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Things to Do in Barnstaple

Just outside town is one of Devon’s most popular attractions – Quince Honey Farm. Amazingly, it’s the world’s largest exhibition devoted to honey bees and gives visitors a chance to get up close to the native honeybee in a specially designed and interactive indoor apiary. Little ones will also enjoy the soft indoor Happy Bee play hive and you can all indulge afterwards with a Devonshire cream tea and honey ice cream. And don’t forget to take a pot of honey made from their own bees’ home with you.

While we’re on the subject of sweet treats, a visit to Melchior Chocolates is a must. Carlo Melchior and his artisan chocolatiers have been making exquisite tasting, handmade chocolates for over 25 years. Carlo trained in the art of chocolate making in his native Switzerland and his business in South Molton is now so successful, he supplies Fortnum & Mason! Carlo’s extensive range includes fresh handmade mouth-watering truffles, pralines, liqueurs and glacé fruits. Visit the chocolate factory to catch a glimpse of Carlo and the team at work, before heading to the shop to indulge yourself.

Just outside South Molton, there’s a different kind of sensory treat in store – this time for garden lovers. Castle Hill Gardens surround the magnificent Palladian house, seat of the Fortescues since 1454. Today, Castle Hill is home to his descendants, the Earl and Countess of Arran. The gardens take up 50 acres of stunning grounds and are home to lavender-edged herbaceous borders, a water sculpture, and woodland walks filled with daffodils, bluebells, camellias, magnolias and azaleas.