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Short Breaks in North Devon

With magnificent sandy beaches, hidden coves, pretty villages and windswept moorland, North Devon sure packs in the attractions. So if you’re heading to this stunning corner of Britain for a short break, you’ll be spoilt for choice.

But the question that’s probably on your lips is: ‘With limited time, where do I start?’.

Well, we reckon the best thing to do is pick an activity, must-see attraction and cracking pub from our suggestions below. That way, you’ll get a taste of North Devon that will hopefully have you coming back for more!

What’s the best beach in North Devon?

Everyone has their favourite beach in North Devon. Woolacombe is repeatedly listed in the UK’s top ten beaches, while Croyde is popular with surfers. If you’re not one to run with the crowds, why not try Putsborough, near Braunton. It’s a real family favourite, with a fabulous mix of soft sand and rock-pooling.

What about walking?

The whole of the North Devon coastline is mapped out on the South West Coast Path, which includes dramatic treks along moorland and clifftops as well as softer jaunts along beaches, through woodland and pretty villages. If you’re pushed for time, we recommend the well-signed Coleridge Way. It starts in the Quantocks in Somerset but, for its latter portion, crosses the north end of Exmoor. It’s a route that takes you through the landscape that inspired the poet, ensuring plenty of pit stops in villages with tea rooms and pubs. There’s also a delightful short route near Liscombe, a circular jaunt along the riverside that involves crossing Tarr Steps, the longest clapper bridge in the country!

Where’s the best cycle track?

The level and traffic-free 21-mile Tarka Trail, running between Braunton and Meeth, is the perfect cycle track for those who’ve not got the time to plot their own route. There’s no need to bring bikes as they can be rented from Tarka Trail Cycle Hire at Barnstaple station. Simply enjoy the ride! Created along the route of a closed railway, it follows, for the most part, the River Taw (which was the setting of Henry Williamson’s 1927 novel, Tarka the Otter – which explains the trail’s name!).

What about pretty villages?

That’s a tough question as there are some lovely spots throughout the area. But perhaps the most fun introduction to North Devon – and a place where you get a two-for-the-price-of-one deal – is Lynton and its neighbour Lynmouth. Linked by a funicular lift that’s powered by water, these are lovely Victorian villages blessed with tea shops, pubs and a fair sprinkling of excellent restaurants. Be sure to take the lift for glorious views of Exmoor and the North Devon coastline.

What’s the best stately home to visit?

There are plenty of grand homes to visit in North Devon but the one blessed with both fascinating history and a stunning situation is Hartland Abbey. Unlike many National Trust or English Heritage properties, this is a house that’s still owned by a family, so it’s both a historical gem and a home. Even more interesting, the family are direct descendants of the original owner, who was keeper of Henry VIII’s wine cellar. Originally built as a monastery, the house was gifted to the family in 1539. It’s a treasure trove for those who love British history – with architecture, artwork and decorative objects from the Mediaeval, Queen Anne, Georgian and Victorian periods. The estate is just as magical, with paths leading all over the landscape, including one that takes visitors down to the beach.

Where’s a good pub for a short break in North Devon?

It depends on what you’re after!

For fantastic views, try the Hartland Quay Hotel (and its Wreckers Bar). Their garden offers diners a dramatic view of the sea and the drama of the surrounding cliffs.

For a special occasion, then it’s probably a toss-up between a coastal boozer and one deep in the country. For those who are staying closer to the sea, the Rock Inn in Georgeham is a lovely gastro pub which serves up legendary burgers, fish pie, local cask ales and wines drawn from a 48-bin list. For those inland, The Masons is just as popular with foodies. A 13th century thatched pub in Knowstone, just south of Exmoor, with oak beams, log fires and a Michelin star, it boasts a kitchen led by Michel Roux’s former Head Chef at the Waterside Inn, Bray – so fine dining is guaranteed!

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The apartment is a perfect couples retreat. The attractively presented double bedroom.

Flat 30 Clifton Court in Putsborough North Devon Coast

With fantastic sea views stretching along the beach and beyond, this well equipped apartment is ideal for couples.
Visit England 4 stars
  • Sleeps: 2
  • Bedrooms: 1
  • Pet-Free Property
Prices Per Week: £358 to £865
Stunning sea views from this wonderful Ilfracombe ground floor apartment. The sitting room has large floor to ceiling windows. The dining area has a foldaway table and chairs offering extra room in the lounge.

Captains View in Ilfracombe North Devon Coast

Originally a Sea Captains home this contemporary ground floor apartment has stunning sea views.
Visit England 4 stars
  • Sleeps: 2
  • Bedrooms: 1
  • Pet-Free Property
Prices Per Week: £262 to £515
Wonderful setting with views across to a delightful wooded river valley. Comfy leather sofas in the sitting area. Dual aspect windows with views from the bedroom area.

Priory House Cottage in Bratton Fleming North Devon Countryside

Tastefully modernised detached single storey cottage, adjacent to Priory House in the Devon countryside.
Visit England 4 stars
  • Sleeps: 2
  • Bedrooms: 1
  • Pets: Welcome
Prices Per Week: £230 to £570
A tranquil retreat in the heart of Exmoor, ideal for a romantic holiday for two. Spacious yet very cosy sitting room with plenty of comfy leather sofas. Large bed room with a superking bed with extra small windows high up to give extra light.

