Our Spring break offer is a relaxing two-night weekend stay in North Devon, which includes one evening meal in our Brasserie, two nights room and full English breakfast. And pricing is from £54 /person/night based on two sharing a twin or double room*.
T&C’s include – prepayment and if you book before March 20th we’ll offer you a FREE upgrade during April (excludes Easter weekend). Call 01271 862446 to book or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
We are really looking forward to Easter coming to North Devon. In this season of delicious treats and family fun, you’ll find plenty of things to do around the area, with everything from top attractions hosting special days and activities during the holidays, to additional local events so you can really make the most of your holidays.
Easter is all about having fun with the family or just taking time out for yourself or as a couple. You’ll be spoilt for choice with the plethora of events and activities with everything on offer from hunting dinosaurs to riding on trams to marine exploration. Some of the events you can expect include Easter themed afternoon tea experiences, searching for Easter chicks, dinosaur egg hunts and craft workshops with arts and crafts all geared towards the holidays.
If you’re only really interested in the food available at Easter, then Devon is clearly the place to be. Restaurants and other eateries will be proudly showing off the wide range of local produce in their menus throughout the Easter holidays, so if you fancy some locally reared lamb, fresh veg, a hearty hot cross bun or even locally made chocolate eggs, you won’t be disappointed.
Here’s our what’s on Easter Guide:
30th March – 13th April 10:00 – 17:00
Find The Easter Chicks near Bideford
Children receive a village map on entry to Clovelly.
This is to mark the location of a number of Easter chicks perched up and down the cobbled High Street to the quay.
1st April – 13th 10:00 – 18:00
Unique Easter Grotto at The Milky Way in Bideford
Ever wondered where the Easter Bunny’s magic is made? From Wednesday 1st April to Monday 13th April journey down the rabbit hole to the NEW expanded Easter Bunny HQ at The…
4th April 10:00 – 18:00
Meet Star Wars Characters at The Milky Way in Bideford
Star Wars fans will be excited to hear that Storm Troopers and other characters from the legendary films are coming to The Milky Way Adventure Park over the Easter holidays.…
6th April 9:00 – 12.15
Young@Heart Adventure Club in Bideford
Adventure days for adults looking to stay active, learn new skills and to have fun!
Meet every 1st Monday of the month for a fun active session of outdoor activities…
10th – 13th April 10:30 – 15:00
Cadbury Easter Trail
Cadbury Easter Trail, Woolacombe …. What have the bunnies been hiding in the Woolacombe Sand Dunes?! This trail takes you on adventure around Woolacombe Warren to find the…
12th – 13th April 11.00 – 17:00
Easter Egg Hunt at Hartland Abbey Near Bideford
Come to Hartland Abbey for our great Easter Egg Hunt – follow clues around the beautiful gardens and walks to hunt for Easter eggs. Each child participant receives one!…
12th April 10:30 – 16:00
Lynton & Barnstaple Railway Easter Sunday Fun Day
Lots of fun things for kids to do FREE event.
(Although the event itself is free – fares still apply for train rides)
1st – 13th April 10.30 – 16.30
Watermouth Castle Family Theme Park & Castle Ilfracombe
30th March at 17:00
Kundalini Yoga Class
28th March & 4th April at 9:00 – 11:30
Woolacombe Dunes, Park Run – Free
Weekly Running & Walking every Saturday 9am. Free Event 5km event run by volunteers (arrive before 9am to receive briefing) You will need to sign up on the website beforehand to print off a barcode to bring on the day. Dogs are welcome, one per runner & on a short lead. Kids under 11yrs must be accompanied by an adult.
Tue, 28 April, 09:00 – 15:00
Ilfracombe Group Walk
From Lidl car park, Wilder Rd, Ilfracombe EX34 8BS, UK to Hartland Quay, Hartland Quay to then walk along the coastal path to the waterfall, inland to Stoke & back along the coast path (5 miles) Bring a picnic/ Pub at the end of walk.
Sat, 4 April, 10:00 – 12:30
Ilfracombe Farmers’ Market – The Lantern, Ilfracombe
Held on the first Saturday of each month, the market sells fresh local & organic produce, craft, refreshments & more.
Are you looking for a group travel partner in a beautiful part of the world to team up with? Because The Carlton Hotel in Ilfracombe, North Devon is seeking to grow our travel partner network in 2020 and 2021. Why bring your group to us? Let’s save the pitch for a moment and start with some genuine travel insights…
The Mona Lisa is too small, Stonehenge is just a pile of rocks, the beach is too sandy and there is no beach in London. No, not fake news, just a handful of the ‘most ridiculous’ holiday complaints on a list compiled by loveexploring.com, serving as a great illustration of how difficult it is to please everybody all the time. Add a group travel dynamic into the mix and you’ve really got your work cut out!
