North Devon boasts some of the most challenging links golf courses in the country including:
Saunton Golf Club (20 minutes by car)
A world famous club located near Braunton with two championship standard links courses, to suit both the expert and the more casual golfer. The Saunton courses are situated on Braunton Burrows, which lie between the Taw and Torridge estuary and Saunton Sands. Golf has been played over the natural golfing country of Braunton Burrows for over a century and the Saunton club itself was formed as long ago as 1897. Saunton, situated as it is on North Devon's beautiful coast with the river, sea and golden sands as background, is unique among golf courses. Call 01271 812436.
The Royal North Devon Golf Club (25 minutes by car)
The oldest links course in England, which was laid out on Northam Burrows in 1864. The Royal North Devon Golf Club can be found near Westward Ho! Contact the club on 01237 473817.
Barnstaple Golf Club, (15 minutes by car)
Situated at the entrance to Barnstaple just off the A361 is Portmore Golf Club. Facilities include an undercover floodlit golf range and two parkland courses. The greens are built to full U.S.G.A. specification, thereby dispensing any need for temporary greens during winter months. Telephone: 01271 37837.
Ilfracombe Golf Club, (20 minutes by car)
A golf club with wonderful views welcoming all abilities, and situated on the hills overlooking Hele Bay on the outskirts of Ilfracombe. Golfers should contact the club on 01271 862176.
Try learning to surf on Devon's famous beaches – catch your first wave and remember the moment forever. North Devon is a surfer's paradise, and there are opportunities for all levels of surfer to enjoy what is on offer. Some of the local surf schools are listed below – surf boards/body boards and wet suits can be hired, and we can provide beach towels at a small charge.
Surf South West, Croyde
Learn and improve. British surfing association level 4 centre surfing courses that have been teaching at Croyde since 1996. Telephone 01271 890400
Nigel Brown Barefoot Surf School, Georgeham
BSA approved school specializing in teaching beginners. Run by Nigel with 33 years surfing experience. Sessions usually held at Putsborough beach; maximum group size is six. Contact Nigel on either 01271 891231 or 07969 410854.
Surfing Croyde Bay
One to one surfing lessons for up to six people. Call 01271 891200.
Chapel Farm Gallery Surf board and wet suit hire
Telephone 01271 890429
North Devon is famous for its excellent shooting. From clay pigeon, through to walked up and driven shooting, something can be arranged to suit every budget and ability.
There is an excellent local instructor who can organize lessons and clay shooting days. Guns can be borrowed from this shoot instructor if required, and he caters for all, from complete novices to the crack shot.
Coasteering, water skiing
If you have ever thought you would like to have a go at coasteering on North Devon’s rugged coastline, now is your chance. Coastal Exmoor offers a stunning landscape for this challenging sport, as well as many other water based activities. Coasteering involves traversing the sea cliffs by wading in waist deep water and scrambling up rocky coastal outcrops.
Chivenor Business Park, Barnstaple, EX31 4AY Telephone: 01271 8133441 Email: [email protected] Surf school which also offers water skiing, wake-boarding, coasteering, kayaking and inflatable rides. All instructors are qualified and lifeguard trained.
Baggy Lodge, Croyde, EX33 1PA Telephone: 07773 340031 Email: [email protected] Active Escape offers coasteering, surfing, rock climbing, abseiling and mountain biking.
Sailing and Watersports
Obsession Boat Charters
Sailing from Ilfracombe, charters include fishing, diving, coastal tours and sunset cruises. Telephone 07890 633458.
Osprey fishing charters
Contact Paul Barbeary, the owner and skipper of Osprey fishing charters, on 07970 101407 to enjoy fishing trips suitable for all ages and levels of experience.
North Devon Yacht club
Instow, Devon, EX39 4HW Telephone: 01271 860367.
North Devon is a cyclist's dream territory, whether its road cycling or mountain biking. There is also an expert cycling school nearby, “Propello”, which can arrange for cycling groups, and caters for all levels of experience.
The wilds of Exmoor can provide challenging opportunities for all cyclists, or alternatively there are established cycling routes such as:
Thirty two miles of the Tarka Trail are a cycle/walkway, following the old railway line from Braunton on the coast, to Petrockstow deep in the heart of Tarka Country. This part of the Trail offers easy, flat, traffic-free cycling suitable for all the family around the wide expanse of the Taw and Torridge Estuary, before following the River Torridge inland.
Mid-Torridge Cycle Link
This linking route connects the Tarka Trail at Petrockstowe with the Sticklepath Cycle Route as it passes through Hatherleigh on its way towards Dartmoor. Combined, these routes provide a complete south-north route from Dartmoor to the North Devon Coast. This attractive route takes in the villages of Petrockstowe and Sheepwash with their traditional cob walled thatched cottages.
