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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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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 £495
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 £525
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 £550

Stable At Higher Huddisford in Woolsery North Devon Countryside

A bijou, single storey cottage carefully restored from original stone barns and offering rural tranquillity amid magnificent Devon countryside. One of three barns ideal for couples and friends to get together.
Visit England 4 stars
Visit England Gold Award
  • Sleeps: 2
  • Bedrooms: 1
  • Pets: Welcome
Prices Per Week: £250 to £475
Full length picture window in this comfortable sitting room Fully equipped kitchen with picture window looking out to the woods

The Lodge in Woody Bay North Devon Coast

Detached, single storey cedar wood bungalow with uninterrupted views over the sea, and shared use of outdoor swimming pool.
Visit England 3 stars
  • Sleeps: 2
  • Bedrooms: 1
  • Pets: Welcome
Prices Per Week: £313 to £672
A cosy retreat in this stylish bedroom on the mezzanine floor Relax in the heart of the countryside Floor to ceiling windows make this a bright and comfortable sitting room

Workshop in Bampton North Devon Countryside

Perfect for couples, this pretty Devon barn conversion has stunning countryside views and shares an outdor jacuzzi spa pool.
Visit England 4 stars
Visit England Gold Award
  • Sleeps: 2
  • Bedrooms: 1
  • Pets: Welcome
Prices Per Week: £207 to £479

Shippen At Higher Huddisford in Woolsery North Devon Countryside

A delightful single storey barn conversion cottage furnished to a high standard in an attractive contemporary style. An ideal couples retreat One of three barns ideal for couples and friends to get together.
Visit England 4 stars
Visit England Gold Award
  • Sleeps: 2
  • Bedrooms: 1
  • Pets: Welcome
Prices Per Week: £260 to £495
A wonderful cosy retreat for couples. The sitting room has very comfortable sofas and a few steps down lead to the kitchen. The solid oak staircase takes you to the first floor and cosy double bedroom.

The Hop House in Georgeham North Devon Coast

An attractive barn conversion, perfect for couples, nestling in a pretty hamlet just a few minutes drive from the fabulous beaches of Croyde and Saunton.
Visit England 4 stars
  • Sleeps: 2
  • Bedrooms: 1
  • Pets: Welcome
Prices Per Week: £281 to £598

Threshing At Higher Huddisford in Woolsery North Devon Countryside

A spacious and attractive single storey barn conversion recently completed to a high standard in a fresh contemporary style. An ideal couples base. One of three barns ideal for couples and friends to get together.
Visit England 4 stars
Visit England Gold Award
  • Sleeps: 2
  • Bedrooms: 1
  • Pets: Welcome
Prices Per Week: £274 to £520

Barricane Apartment in Mortehoe North Devon Coast

Spacious apartment for two with wonderful sea and coastal views.
Visit England 3 stars
Visit England Gold Award
  • Sleeps: 2
  • Bedrooms: 1
  • Pets: Welcome
Prices Per Week: £325 to £742
This lovely barn conversion is a perfect retreat for couples.

The Granary in Tawstock Nr Barnstaple North Devon Countryside

A pretty barn conversion, stylishly furnished and perfect for couples to use as a base to explore both the Devon coast and countryside.
Visit England 4 stars
  • Sleeps: 2
  • Bedrooms: 1
  • Pets: Welcome
Prices Per Week: £252 to £520
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 or families with young children.
Visit England 4 stars
  • Sleeps: 2
  • Bedrooms: 1
  • Pet-Free Property
Prices Per Week: £358 to £830
  • Sleeps: 2
  • Bedrooms: 1
  • Pet-Free Property
Prices Per Week: £237 to £530

The Old Church House Annex in Barbrook Devon

Ground floor wing of stone cottage in small hamlet close to the delightful coastal villages of Lynton & Lynmouth
Visit England 3 stars
  • Sleeps: 2
  • Bedrooms: 1
  • Pets: Welcome
Prices Per Week: £205 to £450
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 £785
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 £676

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

Garden Suite in Woody Bay North Devon Coast

Ground floor apartment in Ancient Manor House. Beautiful, historic building in tranquil and truly magnificent coastal setting.
Visit England 3 stars
  • Sleeps: 2
  • Bedrooms: 1
  • Pets: Welcome
Prices Per Week: £266 to £538
The property boasts wonderful views over Woolacombe Bay. Open plan style, light and bright sitting room. Stylishly decorated bedroom with King size bed.

Bayvista in Woolacombe North Devon Coast

A stylish and modern ground floor apartment enjoying wonderful views over National Trust land and Woolacombe Bay.
Visit England 4 stars
  • Sleeps: 2
  • Bedrooms: 1
  • Pets: Welcome
Prices Per Week: £325 to £699

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: £350 to £640

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