1st February 2020

A weekend Guide to Devon in the Summer

Planning the perfect programme of summer fun is an exhausting and thankless task - which is why we put together this round-up of some of Devon's top things to do, see and explore during everybody’s favourite season. 

Things to do 

1.  Visit RHS Rosemoor

Nestled in North Devon's beautiful Torridge Valley, Rosemoor is a hidden gem and a real treat for garden lovers at any time of year. There is something for everyone to enjoy from the stunning gardens to the Woodland Walks which offer interesting glimpses of local wildlife and wildflowers. If it should start to rain, sit in the award-winning Garden Kitchen for delicious meals.

2. Hunt out the famous Hocking’s Ice Cream

Hocking’s distinctive yellow and red vans can be found throughout the summer, why not spend your holiday trying to find them? Ask any North Devon local or regular holidaymaker and they’ll say that there’s ice cream, and then there’s Hocking’s!

Hocking’s vans can be found in beautiful key locations around North Devon: Appledore, Barnstaple, Bideford, Ilfracombe, Torrington and Westward Ho! There’s no better feeling than sitting on a bench or on the beach to watch the waves whilst enjoying a classic ice cream cone.

3. Have a go at some water sports at North Devon Wakepark

Located in the stunning landscape of North Devon and only 10 minutes away from the coast, North Devon Wake Park boasts the best of both worlds. The stunning lake is situated in the beautiful fields of North Devon and is accompanied by a wooden clubhouse, undercover decking and luscious grassed areas, making it the perfect place to enjoy the charming setting and take on an enjoyable and entertaining activity.

The WakePark has a variety of outdoor activities for all ages which include wakeboarding, Paddleboarding, slacklining and their unique aquapark. Booking is essential.

Places to eat and drink

1. Beachside Grill overlooking Saunton Beach

Beachside Grill serves exquisite seafood and meat dishes right by the sea. Experience a contemporary restaurant on the beach with a laid back vibe. A stone’s throw from the Atlantic Ocean it captures the mood of beachside living at its best. Enjoy lunch al fresco on the terrace. By night, enjoy a bistro-style meal with a chilled glass of wine while you watch the sun dip over Saunton Beach.

2. Enjoy a Devon cream tea (that means putting on the cream, then jam)

There’s a huge question around which way you should make your cream tea. In Devon, it should be cream and then jam but a Cornishman will certainly say that it should be the other way around.

Devon is well known for its cream teas and no trip to the county is complete without a laid back afternoon enjoying the tasty treat.

Here at The Park, enjoying a Devon cream tea in the sumptuous surroundings of Seasons Bar is an event to savour.

3. Enjoy a curry on Barricane Beach 

Barricane Beach curry is a local secret; hidden away in a little cove, the food cabin is lifted in on a crane each spring to serve up fresh lunches by day and delicious authentic Sri Lankan curry by night.

Bring a blanket and a bottle and you’ve got a perfect spot to watch the sunset. Curry is served from 5 pm - 7 pm every evening that the weather is dry.

Scenic spots

1. Valley of Rocks

Jagged rocky outcrops, towering cliffs, cliffside paths, sea views and native goats, welcome to the Valley of Rocks in North Devon! Get your walking boots on and reach the rugged but beautiful summits to fully take in where the rolling hills of Exmoor meet the sea.

This is a harsh but breathtaking environment, that you could often be mistaken for being in another country - think New Zealand and the Lord of the Rings films.

2. Clovelly

Coastal villages don’t come any more picturesque than Clovelly. Nestled in the hillside, it oozes charm with cobbled streets and a ‘trapped in the past’ feel. No cars are allowed here. The houses and narrow paths tumble down 400 feet to the harbour. Higgledy-piggledy cottages open up to reveal the stunning views and turquoise ocean.

Donkeys still live and thrive in the stables, making an appearance in the village during good weather. It’s a snapshot of a bygone era when they used to transport items through the village.

