the classic guide

A guide to the West Country from the people that know…

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Holidays in North Devon

Okay, so you know there are beaches here, but do you know just how enormous they are? When it comes to sand, the north coast of Devon doesn’t do it by halves. Woolacombe, Saunton, Westward Ho! - these have to be some of the longest, widest beaches in the country.

It’s not just about the quantity of sand, either - there’s the quality to consider. Amazing for sand castles, perfect for kitebuggying, outstanding for horse riding… and, of course, nicely flat and even for sunbathing. These are the kind of beaches that children paint when they think of happy summer holidays.

Stand on any of these beaches and you might find your eye repeatedly drawn to the horizon, where you can see a tantalising outcrop of land. What is it about islands that inspires such a spirit of exploration in us? Lundy Island sits magnetically off the north Devon coast, unspoilt and teeming with wildlife. It’s hard to resist taking a boat trip over to amble around its pristine shoreline, 13th Century castle and lighthouse.

Exmoor has some of the finest walking in the West Country and also provides endless opportunity to get active with orienteering, kayaking, canoeing and off-road biking. Where Exmoor joins the South West Coast Path is possibly one of the most gorgeous stretches of England’s coastline you could visit.

A holiday here needn’t be entirely focused on outdoor activities - children will be spoilt for choice for theme parks. We love The Big Sheep, which is a wonderfully diverse attraction that includes sheep shearing, lamb feeding, sheep dog trials, and horse whispering and less pastoral activities such as laser gun battles. Guaranteed to bring out the child in the most dignified of parents.

So much space, so much countryside and coastline to explore, so many ways to find fun - and all relatively close to home. North Devon is so accessible; you’ll be sneaking back for a long weekend or a winter break every chance you get.

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