Places to go in North Devon
Higher Mullacott Farm is in a great central location and is within easy reach of many of the North Devon’s attractions. You will find a tourist attraction pack with a wide selection of leaflets in your cottage. Here are a few of the ones we feel worth a mention:
Woolacombe (3 miles)
Woolacombe Sands is a beautiful 3 mile long stretch of golden sands running from Putsborough at the southerly end with colourful wooden beach huts through to Rockham Bay, Mortehoe on the northerly edge. The beach has been awarded both the Blue Flag and Premier Seaside Beach awards year after year for its facilities, cleanliness and water quality.
You won’t see a speedboat or jet ski in sight as they are prohibited and lifeguards are on duty throughout the summer thereby offering a safe environment for swimming, surfing, windsurfing and canoeing in a stunning setting.
Woolacombe village has a warm, relaxed feel to it with great pubs, bars, cafes, restaurants and lots of surf and seaside shops. There’s plenty to do for every member of the family here.
Mortehoe (3 miles)
A smaller, tranquil village with stunning cliff-top views less than a mile from Woolacombe. You will only find a small selection of shops, pubs and restaurants here but it is well worth a visit – buy freshly caught lobsters and crabs or enjoy a cream tea in Heidi’s Tea Rooms.
There is much history here - Morthoe is listed in the Doomsday Book and has a rare barrel-roofed thirteenth-century church. A visit to Mortehoe Museum will take you back to the days of ‘Old Morte’ when smugglers lured ships onto the rocks.
Much of Mortehoe is part of the Voluntary Marine Conservation Area and is a haven for wild flowers. It is also part of the South West Coast path so is ideal for walkers.
Ilfracombe Town Centre (1 mile)
The Victorian town of Ilfracombe has a great selection of shops, pubs and restaurants (including The Quay Restaurant and White Hart Bar owned by Damian Hirst) located around a pretty harbour. This is also an ideal spot for the fishermen amongst you with a choice of either fishing from the rugged coastline or off the pier. A selection of deep sea fishing boats also leave the harbour daily.
A visit to the Tunnels Beaches is a ‘must’ and is only 5 minutes drive away from Higher Mullacott. This unique place is steeped in history where visitors reach the beach via four tunnels carved through the rocks in the 1820’s. This Blue Flag beach also has a tidal pool which is popular with children to snorkel or use inflatables in safety. After a visit to the beach you can also enjoy the award winning facilities of the stylish Cafe Blue Bar and the play hut which is an indoor soft play area.
The Tunnels is also licensed to hold civil ceremonies and partnerships and is a stunning location for a perfect wedding. We recently had a bride leave on her ‘Big Day’ from Aggie’s Cottage!
Croyde (8 miles)
The trendy surfing village of Croyde is well worth a visit. In addition to the beautiful sandy beach which attracts surfers from all over, the village is full of ‘chocolate box ‘cottages with thatched roofs, pubs, bistros and cream tea rooms.
Braunton (6 miles)
Braunton is another surfing village – reputedly, the largest in the UK, with many bistros, bars and pubs, small craft shops and beauty salons.
Visit Braunton Burrows and be utterly amazed by the sheer size of the sand dunes. The Burrows was given World Biosphere Reserve status by UNESCO which is a world-class designation making the status of the area equal to that of other world-wide Biosphere Reserves such as the Danube Delta, the Hawaiian Islands and the Great Gobi.
Saunton (8.5 miles)
To the west of Braunton you will find the tiny hamlet of Saunton. Beach lovers and surfers come from all over to visit the stunning beach at Saunton Sands which runs for some 3.5 miles behind which lie the Braunton Burrows. Due to its sheer size it rarely feels crowded.
Lundy Island lies off the coast of North Devon, where the Atlantic Ocean meets the Bristol Channel. It is three and a half miles long and half a mile wide and its inhabitants include some of Devon's most varied wildlife. From birds and sheep to seals and basking sharks, you can see them all at Lundy!
The Island is a Site of Special Interest and the seas surrounding it are England's only statutory Marine Nature Reserve. A visit to Lundy has so much to offer from walking, bird watching, photography, painting, fishing, climbing, diving and snorkeling. There are regular sailings from Ilfracombe Harbour between April to October on the supply vessel M.S. Oldenburg.
