Things to do in North Devon and the Local Area

Our Local Area...

Bideford

An attractive town on the west bank of the river Torridge where the river begins to widen into the estuary. The impressive, arched stone bridge was built in 1535. The original bridge was built from timber in 1300. Author Charles Kingsley lived here and based his novel ‘Westward Ho!’ in this area of North Devon. In the 16th Century, Bideford was Britain’s third largest port. The name of the town is derived from by-the-ford, presumably from the days before the bridge was constructed. It is now a thriving shopping centre with an historic Pannier Market holding both products and craft markets twice a week. The tree lined quay still bustles with fishing vessels, cargo and pleasure boats, and there are regular boat trips to Lundy Island twelve miles away.

Atlantic Village and Atlantis Adventure Park

Located just outside the town is the retail outlet, Atlantic Village (EX39 3DU). Open seven days a week, 364 days a year with late night shopping on Thursdays until 8pm.

With around thirty stores offering up to 50% off rrp, free parking and WiFi

Kids Cove Soft Play, Pirate Ship, Rides, Water Wars, Jumping Pillow, Crazy Golf, Prize Maze, and Panning For Gold.

Tourist information

Free wheelchair service

Baby changing and disabled facilities

Cash machine

Pharmacy

Right by Atlantic Village you'll find Brewers Fayre, McDonalds and Starbucks

Barnstaple

The Medieval town of Barnstaple is around a ten minute drive from Beaconside, a popular shopping location retaining some interesting and impressive old buildings. Butchers Row consists of ten shops with stone pilasters and an overhanging roof with iron supports and the adjoining Victorian Pannier Market with its high glass and timber roof supported on iron columns. There is also a museum, theatre, cinema, estuary walks, a Heritage centre, garden and leisure centre. 1.3 miles from the town you will find ‘Let’s Go Bowling and Skating’, 1.9 miles ‘Funderzone’ Indoor Soft Play Centre, 6.7 miles ‘Survival Laser Tag’, 8.1 miles ‘Keypitts Quads’, and 0.6 miles ‘Dartington Crystal Glass’.

Exeter

Our nearest city is Exeter, located on the river Exe and dating back to the Roman era. A small city that packs a big punch! With underground Passages, free Red Coat Guided Tours, magnificent Cathedral, imposing Roman wall and beautiful Quayside. Exeter is also home to the award winning Royal Albert Memorial Museum. The city also offers a diverse mix of eateries, shops, boutiques, cafes and bars.

Things to do in the area for all the family...

The Tarka Trail
Great for level walking and cycling. Thirty miles of traffic free route where you can spot wildfowl on the mudflats and keep interest piqued with gems from the downloadable
audio guide northdevonbiosphere.org.uk.
For cycle hire call 01271 813339

Lydford Gorge
Near Tavistock, step into the deepest gorge in the South West and experience the force of nature from the foot of the 30m White Lady waterfall. You can take a picnic but there are two National Trust tearooms serving cream teas, lunches and takeaway picnic supplies. The terrain is not buggy friendly but you can borrow a baby backpack, or zigzag some way down the gorge along the accessible railway path.
01822 820320

Exmoor Zoo
No big city zoo but the expansion of a conservation park. Here you'll find large beasts such as lemurs, lynx and leopard but getting up close and personal is what it's all about! Touch snakes and spiders in handling sessions and learn all about the animals through feeding sessions and talks. For a fee, super keen kids can even sign up to be a zoo keeper for half a day
(full days for 15yrs and over).
01598 763352

Lynton and Lynmouth
Bringing together the wild beauty of the moors and the towering sea cliffs of North Devon. You can take in a buggy friendly stroll from Lynton or ride the cliff railway. Let the Victorian water-powered lift take the strain of the 300m cliffs between the two towns, leaving you to take in the fabulous views across the Channel to Wales.

