Of course, we may be a little biased – but we reckon North Devon is the best place to live in England. Beautiful countryside, pretty towns and villages, a rugged coastline, unspoiled beaches – what’s not to love? And whether you’re looking for arts and culture, action and adventure, nightlife, retail therapy or a fun family days out, you’ll find it here.
If you’re planning on moving to the area (which we highly recommend) you’ll find a lively local community, a busy social events calendar, and plenty to keep you entertained. Plus, with an intercity rail connection to Paddington from Tiverton, you’re only two hours way from London – so you can pop back to see friends in the city as often as you like.
Here are some of our top recommendations for things to do and places to go.
Action and adventure
North Devon boasts some of the UK’s best beaches for all kinds of watersports, especially surfing. If you’re new to the sport, Saunton, one of the safest beaches in the region, is a great place to start. If you’re looking to catch some bigger waves, visit Croyde or Woolacombe. Whatever your skill level, if want to up your game, you’ll find plenty of organisations in all these areas offering sessions, expeditions and tuition.
As well as surfing, North Devon offers plenty of opportunities to enjoy sailing, kayaking, canoeing and other watersports. If wild swimming is your thing, we recommend Broad Sands Beach at Combe Martin. It’s a little out of the way, and you’ll have to negotiate around 200 stone steps to find your way down – but it’s worth it! The sheltered little cove is perfect for swimming, with fabulous views and lots to explore.
Family days out
You’ll never be short of options for family entertainment in North Devon. If you’re looking for a relaxing day at the beach, we recommend Woolacombe. A stunning beach with miles of golden sand, it’s great for sunbathing, sandcastle-building and more. Plus, it has all the amenities you need for a family day out.
If your little ones are wildlife fans, you could visit Exmoor Zoo, or, for something a little different, why not try South Molton’s Quince Honey Farm? As well sampling locally sourced honey, you can enjoy a bee-keeping experience, explore the nature trails, or relax with a coffee and let the kids run off some energy in the soft play ‘hive’.
Thanks to the seasonal tourist trade, North Devon has a huge variety of family attractions. You’ll never be short of something to do come rain or shine. There are too many to list here, but we can’t resist giving a shout out to one of North Devon’s latest attractions – Foot Golf. The addictively challenging 12-hole course at Ilfracombe is suitable for kids aged five years and up and great fun for the whole family.
You’re spoiled for choice for sightseeing in North Devon too. In our opinion, the remote fishing village of Clovelly is a must-visit. Prepare for a trek – Clovelly is only accessible by a steep, pebbled path that leads down to the beach and tiny port. Even the locals have to transport their goods by donkey, or sledge. The views are stunning, and the pub, always welcoming.
Retail Therapy and dining out
Barnstaple is North Devon’s largest town and has plenty to offer. Be sure to visit the Pannier Market, one of Britain’s largest indoor markets, where you’ll find fresh local produce, crafts, fashion, and more. For smaller, independent shops South Moulton is the place to visit. There are, of course, plenty of options for dining out – again too many to list here. But if you’re looking for some of the best coffee and homemade cakes in North Devon, we do highly recommend the Coffee Cabin. Their cookie dough chocolate brownies are to die for – and they serve a range of gluten free cakes, too.
Night life and social events
North Devon’s has of course, like the rest of the UK, been under lockdown for most of the last year – but there are plenty of great pubs, bars and nightclubs that will be ready to welcome drinkers and partygoers back once restrictions are lifted. If you want to make sure you don’t miss out, tune in to Soundwave Radio to listen to local news and find out about the best music in North Devon. You can also check out Molton Monthly to keep track of local events – including festivals, rural cinema shows, classical music concerts and more.
Are you ready to become a North Devon Local?
If North Devon sounds like somewhere you’d like to live, why not visit our Honeywell Show Home at South Molton? Our luxurious sustainable homes offer large kitchen/dining areas, open plan living spaces, substantial gardens and ample allocated parking and/or a garage. And they’re perfectly located for you to enjoy all that North Devon has to offer!