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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Brendon Nr. Lynmouth, Exmoor

ROSECO

(No dates selected)

£271 - £625
per week
From £203 for a 3-night stay
  • 3 Star Gold
  • Lovely character property in peaceful rural setting close to Lynmouth and the Brendon Valley. Offering easy access to wonderful moorland, riverside/coastal walks.
  • 2 Guests
  • 1 Bedroom
  • 1 Bathroom
  • 1 Pet
  • WiFi
  • On-Street Parking
  • Beach 3 miles
  • Pub 1.5 miles

Mortehoe, North Devon Coast

GLENHA

(No dates selected)

£440 - £920
per week
From £330 for a 3-night stay
  • 4 Star
  • Offering panoramic sea views this delightful second floor apartment is within a short downhill walk of wonderful sandy beaches
  • 2 Guests
  • 1 Bedroom
  • 1 Bathroom
  • 1 Pet
  • WiFi
  • Private Parking
  • Beach 0.2 miles
  • Pub 0.4 miles
10% Off!

Croyde, North Devon Coast

FORDA

(No dates selected)

£485 - £920
per week
From £364 for a 3-night stay
  • 4 Star
  • Special offerLast minute discount! 10% off bookings starting within 14 days (may not apply in conjunction with other offers)
  • 2 Guests
  • 1 Bedroom
  • 2 Bathrooms
  • 2 Pets
  • WiFi
  • Private Parking
  • Hot tub
  • Beach 1.62 miles
  • Pub 0.7 miles
  • Open fire or woodburner
10% Off!

Woody Bay, Exmoor

N1779

(No dates selected)

£265 - £541
per week
From £199 for a 3-night stay
  • 3 Star
  • Special offerLast minute discount! 10% off bookings starting within 14 days (may not apply in conjunction with other offers)
  • 2 Guests
  • 1 Bedroom
  • 2 Pets
  • WiFi
  • Private Parking
  • Swimming pool
  • Games room
  • Beach 4.7 miles
  • Pub 5 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
  • 1 Bathroom
  • No Pets
  • WiFi
  • Permit Parking
  • Beach 3 miles
  • Pub 0.1 miles

Bampton, Exmoor

CROWS

(No dates selected)

£335 - £750
per week
From £251 for a 3-night stay
  • 4 Star Gold
  • Detached stone built cottage with magnificent country views and a private hot tub in summerhouse adjacent
  • 2 Guests
  • 1 Bedroom
  • 1 Bathroom
  • No Pets
  • WiFi
  • Private Parking
  • Hot tub
  • Beach 24 miles
  • Pub 1.3 miles

Stoke Fleming, South Devon Coast

BC99

(No dates selected)

£269 - £639
per week
From £202 for a 3-night stay
  • A beachside bolthole, perfectly formed and has undergone extensive refurbishment to offer stylish coastal living.
  • 2 Guests
  • 1 Bedroom
  • 1 Bathroom
  • 1 Pet
  • WiFi
  • Private Parking
  • Beach 0.8 miles
  • Pub 0.2 miles

Bampton, Exmoor

WORK

(No dates selected)

£248 - £580
per week
From £186 for a 3-night stay
  • 4 Star Gold
  • Perfect for couples, this pretty Devon barn conversion has stunning countryside views and shares an outdoor jacuzzi spa pool.
  • 2 Guests
  • 1 Bedroom
  • 1 Bathroom
  • 1 Pet
  • WiFi
  • Private Parking
  • Hot tub
  • Beach 24 miles
  • Pub 1.3 miles
10% Off!

Torquay, South Devon Coast

7BRAM

(No dates selected)

£339 - £660
per week
From £254 for a 3-night stay
  • 4 Star Gold
  • Special offerLast minute discount! 10% off bookings starting within 14 days (may not apply in conjunction with other offers)
  • 2 Guests
  • 1 Bedroom
  • 1 Bathroom
  • 1 Pet
  • WiFi
  • Private Parking
  • Beach 0.75 miles
  • Pub 0.6 miles

Cornworthy, South Devon Coast

BC455

(No dates selected)

£239 - £579
per week
From £179 for a 3-night stay
  • A delightful romantic retreat for two, in a very peaceful location with fabulous views over the rolling countryside.
  • 2 Guests
  • 1 Bedroom
  • 1 Bathroom
  • No Pets
  • WiFi
  • Private Parking
  • Pub 1 mile

Galmpton, South Devon Countryside

GALSTA

(No dates selected)

£149 - £389
per week
From £112 for a 3-night stay
  • Escape to the country in this delightful cosy bolthole, perfect for two...
  • 2 Guests
  • 1 Bedroom
  • 1 Bathroom
  • No Pets
  • WiFi
  • Private Parking
  • Beach 5.6 miles

Ilfracombe, North Devon Coast

STABIL

(No dates selected)

£295 - £705
per week
From £221 for a 3-night stay
  • 3 Star Gold
  • Detached barn conversion cottage in a quiet location. The town has a picturesque harbour, the famous tunnels beaches and a choice of shops, restaurants and pubs.
  • 2 Guests
  • 1 Bedroom
  • 1 Bathroom
  • 2 Pets
  • WiFi
  • Private Parking
  • Beach 1 mile
  • Pub 0.5 miles
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