Sticklepath Cycle Route
This signposted circular route starts and finishes at the National Trust's Finch Foundry at Sticklepath near Okehampton. It follows quiet country lanes, taking in delightful villages and passing many places of historic interest, all set against a backdrop of spectacular panoramic views of Dartmoor.
National Cycle Network No.3
The National Cycle Network is a linked series of traffic-free paths and traffic-calmed roads being developed right across the United Kingdom. Route No.3 runs 250 miles from Bristol to Padstow. In Tarka Country, the route descends from Exmoor to follow the Tarka Trail cycle/walkway from Barnstaple to Petrockstowe, and then rejoins lanes along the sections of the Mid Torridge Cycle Link and the Holsworthy-Black Torrington Cycle Route on its way to Cornwall.
The 160 acres of grounds at The Devon Manor House offers guests amazing scope to walk for miles in the beautiful private grounds.
With its miles of sandy beaches and the wilds of un-spoilt Exmoor to explore there is something for everyone who enjoys walking.
Popular walks nearby include Baggy Point at Croyde, Lynton and the Valley of the Rocks, Watersmeet on the edge of Lynmouth and Heddons Mouth.
There are maps of Exmoor available at The Devon Manor House, and books of popular walks, if this is of interest.
If you want to let the horse do the walking …
North Devon Equestrian Centre
Muddiford, Barnstaple, Devon, EX31 4HR Telephone: 01271 850864 Email: [email protected] Qualified experienced instructors and well behaved ponies and horses; as well as riding lessons on offer for learners to experienced riders. Children especially welcome.
Mullacott Equestrian Centre
Situated on the edge of Ilfracombe, Mullacott Equestrian are able to offer riding instruction for beginners to experienced riders plus seashore riding. Mullacott also provide carriage driving and quad biking. Telephone: 01271 866685
Dean Riding Stable, Parracombe
Offering riding instruction in their all-weather arenas for all ages and abilities. Also provides accompanied hacking on Exmoor and along coastal routes. Telephone 01598 763565
Qualified sport and remedial massage therapist Louise Patrick is able to offer both a 30 or 60 minute massage session for guests staying at The Devon Manor House. Louise is able to help relieve work related stress with a remedial massage, as well as work with guest suffering postural problems.
Remedial massage has been proven over the years to be a fast and effective way of dealing with minor soft tissue conditions by assisting the body’s own natural repair process.
The benefits of remedial massage include an increase in blood circulation, restoration of muscle length and balance, improvement to posture, release of tension and stress and a reduction in muscle stiffness and pain in areas such as the neck, back, shoulder and chest, many of which are the result from work related posture issues and muscle tension.
Call Louise on 07805 161517.
North Devon Gardens
The gardens at the North Devon Manor House are some of the finest in the area not open to the public some of the local gardens open to the public include: Please note the first three are all located within 10 minutes of the Devon Manor House.
Worthy of a visit as an intriguing country house with the added benefit of housing the National Trust's carriage museum. Please see below under 'historic houses' for more information on Arlington Court. Arlington also has some wonderful parkland gardens to enjoy. Contact: 01271 850296.
Broomhill Sculpture Gardens
Displays one of the largest permanent collections of contemporary art and sculptures in the South West, situated within 10 acres of glorious gardens. Broomhill also has an award winning restaurant. Telephone: 01271 850262
Marwood Hill Gardens
Marwood features 20 acres of valley transformed into a complex garden of lakes, woodland and unusual plants. Telephone: 01271 342 528.
Castle Hill near South Molton has 18th century landscaped gardens and parks with many of interesting additions, including the glorious millennium garden. Telephone: 01598 760421.
Situated near Bideford, Clovelly Court has a stunning Victorian walled garden. Telephone: 01237 431200.
Hartland Abbey features the 'Bog' garden, the ‘ladies walk’, and a secret walled garden. Please also see 'historic houses' below.
The South West’s RHS gardens at Rosemoor are an absolute must for anyone seriously interested in exploring gardens. Contact: 0845 2658072.
Historic Houses to visit
North Devon was not the chosen location for grand houses to be built in the 17th, 18th and 19th century and those that do exist, are generally occupied as private houses. However, the following are open to the public.
An intriguing small Regency house and gardens within easy reach of the Devon Manor House. Home to the fascinating National Trust carriage museum. Telephone: 01271 850296.
A little further away:
Built in the 12th Century and a monastery for 400 years, this house, which has never been sold, contains a wonderful collection of pictures, furniture and porcelain collected over generations.
