Visit Barnstaple

Published: Thursday 16th Jan 2014

There’s lots to do in Barnstaple at any time of the year!

Reputed to be the oldest Borough in the UK, Barnstaple has seen a lot of change over the years. However, the town itself is still full of history with Georgian, Elizabethan and Victorian buildings still to be found. Originally a bustling port with vast ships and steam trains running parallel along the River Taw, trade is now more inland with the focus being the shops in and around the High Street and Green Lanes Shopping Centre. The Barnstaple Heritage Centre, situated on the waterfront gives historical information about the town, whilst the museum on the Square offers free admission to view many exhibits and interesting artefacts.  The historic Pannier Market is still a bustling place to be. Traditional markets are held on Tuesdays, Fridays and Saturdays whilst weekdays in between are for antiques and craft markets.

The town has many activities available for both the young and young at heart. The Leisure Centre facilities include a swimming pool, squash, badminton and table tennis to name just a few. With 4 screens available the cinema, just off the High Street, offers a range of films throughout the day and evening.  Should you prefer to see a show, the Queens Theatre has lots of choice. Pre-show tables are also available at many restaurants to enable you to enjoy a meal before the performance.  The town has some lovely restaurants to suit a wide variety of tastes – so whether you have a passion for Italian, Indian, Thai, Chinese, Cantonese or even good old fish and chips there is something for everyone.

Just a short walk from the town centre is a ten pin bowling alley, go-karting, skateboard park and skating rink, whilst the Tarka Trail for walking and cycling surrounds much of the town. If shopping is your pleasure then the undercover Green Lanes Shopping Centre has a wide variety of well known shops which spill out into the High Street.  

No matter your reason for visiting – there’s probably more going on in Barnstaple than you might think!