15 Best Things To Do In North Devon, England

15 Best Things To Do In North Devon, England

By will

North Devon is a stunning part of England with a huge range of exciting activities to enjoy.

From surfing and kite-flying to exploring the coast path and wildlife-spotting, there’s something for everyone.

Even if you’re looking for a more relaxed experience, there are plenty of tranquil activities, such as visiting Clovelly, Quince Honey Farm, and the beautiful Tarka Trail.

And if you’re feeling adventurous, why not take a day trip to Lundy Island or explore the Valley of the Rocks?

In this article, you’ll find the 15 best things to do in North Devon, so you can make the most of your time here.


North Devon : Surfing at Putsborough
Photo by Lewis Clarke

Surfing in North Devon provides a truly remarkable experience and could easily be described as a surfer’s paradise. With its stunning ocean coastline, rolling hills, and pristine beaches, North Devon has some of the best surfing conditions in England.

From beginner to the more advanced surfer, North Devon offers something for everyone. With its rugged coastline, it makes for an exciting and challenging surfing experience. The beaches are well-maintained, and the waves are just perfect for surfers of all levels. There are plenty of surf schools, shops, and instructors in the area, so even if you’re new to the sport, you can easily get up to speed and enjoy the waves.

In addition to the great surfing, North Devon also offers plenty of activities for those who don’t want to catch waves. From hiking and biking to kayaking and sailing, there’s something for everyone.

Whether you’re looking for a family vacation or a solo adventure, North Devon is the perfect place to explore and enjoy some of the best things to do in England.


Kite flying in Morecambe
Photo by michael ely

Kite-flying is a great way to have some fun and soak up the sights of North Devon! From the picturesque beaches of Croyde and Woolacombe to the rolling hills of Exmoor, North Devon offers plenty of spots to launch a kite.

The sea breezes in the area make for ideal flying conditions – just make sure you’re not too close to the seagulls!

Kite-flying is a great way to get the whole family involved. From the youngest kids to the oldest adults, it can be a fun activity to do together.

Plus, it’s a great way to explore the outdoors and get some fresh air. If you’re feeling adventurous, you can even try your hand at kite-surfing or kite-buggying!

Exploring the Coast Path

Combe Martin: west to Great Hangman
Photo by Martin Bodman

Exploring the stunning coastline of North Devon on the South West Coast Path is an unforgettable experience. From the dramatic cliffs of Hartland to the rolling dunes of Woolacombe, the path offers spectacular views of the Atlantic Ocean. It takes hikers through some of the most stunning and diverse landscapes in the UK.

Along the way, there are plenty of opportunities to spot wildlife, including seabirds, seals, and dolphins. The path is also a great way to get away from it all and enjoy some peace and tranquility.

The area has a rich history too, with plenty of archaeological sites and old ruins to explore. For those looking for a more leisurely experience, there are plenty of secluded coves and beaches to relax on and take in the stunning views.

The South West Coast Path is a great way to experience the beauty of North Devon and all it has to offer.

Wildlife Spotting

Hiking the South West Coast Path offers the chance to observe the diverse and abundant wildlife of the region, from seabirds to dolphins. The path traverses the entire northwest coast of Devon, with plenty of opportunities to pause and take in the gorgeous views along the way.

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Birdwatchers and nature enthusiasts will delight in the wealth of feathered friends to be found here, including cormorants, oystercatchers, and the ever-elusive sea eagle.

Those who venture out into the sea can also expect to catch a glimpse of dolphins, seals, and whales.

The wildlife reserve at Hartland Point is also a must-see for avid wildlife spotters. It is home to a wide range of bird species and other wildlife such as badgers and stoats.

The reserve has a network of trails, boardwalks, and observation hides where visitors can watch the wildlife in its natural habitat.

A visit to this reserve is sure to be an unforgettable experience for nature lovers.

Visiting Clovelly

Take a step back in time and experience the unique charm of Clovelly, a traditional fishing village in the heart of North Devon, England.

A picturesque port town, Clovelly is known for its cobblestoned streets lined with whitewashed cottages. It’s a fascinating place to explore, with something for everyone – from a breathtaking view of the Atlantic Ocean to some of the most beautiful gardens in the area.

A walk around the village is a must, with its steep cobbled streets and quaint little shops.

