With Exmoor National Park and the North Devon coast less than a 30 minute drive from Magnolia View Cottage there is a wealth of activities to experience from water based sports such as surfing and kayaking to countryside walks and fishing. To help you discover more about what is on offer in North Devon please see our selection of activities available in the local area below:
This fun and very popular sport can be enjoyed at all the major beaches along the North Devon coast including Woolacombe, Croyde, Saunton and Westward Ho! These excellent beaches are patrolled by lifeguards and lessons are offered for all abilities. For more experienced surfers there are smaller coves that offer more extreme conditions for surfing.
Other water sports can also be enjoy around the North Devon coastline, such as kayaking at Combe Martin, stand up paddle boarding at Croyde and jet skiing at Watermouth Cove. Coasteering is another sport that is becoming more popular in the area and experienced guides are available.
The relaxing pastime of fishing can be enjoyed in many spots in North Devon and across Exmoor. The nearest farms we recommend are Bulldog Farm, Blakewell Fisheries and Britton Water Fly Fishing. River and harbour fishing, as well as boat charters are also available.
Please note many fishing spots can only be enjoyed with a license.
As well as having a number of local walks direct from the cottage, there are many others that will keep walkers happy for several days. For coastal walks the South West Coast Path provides an excellent way to see the dramatic North Devon coastline, climb some of the highest cliffs in England as you walk the path around Combe Martin or discover the beautiful villages of Hartland and Clovelly. The views from the coast path are spectacular and it is a great way to see the local wildlife. A more accessible part of the coast path is the Tarka Trail, which begins in Braunton and travels through the nearby town of Barnstaple. This mainly traffic free, tarmacked pathway is for walkers and cyclists and is ideal for leisurely strolls or bike rides with the little ones - a favourite spot along the trail is Fremington Quay where you will find an excellent cafe.
Alternative walks can be found on Exmoor, which has a wonderful diverse landscape made up of heather clad moors, open fields and ancient woods. The National Park, which covers hundreds of acres is spread across both Devon and Somerset and is a great place to enjoy a walk, especially when combined with a spot of wild swimming at Landacre Bridge or a traditional cream tea at one of the wonderful cosy tea rooms that are dotted around the National Park. A favourite walk for many visitors is the one from Watersmeet to Lynmouth, which is where Exmoor meets the sea.
Like walkers, cyclists love North Devon thanks to its many miles of roads, some of which are part of National Cycle routes and are supported by the Sustans. Some of the most challenging routes are those across Exmoor and around Croyde.
For less experienced cyclists and families with young children the Tarka Trail provides an excellent way to get out on your bike. This mainly level tarmacked pathway runs from Braunton to Meeth and is largely traffic free. The path, which follows the old railway line takes in some of North Devon’s beautiful scenery including the Taw Estuary. Bike hire can also be arranged at a number of spots along the Tarka Trail.
With its miles of stunning coastline and beautiful countryside it is no wonder that North Devon is a great place to enjoy a spot of bird watching. One of the best places to see the local birds that nest in the area is on the island of Lundy, which lies just off the North Devon coast in the Bristol Channel. This small island has hardly changed over the years and is only home to a few houses and a pub. Lundy has many different birds living on the island but it is the puffins that really make this place so special. To access Lundy you need to hop on board the MS Oldenburg that sets sail from Bideford or Ilfracombe, or alternatively a helicopter can be used.
There are various ways to experience North Devon but perhaps one of the most memorable is via horse riding. There are several stable yards around the local area that offer rides of varying length to suit all ages and abilities, these can include treks along countryside bridleways or rides across Exmoor. More experienced riders can also enjoy beach rides, with stable yards near Woolacombe and Croyde offering this one in a lifetime experience.