listed building to learn more about the town’s 1000 year history.
Bideford is located on the west bank of the River Torridge, where the river begins to widen to form the estuary. The name Bideford is derived from ‘ by-the-ford’, as the town has always been an important point on the North coast highway. Today, Bideford is a thriving shopping centre with its historic Pannier Market holding both produce and crafts markets each Tuesday and Saturday. Bideford is the local centre for antique shops scattered amongst the narrow backstreets and alleyways – called ‘drangs’ – that lead away from the quay and the river. Bideford’s narrow town centre streets lead down to the tree lined quay and visitor car parks.
Situated in a beautiful and fertile valley on the western edge of Exmoor, Combe Martin lies at the centre of some of North Devon’s most spectacular scenery. The approach to Combe Martin, along the coastal road, offers the visitor glimpses of some of these stunning views. The two headlands of Great and Little Hangman dominate the scene which greets visitors to the village as they journey down to the pretty sheltered harbour below.
Lundy Island lies in the Bristol Channel, about 11 miles off the coast of North Devon. Three miles long and half a mile wide, this granite outcrop rises 400 feet above sea level and is a place of outstanding natural beauty, with tremendous views of England, Wales and the Atlantic. The name ‘Lundy’ derives from Norse for ‘Puffin Island’ and you can still see many of these unusual birds on the island today.
Activities on Lundy range from the adventurous, such as rock climbing or diving in the Marine Nature Reserve, to the more gentle pursuits of birdwatching and walking.
Visitors are carried to Lundy on the MS Oldenburg from either Ilfracombe or Bideford and enjoy breathtaking views of the North Devon coast.
Lynton & Lynmouth
The twin town of Lynton & Lynmouth are situated on the North Devon coast approximately 18 miles East of Ilfracombe. Lynmouth with its picturesque Harbour is nestles below some of the highest sea cliffs in England. The East and West Lyn rivers, which wind their way to Lynmouth down the two Lyn valley’s have created some of the most spectacular scenery you could ever wish to find.
Connecting the twin villages is the Famous Lynton & Lynmouth Cliff Railway built by the Victorians. Still worked by water and opened over a hundred years ago, it was originally built to carry goods brought into harbour by ship and also tourists up to Lynton.
Just a short walk from Lynton centre you will find the Valley of Rocks and it’s famous goats, a great way to while away an afternoon or morning exploring all the footpaths, wildlife and fantastic views as far as the eye can see up and down the Bristol Channel.
Exmoor National Park
Since 1954 Exmoor has been a National Park – an extensive area of relatively wild open and unspoilt countryside suitable for quiet enjoyment. It is situated in the northern part of Devon and West Somerset and covers 267 sq miles extending from the Brendon Hills in the east to Combe Martin in the West. Exmoor has one of the finest stretches of unspoilt countryside in England.
Along the dramatic coast are England’s highest sea cliffs. Inland, wild heather moorland, heaths and deep wooded coombes of ancient oak forest offer a chance for solitude, which you can share with the famous wild red deer and Exmoor ponies. Walkers and horse riders love Exmoor -the footpaths and bridleways are well maintained and signposted – there are facilities for hacking, jumping or trekking. Exmoor is a naturalist’s paradise with a huge variety of habitats and a great diversity of plants and animals.