You can also take a boat trip out to explore the stunning coastline of North Devon. If you’re feeling more adventurous, you can also try your hand at fishing or even take a walk along the South West Coast Path.

Clovelly is a great place to visit and an ideal place to make lasting memories.

Horse Riding

After enjoying a visit to Clovelly, a unique fishing village, the next thing to do in North Devon is to go horse riding.

Horse riding is a great way to explore the stunning beaches, moors, and forests of the area. It allows riders to connect with nature and experience the outdoors in a unique way.

From beginner lessons to more experienced rides, the options for horse riding in North Devon are endless. Whether it’s a leisurely ride along the coast or a fast-paced gallop across a field, horse riding in this area is a great way to get out in the fresh air and take in the beautiful views.

Exmoor National Park

Experience Exmoor National Park for a stunning outdoor adventure full of breathtaking views and picturesque walks!

Located in the west of England, Exmoor National Park spans over 267 square miles of breathtaking scenery. The park is home to an abundance of wildlife and offers visitors the opportunity to explore the beautiful countryside and enjoy the stunning views of the surrounding hills and valleys.

From the rugged moorlands to the lush woodlands and historic villages, Exmoor National Park has something for everyone. Take a leisurely stroll through the park’s ancient trails and marvel at the wild ponies and sheep that roam freely.

Enjoy a picnic by the sea or visit one of the many historical sites, such as the iconic Haytor Rocks.

With so much to explore and discover, Exmoor National Park is a great place for a daytrip or a weekend getaway. Whether you’re looking for a peaceful retreat or an exciting outdoor adventure, Exmoor National Park is the perfect destination.

National Marine Aquarium

Leaving the beauty of Exmoor National Park behind, my travels take me to the National Marine Aquarium, located in Plymouth.

As one of the largest aquariums in the UK, it houses thousands of species of fish, marine mammals, and invertebrates from all around the world.

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Whether it’s an educational trip with the family or a romantic day out, the National Marine Aquarium is sure to capture your heart.

The Aquarium offers a wide range of activities and experiences. From interactive exhibits and feeding demonstrations to a 4D cinema and guided tours.

Visitors can also learn about the importance of sustainable fishing and conservation, as well as the effects of climate change on the Great Barrier Reef.

With its large variety of Marine Life, the Aquarium is a great way to explore the fascinating underwater world and gain a deeper understanding of the ocean and its inhabitants.

Ilfracombe Harbour

Immerse yourself in the beautiful sights of Ilfracombe Harbour, where vibrant boats sway in the harbor and seabirds soar overhead.

You can take a stroll along the harbour wall and admire the picturesque scenery or take a boat trip out on the open sea.

If you’re feeling adventurous, you can take a guided fishing trip or a boat tour of the coast.

You can also take a leisurely boat ride around the harbour or take a relaxing stroll along the beach.

There are plenty of activities to keep you entertained in Ilfracombe Harbour, from fishing and crabbing to kayaking, paddle boarding, and windsurfing.

There’s something for everyone, so come and explore the unique atmosphere of the harbour.

Woolacombe Beach

Take a trip to Woolacombe Beach and explore its three miles of golden sand, turquoise waters, and stunning views of the Atlantic.

Located in North Devon, England, Woolacombe Beach is one of the most popular beaches in the area.

The beach is known for its excellent surfing conditions due to its large waves, wide expanse of sand, and gentle wind.

It’s a great place to spend the day swimming, sunbathing, and taking in the stunning views.

The beach also offers a variety of activities such as beach volleyball, kayaking, and paddle boarding.

The area is also popular for fishing, with the nearby Woolacombe pier offering a great spot for catching mackerel and bass.

The beach is a great place to spend a summer day with friends and family, with its beautiful surroundings and vibrant atmosphere.

Woolacombe Surf Academy

For the adventurous, Woolacombe Beach is home to the Woolacombe Surf Academy, which offers a range of lessons and courses for all levels of surfers. The Academy is made up of experienced instructors who are passionate about surfing and taking people out to explore the waves.

Whether you’re a beginner looking to learn the basics or a more experienced surfer looking to hone your skills, the Academy has something for you. It offers a range of packages, from short taster lessons to longer courses, ensuring that everyone can find something that suits their abilities.