Lynton & Lynmouth (18 miles)
Two more villages well worth a visit are Lynton and Lynmouth, located in the Exmoor National Park. Take a ride on the water-powered cliff railway which links the two villages. The area, is surrounded by the Exmoor hills, and was named "Little Switzerland" by the Victorians.
In Lynton you will find plenty of shops, tea rooms and cafes as well as a museum and half a mile west is The Valley of the Rocks - an extremely popular tourist spot for walkers and climbers alike. It is accessible by road and a stunning, scenic footpath ‘The North Walk’ from Lynton.
Beneath Lynton lies Lynmouth with many traditional fishermen's cottages. Take a walk along the sea front or for the more active there is a putting green and tennis courts.
Clovelly (31 miles)
No visit to North Devon would be complete without visiting Clovelly which is within an hour’s drive of Higher Mullacott Farm off the A39.
The village has been kept in the style of the mid 19th century and is kept traffic fee. A familiar sight will be the donkeys which traditionally carry goods up the hill. Visitors can park at the top of the village and take the tumbling walk down the high street all the way to the tiny working port past whitewashed cottages covered in flowers. But don’t worry - for those who can’t manage such a steep walk back up, there is a fare paying land rover service which will ferry you via a steep back road. There is a modest entrance fee which contributes to keeping Clovelly such a special place.
Things to do
We are in a perfect position for walkers with immediate access to some wonderful local coastal walks. Several beautiful circular walks start inland before joining the coastal path with its breathtaking views.
For a wider range of different walks using the car, but not going too further afield, experience the many areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) along the spectacular coastline leading to Cornwall. The International Biosphere Reserve at Braunton Burrows is only a 15 minute drive away.
In the other direction you will find even more peace and tranquility in the National Park of Exmoor with hundreds of miles of quality footpaths and bridleways, not to mention the magnificent landscapes dramatically varying from moorland and wooded valleys to coastal cliffs. With nothing but the Exmoor ponies roaming freely across the moor to keep you company!
For the cycling enthusiasts there are plenty of places to hire bikes and a number of routes to take nearby including National Route 27 of the National Cycle Network with a link which starts and finishes in Ilfracombe. This route includes two traffic free sections - running along the former railway path from Ilfracombe to Willingcott Cross and beside the sea at Woolacombe Sands on the National Trust coastal route. Or, pick a route along the Tarka Trail, which runs between Braunton and Meeth along the former railway lines of North Devon and is over 30 miles long. The trail was named after Henry Williamson’s classic novel ‘Tarka The Otter’ which was first published in 1927.
For surf lovers, we have plenty of surfing beaches nearby in Woolacombe, Croyde and Saunton. Wetsuits and boards can be hired locally and there are plenty of surf schools offering lessons for all abilities. For the less capable surfer, have a go at body or skim boarding or try your hand at a number of other watersports available - ski-paddling, coasteering, canoeing and sea kayaking.
For the more relaxing pastime of fishing, Ilfracombe offers fishing from the pier or shore fishing from the rocks around Capstone Hill. Bait can be purchased locally along the harbour. If you fancy deep sea fishing a number of boats leave the harbour daily and private boat hire is also available.
If horse-riding is your passion you’re in luck! Mullacott Equestrian Centre is just 5 minutes walk away, catering from rides for the complete beginner to galloping along the beach.
If horseriding is not your thing, quadbiking and paintballing are also on offer locally.
Anyone for Tennis? Green Flag Award winning Bicclescombe Park – only a 5 minute drive away, has seven tennis courts and a pavilion with private lessons offered and an annual tournament in July which is attended by people from all over the country. This beautiful park has many additional features including a restored corn mill with tea rooms and picnic area and children’s play area.
There are 5 golf courses (all of which are within half an hour's drive) in Ilfracombe, Willingcott Valley, Mortehoe, Saunton Sands and Barnstaple.
For entertainment you will find a multi screen cinema located in Ilfracombe High Street with the latest releases showing daily (updated weekly) and the Landmark Theatre on the sea front offers a varied arts and entertainment programme ranging from children’s shows to music concerts.
A further cinema and theatre can be found slightly further afield in the historical market town of Barnstaple (12 mile) along with plenty of shops ranging from the modern Green Lanes Shopping centre selling well known brands to the Pannier Market offering arts & crafts and local specialists.