Lundy Island
Where there are no cars and wildlife outnumbers the residents. Snorkel safaris and rock pool rambles. With dolphins, puffins, an abundance of seabirds, feral deer and Soay sheep, binoculars are recommended! Be warned that the it’s a gruelling ascent from the boat up to the cliffs.
01271 863636

Tunnels Beaches
There is a nominal entrance fee to access this private cove and Victorian tidal pool but it's well worth it! The tunnels – carved to enable beach access from the town when seawater bathing was in vogue – are lined with mounted archives, memorabilia and informtation panels that whisk you back to the pools' opening in 1823. There's a unique beach trip (with easy entry for buggies and beach paraphernalia), there is a shop, family restaurant, play hut and award winning loos!
01271 879882

Clovelly
One of North Devon's jewels. A much visited privately owned village built into a 400ft cleft in the towering North Devon cliffs. This quaint little fishing village is characterised by its little white cottages and steep main street tumbling down to the tiny harbour sheltered by the robust 14th century two tier harbour wall. The Red Lion pub is conveniently located down in theharbour, you'll need a drink by the time you get there!

Arlington Court
Barnstaple, Pat the shire horses in their stables then travel around the beautiful estate by horse-drawn carriage. There's a museum crammed with carriages once owned by lords and ladies along with model ships, pewter and shells are on display in the impressive Regency House. Children can spy through the bat-cam and hunt for geocaches or follow quiz trails. There is a Victorian kitchen tearoom serving food using ingredients sourced from the kitchen garden.
01271 850296

The Big Sheep
A sheep theme park and surprisingly fun day out! Bet your ewe-ros (the parks currency!) on the sheep racing and see border collies round up Indian running ducks?! There's also sheep shearing, lamb feeding, horse whispering, pony rides, farm safaris, self-drive tractors and a soft play barn. There's an on-site brewery and the Shepherd's Restaurant offers cream teas. The site also offers Battlefield Live for hi-tech laser gun battles and next door is the Ultimate Adventure Centre with high ropes, zip wires and mountain boarding!
01237 472366

Please note that some animal related activities are dependent upon the time of year you visit.

Horse Riding
Follyfoot Equestrian Centre
Sandymere Road, Northam, Bideford EX39 1XR
01237 424850

By Car

The M5 will take you straight into the South West. It is by far the most convenient way to get here and will allow you to have transport when you are here.

For North Devon exit the M5 at Junction 27 and take the A361 (North Devon Link Road) towards Barnstaple and Bideford. If you are travelling to Ilfracombe, Woolacombe, Lynton or Combe Martin turn off at the A399 at South Molton. For Bideford and beyond, take the A39 towards Bude.

The A303 is another route that is shorter when travelling from London and the south east but not always as fast as the motorway. It’ll take you past Stonehenge and eventually onto the A30, or, if you are travelling to North Devon, onto the M5 via the A358 at Taunton.

By Train

Local services are limited in the South West, however, the Tarka Line from Exeter will take you as far as Barnstaple. Locals use the main line station at Tiverton Parkway – which is just two and a half hours from Paddington – but this relies on having local transport when you arrive.

Indulge Yourself During Your Stay...

MORRISONS

(The nearest)

Kingsley Road EX39 2LG

Open Monday to Friday 8am – 10pm and Sundays 10am - 4pm

TESCO

Delivery available

Manteo Way, Bideford EX39 4AJ

Open Monday to Friday 8am – 10pm and Sundays 10am - 4pm

ALDI

Atlantic Park Way EX39 3FR

Open 8am – 10pm Monday to Friday and Sundays 10am – 4pm

LIDL

Clovelly Road, Bideford EX39 3QU

Open 8am – 10pm Monday to Friday and Sundays 10am – 4pm

ASDA

Delivery available

Clovelly Road, Bideford EX39 3QU

Open Monday 8am – 11pm, Tuesday – Friday 7am – 11pm, Saturday 7am – 10pm and Sunday

10am – 4pm

ASDA also offers a pharmacy service.

Home Delivery...

If you are choosing to make a food delivery to Beaconside we strongly advise that you make sure that you are here to sign for the delivery. However, if you are running late or you know you won’t be able to make it in time for the selected delivery time please let us know and in some cases, we will be able to sign for it for you.