The Academy also provides all the necessary equipment, so you don’t need to bring your own. It’s an ideal setting for families, with lessons suitable for both adults and children. There are even special surf camps and birthday parties available, so the whole family can get involved.

With its picturesque surroundings and expert instruction, the Woolacombe Surf Academy is the perfect way to enjoy the waves of North Devon.

Quince Honey Farm

After experiencing the thrill of the waves at Woolacombe Surf Academy, take a trip to the Quince Honey Farm. Located in nearby North Molton, this unique attraction is a must-see for anyone visiting the area.

Here, you’ll get to see how honey is made, and even get to taste some of the delicious products made with it. With a range of hives and beehives, you’ll learn about the life cycle of the honeybee and its importance to the environment.

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The farm also has a variety of animals, including chickens, rabbits, and guinea pigs, as well as a variety of plants. You can also take a tour of the garden and explore the bee-friendly plants, which help promote biodiversity and pollination in the area. This is a great way to learn more about the natural world and appreciate its beauty.

At the end of your visit, you can even purchase some of the farm’s delicious honey products, such as honeycomb, honey butter, and honey-based cakes.

Tarka Trail

Exploring the Tarka Trail is a great way to experience the natural beauty of North Devon, England. This scenic walking and cycling route is named after the otter hero of the novel ‘Tarka the Otter’ by Henry Williamson.

It follows the route of the River Taw and River Torridge, and passes through some of the most picturesque places in the region. The trail is over 30 kilometers long, making it ideal for an adventurous day out. It takes you through woodlands, meadows, riverbanks, and moorlands, providing a great opportunity to spot wild birds, otters, and other wildlife.

The route also includes some interesting historical sites, such as the Taw and Torridge estuaries, which are part of the UNESCO North Devon Biosphere Reserve. In addition, the trail passes through the beautiful villages of Bideford and Barnstaple, providing a fascinating insight into the region’s culture and heritage.

All in all, the Tarka Trail is an ideal way to discover the beauty of North Devon and its rich heritage.

Lundy Island

After exploring the beauty of the Tarka Trail, I’m ready to take the next step and experience North Devon’s most beautiful island, Lundy Island.

This rocky outcrop, located in the Bristol Channel, is known for its stunning cliffs, diverse wildlife, and rich history.

Lundy Island offers visitors an incredible opportunity to explore the outdoors. From its rugged coastal paths to its crystal clear waters, the island is a paradise for nature lovers. Whether you’re walking along the cliff tops or snorkeling in the waters, there’s something for everyone to enjoy.

Additionally, the island is home to a variety of unique wildlife, including puffins, guillemots, and Manx shearwaters.

Lastly, Lundy Island has a fascinating history, with evidence of human activity dating back to the Iron Age. Visitors can explore the island’s ancient monuments, such as the castle and the lighthouse, and learn more about its past.

Valley of the Rocks

Nestled between the rugged cliffs of Exmoor National Park and the Bristol Channel, the Valley of the Rocks is a breathtaking sight. It’s a unique and wild landscape filled with jagged rocks, heather-clad hills, and steep gorges.

The valley is home to a variety of wildlife, including wild goats, peregrine falcons, and red deer, and is part of the Exmoor Coast National Nature Reserve.

It’s the perfect place for hikers, photographers, and wildlife enthusiasts to explore and soak up the stunning views.

From the Valley of the Rocks, you can also enjoy stunning views of the nearby Lynton and Lynmouth villages and the Bristol Channel.

Whether it’s a leisurely stroll or a challenging trek, a visit to the Valley of the Rocks is one of the best ways to explore North Devon and its wild and beautiful landscape.


Visiting North Devon is an adventure like no other. From surfing the waves of Croyde Beach to exploring the Valley of the Rocks, there’s something for everyone. Whether you’re a wildlife enthusiast, a water sport fanatic, or just looking for a peaceful escape, North Devon has something to offer.

There’s no better way to experience the beauty of this gorgeous area than to explore all that it has to offer and create memories that will last a lifetime. So what are you waiting for? Pack your bags and start exploring North Devon today!

About the author

Will is an avid hillwalker and traveler. You may find him surfing in Cornwall or hiking in the Yorkshire Dales.