Video of North DevonAccommodation plotted on a map (opens new window)About the area

About Ilfracombe and Combe Martin

Two hundred years ago Ilfracombe was a fishing village and Combe Martin a mining camp. Mass tourism in the Victorian era changed all that. Admittedly, the seams of silver in the hills to the east of Combe Martin had mostly been worked out and the smelting mills, belching forth choking arsenic-laden smoke were mostly defunct. Suddenly, with the arrival of paddle steamers from South Wales and Bristol, and a railway line via Barnstaple, holidaymakers from the factories and mills of the Midlands and the North, and from the coal mines and iron works of South Wales, came to spend their holiday week in these newly created resorts on the Atlantic coast of Devon.

And now, in the 21st century these resorts, which see few arrivals by sea and none, directly, by rail, are experiencing a renaissance in tourism due to their proximity to a coastline seething with every possibly watersport you could imagine. Surfing, kayaking, coasteering, kite-boarding, scuba diving, power boat racing, shark fishing, shore angling, water-skiing, jetskiing and much more. And that's just the sea. There's the coast path and bridleways: horse riding, mountainbiking and some of the finest coastal walks in dear ol' Devon.

a hugely heavy four-poster bed at chambercombe

Chambercombe Manor

Chambercombe, Ilfracombe, DevonEX34 9RJ. Tel: 01271 862624.

11th Century Manor House with guided tours. Lady Jane Grey resided at the manor. Ghost of person murdered at Chambercombe. 4 acres of gardens, ponds and woodland. Tea Rooms. Last tour of house departs at 4.30pm.

Opening Times: Apr-Oct, Mon-Fri, 10.00-17.30, Sun, 10.30-17.30, Sat (July+Aug and Bank Hol Weekends) 1030-17.30
Admission Charges: Adult: £ Child: £ Concession: £
Dogs admitted: No.

an artist's impression of working the furnaces at combe martin's silver mines

Combe Martin Museum

The Parade, Combe Martin, Ifracombe, Devon. Tel: 01271 882915 or 882636.
Website: Combe Martin Museum or NorthDevonOnDisk/combemartin

Combe Martin has a rich history combining unique social customs with silver mining, lime burning, strawberry growing as well as the maritime aspects. The musem has been fully refurbished to house all the original exhibitions in new themed galleries spread over 3 floors.

Opening Times: .
Admission Charges: Adult: £2.75 Child: £ Concession: £
Dogs admitted: No.

photo of the full-size animated tyrranosaurus rex at combe martin

Combe Martin Wildlife & Dinosaur Park

Combe Martin, Ifracombe, Devon. Tel: 01271 882486.

Within this natural setting on the edge of stunning Exmoor, dense Jurassic woodlands are host to a incredible range of wildlife which come from all corners of the globe. 25 acres of beautiful gardens, with cascading waterfalls and free flying tropical birds. Falconry displays. Sea lion shows. Animal handling sessions. Lemur encounters. Take the Wild West Canyon Train Ride, experience a gigantic earthquake - and survive!

Opening Times: 13Feb-earlyNov, daily, 10.00-15.00 last admission
Admission Charges: Adult: £12.00 Child: £7.50 Child under 3yrs: Free Concession: £8.50 Family: £34.00
Dogs admitted: No.

the overshot water wheel at ilfracombe's old corn mill

The Old Corn Mill & Pottery

Hele Bay, Ilfracombe, Devon EX34 9QY. Tel: 01271 863185.
Website: Hele Corn Mill

Fully restored 16thC watermill that can produce wholemeal flour if required. Many interesting items of machinery on display. Handmade pottery.

Opening Times: 1 Apr-1 Oct: Fri Sat Sun, 11.00-17.00; 1Jul-31Aug: daily, 11.00-17.00
Admission Charges: Adult: £2.50 Child: £1.50 Concession: £2.00
Dogs admitted: Yes.

bright coloured fish in a tank at the ilfracombe aquarium

Ilfracombe Aquarium

The Old Lifeboat House, The Pier, Ilfracombe, Devon. Tel: 01271 864533.

Discover the wonders of aquatic life in the sea and rivers of North Devon. Follow an Exmoor stream from its source to the sea. Be amazed at the unusual creatures that live around our coasts. Gift shop, cafe, modern toilets. Free quiz for kids.

