About the Exmoor coast and country area of North Devon
The western and central coast of Exmoor is the highest coastline in Great Britain. Many of the hills are over 1,000 feet high. The National Trust own and maintain 20 miles of this glorious coastline and in several cases miles inland up wooded valleys. This is some of England's finest walking country. Wooded combes with rushing rivers, maelstroms and waterfalls, wild flowers in abundance, red deer and Exmoor ponies, bloomin' heather and gorse, unpolluted airs and fronding lichens. Whatever the weather, whichever the season, this is a wondrous world of natural beauty - a joy even in the snows of winter. Gentle drives along unfenced moorland roads, occasionally stopping for a stroll, picturesque villages with cricket greens and cream teas, country hotels offering stabling for horses, countrymen's pubs sporting hunting trophies beside blazing log fires. This is old England at its best.
A walk from Woody Bay (free carpark) via the lower coast path westwards to Hunters Inn, for a ploughman's lunch and half a cider, then back on the higher path, once a road for horse-drawn coaches - you may see a horse trough or two - past the old roman signal station is an enjoyable and relatively easy introduction to the splendours of this part of the world. The walk totals four and a half miles, and should take about an hour and a quarter each way. Don't do it in a strong or gusting north-westerly wind.
Arlington, Barnstaple, EX31 4LP. Tel: 01271 850296.
Historic house with interesting collection of small objects d'art. Gardens with rhododendrons, azaleas and hydrangeas. Carriage museum and rides. Nature trails.
Opening Times: House and carriage collection: 13-21 Feb and 13 Mar-31 Oct 2010, every day, 1100-1500. Shop, tearoom and garden: similar times to house, but weekends only when house is closed. Grounds, daily all year, dawn-dusk.
Admission Charges: Adult: £8.60 Child: £4.30 Family: £21.50 Family (1adult): £12.90; Garden and Carriage Collection only Adult: £6.20 Child: £3.10
Dogs admitted: Yes - grounds only, on leads
Lynton & Barnstaple Railway
Martinhoe Cross, Parracombe, EX31 4RA. Tel: 01598 763487.
First opened in 1898, the Lynton & Barnstaple Railway in North Devon was originally one of the world's most famous and picturesque narrow gauge railways. Passengers can now travel along part of the original route within the Exmoor National Park above the Heddon Valley near Parracombe. Visitors are once again able to experience a taste of what will hopefully one day become one of the ultimate heritage railway experiences of the world!
Opening Times: click Timetable
Return Fares: Adult: £7.00 Child under 14: £3.00 Under 5's with a fare paying adult: free Family (2+3): £18.00 Concession: £5.00. PAY JUST ONCE - RIDE ALL DAY. First class upgrade £2 per person, per ride. Return within 28 days - 50% reduction with original ticket.
Dogs admitted: Yes
Exmoor Zoological Park
South Stowford, Bratton Fleming, Barnstaple, EX31 4SG. Tel: 01598 763352.
Exmoor Zoo has extensive landscaped gardens with tropical and exotic birds, a multitude of marmosets, lemurs, cheetahs, maned wolves, meerkats, waterfowl and penguins and much, much more. Tarzan-Land for children.
Opening Times: Summer: 1000-1800; Winter 1000-1700 or dusk.
Admission Charges: Summer: Adult: £9.25 Child 3-15yrs: £6.75 Child under 3yrs: Free Concession: £8.25 Family: £29.50 Winter: Adult: £8.25 Child 3-15yrs: £6.00 Child under 3yrs: Free Concession: £7.25 Family: £26.50 Click here for Winter/Summer times
Dogs admitted: No - lockup provided.
Riverton Coarse Fishing Lakes
Swimbridge, Barnstaple, EX32 0QX. Tel: 01271 830009.
Two fishing lakes including carp to 25lbs, tench, roach, rudd, bream, dace and perch.
Opening Times: All year, daily, dawn to dusk.
Admission Charges: Day Anglers (Willow or Pampas Lake): Adult: £7.00 or £8.00 Child: £5.00 or £6.00 Dad & Lad/Lass £10.00 or £12.00
Dogs admitted: Yes - must be on lead, 50p fee.