I spent my last bank holiday exploring the Champagne region of France, so I wanted to spend this one a little closer to home – although technically it takes about the same time to drive from London to Paris as it does to North Devon!
It never ceases to surprise me how many folks in the office spend their holidays in my hometown, but I know why. Growing up in Devon is something that those who do often take for granted. Living in London, there’s nothing better than arriving to my former home of rolling hills, slow tractors and the glistening sea (on a sunny day, that is) – and being able to stay here for free!
I’m also lucky to be able to know how to spend my bank holiday weekend without treading in footsteps of flocks of tourists; although some secret gems have made their way into the public. Here’s my checklist if you’re planning a trip to North Devon:
Where to stay
I personally love Braunton – it’s well-placed on the road to some of North Devon’s gorgeous beaches. You’ll also enjoy the benefits of a village stay – a few restaurants and pubs, Co-op, Warrens Bakery, various greengrocers and local stores (John Patt’s and Cawthornes).
Appledore is also a nice place to stay, or Berrynarbor – both are less touristy but with their own things going for it.
Where to eat
- Curry on the beach, Barricane beach in Woolacombe (bring blankets, deckchairs and your own beers – and check the Facebook page to see if it’s on)
- High tea at Tea on the Green, Westward Ho! (you have to order their high tea in advance but it’s well worth it, as a bargain at £12)
- Squires fish and chip restaurant, Braunton is a great takeaway and does ‘posh’ fish & chips, with the best homemade tartare source I’ve ever tried
- Any Hockings ice cream van – a local treat!
- Kentisbury Grange, Kentisbury
- Bistrot du Coin, Braunton – a French restaurant with an electric atmosphere (thanks to the attentive owners), and delicious food
- Anywhere selling a Devon cream tea – remember cream goes on the scone with the jam on top, no confusing it with the Cornish way!
Dog walks (or human walks)
- Crow Point, Braunton
- Baggy Point, Croyde
- Braunton Burrows (parking at Sandy Lane)
- Valley of the Rocks
- Lynton and Lynmouth
- Lundy island
- Berrynarbor beach (off the beaten track but take a picnic and be prepared to walk down a fair few steps)
- Woolacombe (with warning it gets very busy during the summer)
Worth a stop at
- Ilfracombe on a sunny day
If you’re looking for other bank holiday ideas, here’s my thoughts on Dorset.
I hope you visit North Devon at some point – let me know how you get on if you do! I’m on Instagram or always keen to hear from you in the comments below.