Mist clinging to rolling green hills, the deep blue of October sea swells, ancient woodlands flushing red and golds… These are the images of Autumn in North Devon and an open invite to make the most of an October half term break.
While the West Country needs no further recommendation as a summer holiday destination, it is actually Autumn that can deliver up some of the most rewarding surprises for visitors. North Devon enjoys a more temperate climate than most parts of the UK in October, with temperatures clinging to double digit averages throughout the month.
This means October half term break visitors often enjoy the best North Devon has to offer – clear bright sunny days but without the crowds that come with the summer holidays. We’re not pretending that it’s always sunny but even when the weather comes in there is some satisfaction in being snuggled up cosily with tea, cake and a board game, or braving the elements to howl at the sky and feel alive like Lieutenant Dan!
Ilfracombe brings fantastic October half term break opportunities for families looking to get in a holiday getaway before winter arrives. This time of year, the Carlton Hotel facilities including bar and restaurant, make for a fulfilling holiday base camp. The Carlton has a reputation for going the extra -country! – mile to ensure everyone’s stay is an enjoyable one and our King Size rooms quickly become a family haven (see here for our attractive family room supplement rates).
Here’s a roundup of the best family friendly activities in North Devon this October half term break:
Free North Devon Half Term Activities
If you’re on holiday with kids it can sometimes feel like the meter is constantly ticking. However, going on holiday shouldn’t have to be about the race to empty your wallet before heading back! In North Devon, many of the best activities in life are free (or low cost at least!).
– 0 minutes from Seaside Town!
The Carlton is located in the town of Ilfracombe and what a great little seaside town it is! Aside from all the family holiday favourites – arcades, mini golf, cinema – there are plenty of free things to enjoy on a ‘town’ day. The friendly town museum has many curiosities, there is public art to peruse (courtesy of artist Damien Hirst who has a home nearby), splendid views from the top of Capstone and a clutch of town beaches to explore.
– 10 minutes from Adventure Coves!
Hop in the car and head towards Combe Martin and you will find a wondrous stretch of coastline to explore. Pack up some sandwiches and head off on a bear hunt… actually seals and porpoises are more likely to be spotted on this hunt!
– 20 minutes from Sandy Beaches
Two of North Devon’s finest sandy beaches can be found at Woolacombe, Saunton and Croyde. If the urge takes you, there are surf schools and surf hire shops. If the pumping Autumn swell is all a bit too much, enjoy the surf from afar and sweat out some sandcastles!
– 30 minutes from Exmoor National Park
Where the countryside meets the sea, Autumn is one of the best times of year to visit Exmoor National Park and a perfect addition to the list of North Devon half-term activities. The area offers stunning walks across open moorland or through woodland valleys and wildlife in abundance (including wild ponies and a huge herd of wild stags which has been spotted frequently over the summer of 2019).
North Devon Half Term Family Attractions
Nearby Watermouth Castle has rides and attractions – from the entertaining Gnome Land to the Thunderbolt Luge run. Great for young kids the coastal location of Watermouth makes it a popular family place to visit. The wonderful National Trust property of Arlington Court makes the most of the Autumn and runs a North Devon half-term activitiesprogramme, featuring the likes of a pumpkin trail and deer spotting walks.
North Devon has more than its fair share of native wildlife, but for those who crave something a bit more exotic (or just don’t have the patience to wait!) you could always fit a zoo visit into your North Devon half-term activities. The region offers two great choices – the Combe Martin Wildlife and Dinosaur Park and Exmoor Zoo, both of which are close to Ilfracombe
A little further afield are two fantastic family theme parks, providing good wet weather options for North Devon half term visitors. The Big Sheephas indoor playgrounds, rides, animal feeding, milking and sheep racing- all the fun of farm life without having to get up at 5am and stomp around in manure!The Milky Way is another theme park day option for families. It has numerous rides – dodgems, roller coaster and a gravity rider – alongside regular shows encompassing the wonders of wizardry and falconry. Both have added Halloween attractions to entertain kids of all ages.
To make the most of North Devon half-term activities advance book your room at The Carlton to get the best rates and secure an Autumn family break to warm those cockles before winter finally arrives! It being Halloween there are a few tricks and plenty of treats to enjoy.