The 8 Wonders of North Devon

Published: Saturday 28th Jun 2014

The world might only have 7 wonders, but North Devon has 8.

1) Lundy Island

With nothing but the Atlantic Ocean between Lundy and America, this secret Devonian paradise beckons any wanderer. The clandestine corner of the Bristol Channel offers a patchwork of activities; you can safari with snorkels, rollick in rockpools and letterbox to your heart’s content.

Just make sure you keep your eyes peeled for creatures great and small including feral deer, bright-beaked puffins, Soay sheep and even the odd friendly dolphin.

After a day of adventure, curl up in a corner of the island’s one and only pub, Marisco Tavern, which stays open into the wee hours.

2) The Tarka Trail

The magical place was immortalised in Henry Williamson’s story for good reason. Cycle into the greeny depths of North Devon, see birdlife ducking and diving above the mudflats and settle in for a cuppa at The Boston Tea Party Cafe in Barnstaple to clink happy cups on the way home.

3) Tunnels Beaches

North Devon has a lot of beautiful beaches, but this one has a twist in the form of a tidal pool. The Victorian venue is still spattered with tunnels and smugglers caves, so grab a ’99 and get exploring.

4) The Big Sheep, Bideford

Sheep shearing, lamb feeding, tractor driving, horse whispering, pony riding and the offbeat option of border collie’s rounding up Indian ducks…what’s not to love? Hark back to bygone days and live the land girl life.

Or, to retain a more ‘manly’ demeanour, check out Battlefield Live laser gun battles and the Ultimate Adventure Centre complete with zipwires and mountain boarding.

5) The Landmark Theatre

Famous musicals, budding new plays, heritage events, stand-up comedy and musicians at the top of their game are just some things you can find at The Landmark Theatre in Ilfracombe. Throw in the stunning coastal views for you to enjoy as you sip an interval tipple or two and it becomes apparent why theatre in Devon rivals the bustle of the West End.

6) Appledore

A bewitching book festival which ‘stands at the junction between sea and sky’, due to the fact that Appledore is only connected to the mainland by a peninsular bounded by salt marshes. Picture pastel, flower strewn houses, rocky coastlines and hours on end of storytelling. Escapism doesn’t get much easier.

This year the Appledore Book Festival is taking place between 27th September – 5th October 2014.

7) Ruby Country

Enclosed by the uplands of Bodmin, Exmoor and Dartmoor, heading to the heart of Ruby Country will make you an exclusive guest to some of the blackest, starriest nights in England. So you might as well go the whole hog and travel there by horse and carriage.

8) Braunton Burrows

A network of mystical sand dunes on the North Devon coast. Pack a picnic, play sandy football and build castles all day in your own coves.

Take a look at our Devon holiday homes for a base camp to these south-western wonders…