Keepers Cottage in Oare Nr. Lynmouth North Devon Countryside

A romantic country retreat in the heart of Lorna Doone country in Devon. Set within Exmoor National Park and relatively close to the coast this is a expectional holiday cottage for a getaway!
Visit England 5 stars
  • Sleeps: 2
  • Bedrooms: 1
  • Pets: Welcome
Prices Per Week: £374 to £800
The double bedroom is on the mezzanine floor and has an ensuite shower room, WC and basin.

The Gearing in Bampton North Devon Countryside

Grab a taste of the country in this stunning barn conversion, which also enjoys quick access into the heart of Exmoor National Park.
Visit England 4 stars
Visit England Gold Award
  • Sleeps: 2
  • Bedrooms: 1
  • Pets: Welcome
Prices Per Week: £231 to £495

Little Meadows in Roborough North Devon Countryside

Cottage wing of a Grade II listed Devon Longhouse in the quiet rural village with pub conveniently nearby
Visit England 3 stars
Visit England Gold Award
  • Sleeps: 2
  • Bedrooms: 1
  • Pets: Welcome
Prices Per Week: £227 to £424
Plenty of comfortable seating and under floor heating for added warmth Attractive double bedroom with door to ensuite shower room

Pound Cottage in Huntshaw North Devon Countryside

Character single storey barn conversion, stunningly decorated with panoramic country views. Heavenly countryside hideaway.
Visit England 3 stars
Visit England Gold Award
  • Sleeps: 2
  • Bedrooms: 1
  • Pets: Welcome
Prices Per Week: £253 to £474

Otter Lodge in Exebridge North Devon Countryside

An idyllic romantic retreat in wonderful lakeside setting offering **complimentary wine and chocolates**. With sauna. free coarse fishing and local character inn this is an ideal property for that much needed break.
Visit England 4 stars
Visit England Gold Award
  • Sleeps: 2
  • Bedrooms: 1
  • Pet-Free Property
Prices Per Week: £400 to £774
The kitchen/diner is well equipped The relaxing open plan living room with its soft lighting Good quality bed linen and lovely furnishings make this a welcoming bedroom

The Snug At Five Watersmeet in Lynmouth North Devon Coast

In the heart of Lynmouth village, contemporary lower ground floor apartment for two people.
Visit England 3 stars
Visit England Gold Award
  • Sleeps: 2
  • Bedrooms: 1
  • Pet-Free Property
Prices Per Week: £249 to £510
The balcony extends the length of the apartment. Open plan kitchen, dining area and sitting room. Spacious bedroom with King size bed.

Bay Dreams in Woolacombe North Devon Coast

A stylish first floor apartment with fine sea views, a perfect choice for couples.
Visit England 4 stars
  • Sleeps: 2
  • Bedrooms: 1
  • Pet-Free Property
Prices Per Week: £334 to £700

The Roost in Lee North Devon Coast

A peaceful romantic getaway location complete with outdoor hot tub and covered verandah.
Visit England 4 stars
  • Sleeps: 2
  • Bedrooms: 1
  • Pets: Welcome
Prices Per Week: £365 to £640
Lovely bay window affords magnificent views or just sit and relax on the comfy leather sofas. Stylish, moderna and attractive kitchen/dining room. Spacious double bedroom with good quality bed linen.

Waves End in Woolacombe North Devon Coast

A wonderful property for couples in a lovely location with fabulous sea views.
Visit England 4 stars
Visit England Gold Award
  • Sleeps: 2
  • Bedrooms: 1
  • Pets: Welcome
Prices Per Week: £334 to £824
The sitting room with impressive views towards Woolacombe beach.

The Apartment in Woolacombe North Devon Coast

A modern apartment with fabulous sea views in a quiet location a few minutes walk from the beach and village centre.
Visit England 4 stars
  • Sleeps: 2
  • Bedrooms: 1
  • Pets: Welcome
Prices Per Week: £298 to £699

4 Cove View in Ilfracombe North Devon Coast

Attractive second floor apartment in central location enjoying views over the coastline and town of Ilfracombe
Visit England 4 stars
  • Sleeps: 2
  • Bedrooms: 1
  • Pet-Free Property
Prices Per Week: £280 to £660
Detached property in a peaceful location. Keep warm and cosy with the woodburning stove. Bedroom with large wardrobe and ensuite bathroom.

Beech Cottage in Combe Martin North Devon Coast

An enchanting detached cottage surrounded by landscaped gardens in a tranquil rural location..
Visit England 4 stars
  • Sleeps: 2
  • Bedrooms: 1
  • Pet-Free Property
Prices Per Week: £281 to £630
Detached barn conversion Open plan living and dining area with exposed beams

Honeysuckle Cottage in Welcombe North Devon Coast

Beautifully appointed barn conversion, with views towards the sea. Idyllic couples retreat.
Visit England 3 stars
Visit England Gold Award
  • Sleeps: 2
  • Bedrooms: 1
  • Pet-Free Property
Prices Per Week: £275 to £540

Seaview Apartment in Lynmouth North Devon Coast

Offering wonderful sea and coastal views this delightful apartment is an ideal base for exploring Exmoor.
Awaiting Grading
  • Sleeps: 2
  • Bedrooms: 1
  • Pet-Free Property
Prices Per Week: £300 to £680

* Please note the guide prices do not include other optional fees such as pet fees