This beautiful North Devon village by the sea, tucked away near the border with Cornwall, is an idyllic place to take a holiday. Surrounded by peaceful countryside, and right next to the magnificent North Devon coastline, Welcombe is a fantastic spot to enjoy stunning walks and breathtaking Atlantic sunsets.
Nearby Hartland Abbey & Gardens gives visitors access to its wonderful parkland grounds and picturesque valley leading down to the remote Atlantic cove. You can also easily join the South West Coast Path for blustery cliff top walks and to explore hidden coves, and large sandy beaches, such as Westward Ho!.
Lundy Island is just off the coast here, and is accessible by ferry from either Bideford or Ilfracombe. The crossing takes two hours each way, but for wildlife lovers, the effort is worth it as this remote island's habitat has been compared to that of Galapagos islands, and it is also a walker's paradise.
Other nearby activities include the 80 mile traffic-free Tarka Trail Coastal Path and Cycle Way that follows the journeys in the novel of Tarka the Otter, Tamar Lakes Country Park near Bude, and the Milky Way Adventure Park near Bideford.
A holiday cottage in Welcombe offers a great base for a tranquil break exploring the majestic beauty of the North Devon and Cornwall coastline.
Offering an action-packed programme of activities under the safe supervision of the highly experienced Sam Roberts, and his team. Whether you'd like to learn surfing or body boarding at Widemouth Bay, or experience Canadian Canoeing or the entertaining Jungle Run in the Bude canal - there is something for everyone, of all ages and abilities. Qualified coaches. All equipment provided. No experience necessary. Open 1 March through to 30 December. Booking required.
Just a few miles from the beach in North Devon’s Tarka country, Bideford Bicycle, Surf Board and Kayak Hire does pretty much exactly what it says on the tin, meaning they have everything you need to really get out and enjoy the area. They are open seven days a week from 9am to 5pm, so pop in and find the right pieces of kit for you!
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There can be few North Devon experiences as magical as pottering along the coast on a stand-up paddle board (SUP), and at Croyde Surf Academy it’s an area they specialise in. Offering guided tours and intro days, as well as instruction in other areas of surfing and coasteering, the team is passionate and friendly, eager to introduce you to this happy, healthy way of exploring Devon whether you’re a beginner or a pro looking for a guide.
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A magic experience to enjoy while you’re on holiday in Cornwall, the Museum of Witchcraft is in the village of Boscastle and was the creation of Cecil Williams whose fascination with the subject started in childhood. He set up the Cornish museum in 1960, saying it was three miles from a prehistoric maze stone carved into a living rock face, ‘proof that from ancient times man and his magic making with the world of spirit were active in this area’. Today you can visit to explore the collections or enjoy seasonal events such as candlelit evenings and Halloween at the museum.
A small family run vineyard and winery specialising in sparkling English wines. Tours are available April - September where you can learn about the varieties and management of the vineyard as well as taste at least 4 different wines. There is also a shop where you can buy some wine either to drink on your holiday or take home - open Tuesday to Saturday in high season, check the website at other times.
Eastcott Vineyard Lower Eastcott Farm, Okehampton EX20 3PT (T: 01837 811012)
A 13th century traditional Cornish pub with open fires in winter and a beer garden with beautiful sea views and children’s play area for summertime. Open all day, all year round, serving tasty light lunches, cream teas and hearty evening meals along with a great selection of local ales and other beverages for all occasions.
The Bush Inn Crosstown, Morwenstow, Bude EX23 9SR (T: 01288 331242)
A picture perfect English tearoom surrounded by the beautiful wild flower gardens at Docton Mill, a great spot for a cream tea or slice of homemade cake after a few hours discovering the wonderful array of plants here. Also serves a good range of freshly prepared soups, pasties, salads and sandwiches.
Docton Mill Gardens & Tearooms Lymebridge, Hartland, Bideford EX39 6EA (T: 01237 441369)
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Lovely, lovely! Amazing garden. Amazing cakes and cream teas. Great walks. Would visit again.
Situated in a wild and beautiful bay with wonderful sea views, this family run pub and hotel was once the old customs buildings for the quay. Today the Wreckers Bar is a great place to enjoy a good pub lunch including excellent local fish, accompanied by a pint of local ale or cider. A good spot for refreshments after a day walking the South West Coast Path, or spent enjoying the pretty beach below.
Hartland Quay Hotel Hartland, Bideford EX39 6DU (T: 01237 441218)
A pretty tea garden by the sea run by local legend Margaret, who is as famous for her delicious home-made cream teas and pasties as she is for her sense of humour. Pretend to walk off the calories afterwards by strolling down to the beach or along the cliffs to Northcott Mouth. All seating outside, dogs welcome.
Margarets Rustic Tea Garden S W Coast Path, Bude EX23 9ED (T: 07747 537564)
Hartland Quay is primarily a pebbles and rocks beach but low tide exposes sand and interesting rock pools to explore. It is splendidly isolated with no facilities but that's part of the charm. Car parking is available at Hartland Quay Hotel & Pub, EX39 6DU
Less the five minutes on foot from the centre of Bude, Summerleaze Beach is an easy beach to get to and enjoy for the whole day. There’s a river flanking the sandy beach and it’s sheltered by a breakwater, making it popular with families and surfers. You can book beach huts daily or weekly, and adding to its charm is a part man-made/part natural salt water sea pool to swim in at the foot of the cliff, that’s been welcoming swimmers since it opened in 1930. There’s lifeguard cover in the summer months, dogs need to be kept on leads from May to September, and there are toilets and disabled toilets close by as well as an RNLI shop, sandy play area, a beach café, and a large car park that leads directly to the sand dunes.
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Busy car park but the sandy beach is worth it. Cliff top walks and a tidal pool made this a perfect spot on a sunny day.
Three miles south of Bude, Widemouth Bay Beach is a long, open bay that’s popular with families and surfers, while at low tide there are hundreds of rock pools to explore. It’s a wonderful place to learn to surf or body board thanks to fantastic conditions and lots of local surf schools in the surrounding area. There’s free parking at both ends of the bay as well as viewing points. Dogs are welcome throughout the year on the south section of the beach, otherwise known as Black Rock, but on the northern part there are seasonal dog bans. It has a wild feel to it, which adds to its appeal, and there is lifeguard cover in the summer, but nonetheless do be careful when swimming.
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Lovely clean beach.
Lovely clean beach. Dogs enjoyed it!
At the end of a narrow valley, surrounded by towering cliffs, backing into the village of Crackington, Crackington Haven Beach offers shelter from the elements but only by comparison to the exposed coastline. The beach is all rocks and shingle, and has a seasonal ban on dogs from Easter to October. There’s parking at the beach, so remember to take cash for pay and display, and there are two cafes, a pub, surf hire and toilet facilities close by. There’s also lifeguard cover in the height of summer.
A long straight sandy beach backed by the Braunton Burrows, a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve, Saunton Sands Beach is popular with surfers and families alike thanks to the long stretch of tantalizing water. Suited to beginners and intermediate surfers, the waters are comparatively gentle (although obviously you should always be careful), and it is famed for having featured in Robbie Williams’ Angels music video. Restaurants, cafes, shops and toilets are all within easy reach of the beach, dogs are permitted all year round, and it is the only beach in North Devon to have a Landeez all terrain wheelchair so that everyone can have full enjoyment of it.
Toad Hall Cottages
Call: 01548 20 20 20
Toad Hall Cottages
Call: 01503 272303
Devon & Dorset Cottages
44 Church Street
Call: 01297 443550