A natural haven
If you love nature and wildlife, then Ilfracombe is a fabulous place to stay. You might be bringing your own four-legged companion along on holiday with you but, if not, we’ve got plenty of other creatures nearby to see!
The Oldenburg sails to Lundy island from the quay and we’d encourage anyone who loves the natural world to take a trip to this special place. It’s got just one road, (or track really) so is car-free and is a real ‘get away from it all’ kind of place. It’s a bird watching destination and is also loved by divers for its marine life, but a short walk along the cliffs will reveal wild goats and ponies and if you clamber down to the shoreline you’ll even catch seals.
A huge swath of North Devon has been designated a World Biosphere Reserve by UNESCO, the United Nations Educational and Scientific and Cultural Organisation. Included in this are the sand dunes of Braunton Burrows, a dramatic landscape on the edge of the sea, rich in grasses and flowers. Another good way to really get close to this special North Devon landscape is on the Tarka Trail – a network of former railway lines which are now cycle and footpaths – which takes you along rivers, estuaries, wetlands and woodlands, all rich in wildlife.
Right on our doorstep, along by the harbour you’ll find the Ilfracombe Aquarium. It’s like a Tardis inside, and is a fabulous place to discover all about the local river and sea life. The owners are passionate about caring for our local waterways and this comes through in the displays which are appealing for all ages.
Cliffside animal antics
And finally – how about a summer evening spent in a knockout coastal location, watching sheepdogs and birds of prey! Shepherd David Kennard keeps his flock over on the cliffs around Woolacombe and Mortehoe and each Wednesday evening throughout the summer you can go along to his farm, Borough Farm, and watch his gorgeous dogs round up the sheep. It’s a great show, perfected over many years and is huge fun too. You’ll also find local falconer Martin Simkins there, performing amazing stunts with his falcons and owls.