Do you have a sense of adventure? If the answer is yes, then we have the perfect destination for you. If the answer is ‘I used to’, then we also have the perfect destination for you to rediscover that sense. Welcome to North Devon – England’s Adventure Coast.
It’s some boast of course, but in this case it could be said to be true. There’s something about North Devon- which runs from the Cornish border to the edge of Exmoor – that sets it aside from other parts of the country. This is typified by the rugged coastal landscape, formed by the region’s exposure to everything the Atlantic flings its way (there is nothing but sea between it and the coast of North America), and the lushness of rolling green hills.
Ilfracombe, home to the Carlton Hotel is the perfect location to explore the best the North Devon Adventure Coast has to offer. So let’s set the scene with a look at what adventures the area has to offer:
It’s such a good place to start, considering our town of Ilfracombe sits within one of the most picturesqueyet hidden of bay locations. Thecoastline around it mottled with small coves that once offered smugglers safe havenand have captured the imagination of Famous Five tales (nearby WidmouthBay was the backdrop for 1995’s ‘Five on a Treasure Island’ TV production). The perfectexploration adventure awaits!
Looking at the bigger coastal picture, the wonderful SouthWest coastal path provides a fantastic North Devon Adventure Coast experience – whether as part of an extended hike, or a day trip excursion, complete with picnic in the pack. The trail covers the breadth of the North Devon coastline, ascending steep cliffs, with amazing views out to sea, and descending onto empty beaches with frequent wildlife spotting opportunities, such as seals and porpoises bobbing between the waves. The Ilfracombe- Mortehoesection of the coastal path is particularly rugged and epic, while the section from Ilfracombe to Combe Martin is more sheltered and verdant.Whichever the route the visage is stunning.
Long before North Devon got the title ‘England’s Adventure Coast’, it had been discovered by those committed devotees to the adventure sportsgenre. The beaches of North Devon are renowned for their great surfing opportunities. The sandy length of Woolacombe beach is frequently counted as one of thebest in the worldand its waves (particularly at the Putsboroughend, are classic). Nearby Croyde has surf that pumps (beginners beware) over its sandy bar, whereas the longer, more manageable, waves of Saunton Sands are a long boarder’s paradise and a great place to learn to surf.
Away from the waves, North Devon’s deep forested valleys, high moors and miles and miles of tranquil country lanes, provide most excellent cycling terrain for both road bikers and mountain bikers (check out our North Devon cycling blogfor more information).
Time to cast away thetech and swap a smart phone for a pair of binoculars and a firm stick! England’s Adventure Coast is a nature haven, a place where you can get close to wildlife without having to pay the price of an admission ticket– yes so much of the offer is free. As an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty,and a UNESCO designated Biosphere, nature is literally on the doorstep. If you care about the environment, then England’s Adventure Coast is a great place to explore it! Adventures can be found throughout the Exmoor national park – from getting up close to an Exmoor pony or deer spotting as the sun goes down with a ranger (many activities are free). Braunton Burrows, one of the UK’s biggest sand dunes, always provides an adventure too (follow the walks in the Burrows guide to avoid the real possibility of getting lost in this vast space).
TheNorth Devon Adventure Coast culinary expedition will include some seaside favourites – fudge, ice cream, fish and chips! – but will also open the window onto a world of fresh caught fish, local reared meat and fine,locally grown ingredients. Use the Carlton as your home and enjoy a rich dining experiencethat will sensationalise those taste buds!
Need we say more?! Set up base at The Carlton in Ilfracombe where our stylish contemporary rooms and first class facilities provide a luxurious sanctuary… and set your sense of adventure loose this Summer or Autumn. Get in contactfor more information or to book a stay.