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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Torquay, South Devon Coast

TERGIO

(No dates selected)

£329 - £699
per week
From £247 for a 3-night stay
  • Terrazza Giorgia is in a quiet tree-lined residential area of Torquay, making the perfect beach pad for two
  • 2 Guests
  • 1 Bedroom
  • 2 Pets
  • 1 Bathroom
  • WiFi
  • Private parking
  • Beach 0.4 miles
  • Pub 0.2 miles

Welcombe, North Devon Coast

N2063

(No dates selected)

£304 - £605
per week
From £228 for a 3-night stay
  • 3 Star
  • Beautifully appointed barn conversion, with views towards the sea. Idyllic couples retreat.
  • 2 Guests
  • 1 Bedroom
  • No Pets
  • 1 Bathroom
  • Garden
  • Enclosed garden
  • Private parking
  • Beach 1.3 miles
  • Pub 0.5 miles

Torquay, South Devon Coast

HESBAL

(No dates selected)

£349 - £829
per week
From £262 for a 3-night stay
  • A romantic apartment with stunning sea views
  • 2 Guests
  • 1 Bedroom
  • No Pets
  • 1 Bathroom
  • WiFi
  • Private parking
  • Open fire or woodburner
  • Beach 0.1 miles

Dartmouth, South Devon Coast

BC3051

(No dates selected)

£219 - £519
per week
From £164 for a 3-night stay
  • 4 Star
  • The Studio @ Cobalt is the perfect couples romantic getaway base, located in the scenic town of Dartmouth in South Devon, wonderfully situated less than a 2 minute walk to the middle of the town.
  • 2 Guests
  • 1 Bedroom
  • No Pets
  • 1 Bathroom
  • WiFi
  • Garden
  • Enclosed garden
  • Parking permit provided
  • Beach 4 miles
  • Pub 0.2 miles

Woody Bay, Exmoor

N1779

(No dates selected)

£265 - £555
per week
From £199 for a 3-night stay
  • 3 Star
  • The Garden Suite, has wonderful views across the Exmoor coastline and stroll amongst the natural beauty of the property's very own private grounds and swimming pool.
  • 2 Guests
  • 1 Bedroom
  • 2 Pets
  • 0 Bathrooms
  • WiFi
  • Garden
  • Private parking
  • Swimming pool
  • Games room
  • Beach 4.7 miles
  • Pub 5 miles

Woody Bay, Exmoor

N1780

(No dates selected)

£276 - £720
per week
From £207 for a 3-night stay
  • 3 Star
  • Detached, single storey cedar wood bungalow with uninterrupted views over the sea, and shared use of outdoor swimming pool.
  • 2 Guests
  • 1 Bedroom
  • 2 Pets
  • 1 Bathroom
  • Garden
  • Private parking
  • Swimming pool
  • Games room
  • Beach 4.7 miles
  • Pub 5 miles

Brixham, South Devon Coast

BC1707

(No dates selected)

£315 - £350
per week
From £236 for a 3-night stay
  • This neat studio apartment is only a 5 minute walk from the centre of the thriving fishing port of Brixham, with its many restaurants, souvenir shops and maritime history. Ocean View is an ideal bolt hole that sleeps two and has a balcony overlooking The Quay and over to sea.
  • 2 Guests
  • 1 Bedroom
  • No Pets
  • 1 Bathroom
  • Garden
  • Enclosed garden
  • On-street parking
  • Beach 0.5 miles
  • Pub 0.2 miles

Hartland, North Devon Countryside

SHIPHH

(No dates selected)

£370 - £550
per week
From £278 for a 3-night stay
  • 4 Star Gold
  • Single storey barn conversion furnished to a high standard , with additional facilities for walkers, cyclists and dogs. One of three barns ideal for couples/friends to get together.
  • 2 Guests
  • 1 Bedroom
  • 2 Pets
  • 1 Bathroom
  • WiFi
  • Garden
  • Private parking
  • Beach 2.5 miles
  • Pub 2.5 miles

Instow, North Devon Coast

CLEAR

(No dates selected)

£289 - £640
per week
From £217 for a 3-night stay
  • 3 Star Gold
  • A modern stylish apartment, perfect for couples. Just a five minute stroll from the sandy estuary beach and watersports centre of Instow with a choice of pubs and restaurants.
  • 2 Guests
  • 1 Bedroom
  • No Pets
  • 1 Bathroom
  • WiFi
  • Garden
  • Enclosed garden
  • Private parking
  • Beach 0.2 miles
  • Pub 0.2 miles

Mortehoe, North Devon Coast

BARRI

(No dates selected)

£360 - £795
per week
From £270 for a 3-night stay
  • 3 Star Gold
  • Spacious apartment for two with wonderful sea and coastal views.
  • 2 Guests
  • 1 Bedroom
  • 1 Pet
  • 1 Bathroom
  • WiFi
  • Private parking
  • Beach 0.5 miles
  • Pub 0.15 miles
New Property

Lynmouth, North Devon Coast

POSTK

(No dates selected)

£335 - £610
per week
From £251 for a 3-night stay
  • 4 Star
  • Spacious attractive apartment with river and sea views in the heart of this picturesque Exmoor village. With easy access to the coast, country and riverside walks
  • 2 Guests
  • 1 Bedroom
  • No Pets
  • 1 Bathroom
  • WiFi
  • Private parking
  • Beach 0.2 miles
  • Pub 0.1 miles

Appledore, North Devon Coast

SHIHOY

(No dates selected)

£351 - £685
per week
From £263 for a 3-night stay
  • 3 Star Gold
  • High quality, ground floor apartment with classic period design and modern contemporary style, close to the waterfront, situated in the heart of Appledore.
  • 2 Guests
  • 1 Bedroom
  • No Pets
  • 1 Bathroom
  • WiFi
  • Garden
  • Enclosed garden
  • Parking permit provided
  • Beach 3 miles
  • Pub 0.1 miles
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