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South West - North Devon and Exmoor

top 10 places

Top 100 places to visit in south west england

North Devon and Exmoor

1. Exmoor Land Rover Safaris

Discover Exmoor National Park in a specially designed Land Rover Defender 110 TDi safari vehicle. Keep a look out on the way for local wildlife, including red deer, Exmoor ponies and birds. Ford fast flowing rivers, cross dramtic moorland scenery and climb the steep rocky slopes out of deep valleys. Amonst the scenery are relics of times gone by; Bronze and Iron Age remains and settlements, medieval filed systems and mysterious monuments!

2. Torrington 1646

Travel back in time to Torrington 1646, and meet the characters who populated Torrington, North Devon's forgotten site of the last major battle of the English Civil War. Try on armour and clothing from the period and watch daily weapons displays. Learn about herbs and how they were used to treat ailments in the Physic garden. Maybe you'll meet the Barber Surgeon, or even the witch! Facilities include a gift shop and cafe.

3. Westward Ho! Blue Flag Beach

With over two miles of golden sand, Westward Ho! is ideal for families, surfers and sunbathers, with rows of traditional beach huts adding a splash of colour. Backed by a pebble ridge linking to Northam Burrows Country Park the beach is also adjacent to the South West Coast Path and is near the picturesque villages of Appledore and Clovelly and the ancient port of Bideford. Facilities include a cafe, toilets, deckchair hire, first aid, lifeguards and lost child centre.

4. The South West Coast Path National Trail

Explore the stunning coastal scenery, wildlife and heritage of the South West Coast Path National Trail. With 630 miles of superb coastal walking the route stretches all the way round the SW Peninsula of the British Isles from Minehead on the edge of the Exmoor National Park to the shores of Poole Harbour in Dorset. The path can be broken up into smaller sections for a day or afternoon walk, and there are plently of good quality pubs and guesthouses along the way.

5. Lundy Island

Lundy Island lies in the Bristol Channel, about 11 miles off the coast of North Devon. Three miles long and half a mile wide, this granite outcrop rises 400 feet above sea level and is a place of outstanding natural beauty, with tremendous views of England, Wales and the Atlantic. Lundy offers a very rare experience. It is large enough to have a genuine life of its own, which visitors can share and enjoy, but small and far enough away to be a world apart and unspoilt.

6. Woolacombe Sands Surfing Lessons

With some of the best Atlantic breaks Woolacombe beach is popular with surfers of all ages and abilities. The team at Nick Thorn Surf School have helped hundreds of people get into the water and experience the thrill of surfing their first wave. Dedicated instructors provide a supportive environment where you can master the fundamentals of the sport in preparation for your future surfing adventures.

7. Lynton and Lynmouth

Nine miles west of Porlock, the Victorian resort of Lynton perches above a lofty gorge with spectacular views over the sea. This beautiful area of North Devon has high cliffs, hills, quaint cottages and access to the inner wilderness of Exmoor with its deer and ponies. Lynton is connected by cliff railway with Lynmouth, 500 feet below at the junction and estuary of the East and West Lyn rivers. Located on the South West Coast Path, it's a great base for setting out on walks.

8. The Tarka Line

The Tarka Line runs for 39 miles between Exeter and Barnstaple stopping at different stations along the way, and forms part of the 180-mile 'Tarka Trail,' the locations featuring in Henry Williamson's classic novel, 'Tarka the Otter.' Why not purchase a Tarka Line Ranger ticket, which gives you the ability to roam the area at will, travelling as often as you like on the trains and offering unlimited travel for one day.

9. Hartland Abbey

Hartland Abbey lies across a narrow, sheltered valley which winds its way to the spectacular Atlantic Coast. Within a designated ‘Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty’ visitors can wander around the beautiful gardens and grounds which lead to the rocky cove. Peacocks and guinea fowl roam at will whilst donkeys and Black Welsh Mountain sheep graze the Old Deer Park. The Abbey itself contains collections of pictures, furniture and porcelain which have accumulated over many generations.

10. Doone Valley Horse and Pony Trekking

Miles of unspoilt countryside lie on the doorstep of the Doone Valley Trekking centre at Cloud Farm. The bridleways are excellent and there are no roads, making it easy and relaxing to ride through the idyllic landscape made legendary by the romantic novel, Lorna Doone. Riding in Exmoor is an unforgettable experience with spectacular wooded river valleys, rolling hills and sweeping moorland. The Doone Valley lies in one of only three remaining officially-designated "truly tranquil areas" of Great Britain.
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