Opening Times: FebHalfTerm-Jan, daily, from 10.00am until 3.30pm or 4.30pm or 5.30pm according to height of season
Admission Charges: Adult: £3.99 Child: £2.99 Concession: £3.50 Family: £12.99 (2+2) £15.50 (2+3)
Dogs admitted: No.

one of the galleries at the ilfracombe museum

Ilfracombe Museum

Runnymede Gardens, Wilder Road, Ilfracombe, Devon, EX34 8AF. Tel: 01271 863541.
Website: Ilfracombe Museum

Discover..... Asagais, Bats, Clocks, Dresses, Elephant's feet, Fans, Gems, Hats, Ink wells, Jewellery, Kitchenware, Lifeboats, Moths, Nautilus, Ostrich eggs, Puffins, Quills, Rubbings, Shells, Two-headed kitten, Umbrellas, Vacuum cleaners, Wedding cake, Xerox, Zeppelin. The museum is much easier to visit than to describe. A cross between an Edwardian collector's study and your Granny's attic. Objects you have read about and some you remember from days gone by. Gift shop, brass rubbing, quizzes

Opening Times: Apr-Oct: every day: 10.00-17.00; Nov-Mar: Tue-Fri: 10.00-13.00.
Admission Charges: £2.00 Child: FREE Concession: £1.50
Dogs admitted: No.

the bright yellow twin engined catamaran that offers a stable platform from which to view marine wildlife

Ilfracombe Wildlife & Coastal Cruises

Pier Kiosk, Ilfracombe Harbour, Devon. Tel: 01271 879727, 322858 or 864957.

Wildlife and coastal cruises along North Devon's spectacular coast - frequent sightings of seals, porpoises and dolphins. The Ilfracombe Princess is a hi-tech vessel licensed for 100 passengers. Three viewing decks. Toilets. Commentary. Cruise lasts approx 1 hr 30 mins.

Opening Times: Easter-endOct, daily, from 10.30am, weather permitting.
Admission Charges: Adult: £12.00 Child: £6.00 (age 4 and under go free) Concession: £12.00
Dogs admitted: No.

three young quadbikers trek the  beginners trail at keypitts farm

Keypitts Quad Centre

Keypitts Farm, Oxen Park Lane, Ilfracombe, Devon, EX34 9RW. Tel: 01271 862247.

North Devon's only all-terrain quad adventure Centre. Quad bikes, rally karts, snow-cat rides, off-road drives, paint ball battles, target shooting. Horse and pony rides over 200 acres of beautiful farmland and wooded valleys.

Opening Times: All year, daily, Apr-Oct, 10.00-18.00; Nov-Mar, 10.00-16.00
Admission Charges: Telephone for details of charges or click: pricelist
Dogs admitted: No.

ms oldenburg alongside the jetty at lundy

Lundy Island

Shore Office, Ilfracombe, Devon. Tel: 01271 863636.

Beautiful island, 3 miles long, 24 miles out in the Bristol Channel. Lighthouse and castle. Ideal for walking and bird- watching - no roads or cars.

Opening Times: Sailings from Mid March until the end of October from either Bideford or Ilfracombe. Timetables are available from the Lundy Office.
Admission Charges: Adult: £32.00 Child: £17.00 Infant: £5.00 Family (2+2): £75.00 Discounts for Over 60s, Students, National Trust members.
Dogs admitted: No.

the seawater bathing pool at the privately maintained tunnels beaches at ilfracombe

Tunnels Beaches

Bath Place, Ilfracombe, Devon, EX34 8AN. Tel: 01271 879882.

* A truly unique experience: four tunnels provide access to a beautiful area of coastline and coves, seemingly miles away from any town.
A large tidal swimming pool is still in use and is hugely popular with children who can enjoy their inflatables and snorkelling in safety. Parents love being only yards from the water's edge, whatever the state of the tide.
Stroll through the tunnels, reading interesting and amusing history information and take in the lovely coastal and sea views of Lundy Island and South Wales. Alternatively spend the whole day playing on the beach, in the pool or rock pooling …. Tunnels Beaches is Ilfracombe's must-see attraction all year round. Café Blue Bar. The Play Hut. Kayak Hire.
Opening Times: Easter-31Oct: Daily: 10.00-18.00 (July+Aug: 9.00-21.00).
Admission Charges: Adult: from £1.95 Child: from £1.50 Family: from £6.50 Concession: from £1.75
Dogs admitted: No.

the imposing facade of watermouth castle

Watermouth Castle

Berrynarbor, Ilfracombe, Devon, EX34 9SL. Tel: 01271 863879.

Mechanical music demonstrations, model railway, domestic dairy, cider-making exhibits, cycle museum, smugglers' dungeon and gardens. Children's animations. 'Merrygoland', 'Gnome Land', Adventure Land', 'Dungeon Labyrinths', 'Castle Treasures', Watermouth Fayre'.

Opening Times: Please telephone for opening times. 21Mar-31Oct, Sun-Fri: from 10.00 or 10.30am last admission 3.00 or 3.30pm.
Admission Charges: Adult: £12.00 Child: £10.00 (child under 92cm: free) Concession: £8.00 Four or more: 50p discount per person
Dogs admitted: No.

the sea-going paddle steamer 'waverley' moored off the landing beach at lundy

Waverley & Balmoral Steamers

Various Ports along Bristol Channel, Ilfracombe, Devon. Tel: 029 2070 4569.

Day, afternoon and evening cruises aboard Britain's only sea-going traditional passenger ships. Cruises from Bristol, Clevedon, Weston-super-Mare, Minehead, Lynmouth, Ilfracombe.

Opening Times: Easter-31 Oct.
Admission Charges: Various: £7.95-£24.95
Dogs admitted: Yes.