Timeless, picturesque and quintessentially Devon, you’ll want to take endless pictures of the fishing village to remember this completely unique place

3. Dunkery Beacon

Dunkery Beacon is the highest point on Exmoor at 1,704ft. From the top on a clear day you can see the Bristol and English Channels, the Brecon Beacons in Wales, Bodmin Moor, Dartmoor and Cleeve Hill - nearly 90 miles away in Gloucestershire.

The surrounding National Park Reserve is a key part of Exmoor, containing many aspects that make the area so popular. As the beacon is found in the wild heart of Exmoor the scenery is barren but beautiful, remote but refreshing. There’s wildlife aplenty and it’s the perfect place to hike.

To simply walk to the top is straightforward, simply park at Dunkery Gate car park then follow the footpath for 0.6 miles to the top. The perfect place for a picnic!

Wonderous walks

1. Heddon Valley

On the fringes of Exmoor, you'll discover the beautiful Heddon Valley. Beginning in Heddon Valley, you’ll travel along one of the loveliest parts of the renowned South West Coast Path national trail. It's the perfect place to take in a river walk, wooded pathways and a beautiful beach too. Follow the river to emerge at the sea, and take in all the unbeatable views along the way.

2. The Tarka Trail

The Tarka Trail is a key path through North Devon, following the route of a disused railway line that starts in Braunton and ends in Mid-Devon. It's an easy path for both walkers and cyclists to enjoy. Walk the riverside paths to see highlights such as the nature reserve outside Braunton, Fremington Quay, Instow with its beach, Bideford, Torrington and beyond into the heart of Devon for those who really wish to spend all day hiking. The trail can be found just a short distance from our hotel, for easy walks at any time.

3. The Torrs

The Torrs in Ilfracombe offers a circular walk for those who want to take in some of the best coastal scenery North Devon has. The Torrs themselves are a series of 'wavy' hills that dominate the landscape above the town of Ilfracombe.

The walks around and over these torrs start in and out the way car park and follows the coastline before heading upwards to the hilltops. Walkers can drop down to hidden beaches, see the famous Tunnels Beaches from afar and look along the jagged coast to see the waves crashing against the high cliffs!

Romantic Recommendations

1. Admire the beautiful North Devon sunsets

Watching the sun go down has been voted the most romantic way of spending an evening. With plenty of beaches to choose from, Westward Ho!, Saunton Sands and Woolacombe to name a few, you’ll be spoilt for choice of romantic locations during your stay in Devon. Westward Ho!’s pebble ridge is one of our favourite places to do so, so grab a fish and chip takeaway from Atlantic Bay and find your spot on the pebbles.

2. Escape the stresses of day-to-day life with the one you love at Source Spa and Wellness

Enjoy the peace and tranquillity that only a romantic spa day set atop the cliffs on the North Devon coast can deliver, and enjoy the breathtaking views as you overlook Saunton Sands beach and World Heritage Braunton Burrows. Whether it’s to escape from the kids, to celebrate an anniversary, or just to spend time together, browse their range of spa days and treatments here.  

3. Enjoy a picnic on Exmoor

Exmoor National Park is a wonderful place to escape too, especially in the summer when the area looks particularly beautiful. And we really do mean escape, there are some places on Exmoor that feel remote and isolated, with no people and no phone signal. If you wish, you can find yourself off the beaten track. A visit to Exmoor can just be you, nature and the wild ponies and deer. Or follow the main roads to see key attractions and stay on the grid. You’ll find some of England’s most untouched woodlands, forgotten lanes and cute villages. Whatever you want to do, there’s everything on Exmoor; exciting activities, low-lying river-valleys, high cliff tops, wildlife and unforgettable views.

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These are only some of the things you can do in North Devon, but every day here is unique and special, with so much to do and take in, no two days are the same.

If you’d like some North Devon accommodation, see our offers page for our latest low prices, or call us on 01271 372166 to arrange your stay.