Hartland Abbey has restricted opening times as this house is still owned and lived in by the Stucley family. The current opening times for the house and garden are 11.30am to 4.30pm. During April and up to mid-May it is open Wednesday, Thursday, Sunday and Bank holidays. From May 20th Hartland is open every day except Friday and Saturday. For more information on the house and its opening times call 01237 441264.
North Devon Karting Centre
Go-Karting - great fun for everyone. A 200 metre family fun circuit and a 400 metre pro circuit located in Barnstaple. Telephone: 01271 328460.
Cobbaton Combat Collection
Situated near Chittlehampton is the South West's largest collection of WW2 vehicles and artefacts from the Boer War to the first Gulf War. Telephone: 01769 540740 or visit www.cobbatoncombat.co.uk
Lynton & Lynmouth
Experience Victorian travel and ride the unique water powered carriage (a cross between a railway and a lift) from Lynmouth to Lynton, enjoying the spectacular views on the way. Telephone: 01598 753486.
Trips to Lundy Island
A memorable day out by ferry to an unspoilt offshore National Trust island with fabulous wildlife and views. Lundy lies 10 miles off the coast of North Devon, where the Atlantic meets the Bristol Channel, and is a place of unspoiled beauty and peace with magnificent views. Visit the website www.lundyisland.co.uk or call the Lundy Shore Office on 01271 863 636 for more information.
Trips to Lundy are aboard the MS Oldenburg, which has a bar, a buffet, toilets and comfortable cabins. No pets are allowed on Lundy Island. The boat trip takes just two hours each way, and you need to be at the pier in Ilfracombe at least 45 minutes before departure, which is normally 10am. Please check for details as departures are not daily and are subject to change in adverse weather conditions.
North Devon Beaches
Miles of soft sands, secret coves, sheltered bays and the roar of the Atlantic surf. There's a different beach for every day you're here.
There’s a lot of fun to be had on North Devon’s beaches that come in a huge variety and styles. Many beaches have life guards and several are very popular for watersports such as surfing and bodyboarding, but please do be aware of rip tides (undercurrents that can pull you out to sea) as these can be difficult to spot.
One of the finest beaches in the West Country with its three-mile long stretch of golden sand and thoroughly deserving of its numerous awards. Woolacombe offers superb facilities for swimming, surfing, windsurfing, sailing and sea canoeing.
A small sandy beach at low tide adjacent to Woolacombe beach.
A lovely secluded beach, located at the far right-end of Woolacombe with some attractive rock pools.
A family beach with a mixture of sand and pebbles. Low tide reveals an abundance of rock pools, deep caves and areas of firm clean golden sand beyond the weir. The weir also creates ideal water for swimming free from strong currents.
World famous sandy beach backed by sand dunes and situated in a small bay on the North Devon coast. The stepped beach and rocks make it one of the best for surfing in Europe.
Beautiful and extremely popular beach with surfers stretching three miles long, facing due west and backed by impressive sand dunes.
Situated in the estuary on the edge of the Braunton Marshes, Crow Point is a secluded sandy beach with spectacular views over the estuary.
A quiet beach free from the madding crowds. Visits require quite a difficult walk of approximately 2km down to the sea, but it is well worth a visit for the fit and able. A mixture of sand and rocks, Rockham provides a great location for a family picnic.
The long sweeping sands of Putsborough are renowned for their cleanliness and beauty. It is very popular with families as it offers vast golden sands, as well as plenty of rock pools to explore, ideal for children. This beach provides superb bathing and the rolling waves of the Atlantic makes this a surfer’s paradise.
A long beach on an estuary, which is very popular for fishing and sailing, as well as other beach activities. Instow is a sandy beach, backed by low dunes, at the mouth of the rivers Taw and Torridge. When the tide is out it is very pleasant walking along the beach by the edge of the river Torridge with picturesque Appledore on the opposite side.
Lundy Island Beach
Lundy has a small shingled beach in the heart of a peaceful harbour. It is a great location for fishing and snorkelling. Please note - to access Lundy you have to get the boat.
North Devon is a haven for outdoor activities. Listed below are some of the possibilities, but if there is anything specific you would like catered for please let our agent know – it's probably available locally.
Exmoor is nature, solitude, breathtaking landscapes at every turn. A paradise to amble or ramble, ride a horse or cycle, or even book a Land Rover safari.
Exmoor is peaceful, open spaces, clean air, heather-clad moors, thick forests, deep valleys, plunging waterfalls, sparkling rushing rivers, dramatic coastline, pretty villages, ancient farms and always a friendly welcome.
Exmoor is a rare breed of pony, large herds of red deer roaming freely and buzzards soaring overhead.
Exmoor is just 10 minutes from The Devon Manor House but a world away from the daily grind.