One thing’s for certain, every travel group is different and within each, there is usually a divergence of interests and expectations. Keeping everybody happy can be a full-time job but thankfully The Carlton has the bases covered which is why we lead the way with customised group travel deals in North Devon. To make your experience a great one, we’ve taken some pointers from some bad ones!
“The room was bad.”
One of the most often made complaints made by UK group travel tourists involves the state of their accommodation. Scrimping on the room may shave some cash off the price of the trip but an experienced group travel organiser is aware that a bad night’s sleep in a poorly facilitated hotel only serves to make group members grouchy and resentful and eager to sow the seeds of rebellion within the group (every organiser’s worst nightmare!).
The Carlton Hotel does not do poor quality rooms. There is a stylish uniformity that runs throughout our 30 bespoke rooms, thanks to a £1.7 million pound refurbishment which ensures an impressively high standard throughout. Rooms with brand double glazed windows and casements containing, stylish fully tiled en suite bathrooms, comfortable beds dressed withhigh thread count cotton bedding, flat-screen TVs and free Wifi are universal features of our rooms.
Built into The Carlton’s ethos is a deep understanding of the word ‘hospitality’. The reputation of this Ilfracombe hotel owes a great deal to its emphasis on superb customer service and attending to the little details that make sure a visit runs smoothly and the experience remains memorable for all the right reasons.
“The area wasn’t great.”
Who hasn’t been to a coastal travel spot which consists of mass development wrapped around a thin slither of rather uninspiring beach? Well you won’t find that in North Devon!
This is England’s Adventure Coast, where lush green hills undulate and world beating glorious beaches lie around every corner. Within a stroll’s distance of The Carlton you can find a number of beaches and coves belonging to the town of Ilfracombe alone.
We are talking adventure in the loosest sense of the word here – yes you can set off on a surf safari or coasteering challenge, but you can also just as easily set off to a quiet bay for a picnic and poke around the rock pools.Away from the sea there are wonderful hiking opportunities courtesy of the coastal path and Exmoor national park as well as options for cycling adventures suitable for all levels of fitness.
“The activities/excursions weren’t great”
This is another complaint that comes high up the list. Frequently this is a problem that is rooted in the choice of the location. As every tour group organiser knows, the remedy to this malady is to do your research, or even better work with a partner with the local knowledge to bring to the itinerary.
The Carlton is working with local partners all the time to develop activities and packages thatwill engage guests and give them a great time. From discounted links with local gardens, golf and shooting clubs to therapeutic service providers (such as Tai Chi and massage), local guide and sea captain excursions and even workshops with awesome chocolateers, The Carlton has a whole host of experiential providers it can call on to help group travel organisers plan the ideal itinerary.
“The food was bad.”
This is a frequent bugbear and one that can cause even the most mild mannered group to mutiny. Who can blame them? Along with a bad night’s sleep, poor dining options – facilities and the contents of one’s plate – is the biggest cause for grumbles.
This is not the typical experience at the Carlton, where food plays a huge part in building the guest experience. We are proud to proclaim that we are a hotel with provenance where the food we serve is very much based around the ingredients we locally source. Being on the coast we have excellent seafood while from the North Devon countryside comes excellent meat, vegetables and dairy produce.
A UK group travel experience includes the full Carlton culinary experience – with a choice of breakfast, lunch and dinner options – served in the lovely surroundings of our in-house Brasserie or private dining room.
Our group travel offers begin at £35 per guest (minimum of 3 nights stay), to find out more about our offers and to get the best rate Email or call direct on 01271 862446. If you are organising a group travel in 2020, big or small, we’d love to hear from you.
to chat about how we can help you make the most of your group travel experience
Explore England’s Adventure Coast! Read our Group Travel World feature to discover why The Carlton, Ilfracombe is the perfect base camp to explore North Devon’s coast and the countryside of Exmoor National Park.
North Devon is the Adventure Coast, an unspoiled corner of England where green rolling hills extend to the sea. The region’s natural beauty, with its glorious beaches and stunning countryside make it a destination for adventures big and small! Read the full feature below.[/vc_column][/vc_row]
Golf has always had something of a reputation as a holiday sport – golf courses in the Algarve and on the Med paving the way for tourist development in Portugal and Spain in the 1970s and 80s. However, the UK golfing holiday has been a feature of popular tourist spots for far longer and North Devon is no exception.
New figures from Sport England suggest that golf is on the upswing again! Statistics point to a modest rise in the number of people playing golf in the UK after almost a decade of decline and North Devon golf breaks are also seeing a rise in popularity. The Carlton Hotel, situated in the pretty seaside town of Ilfracombe is within striking distance of some excellent courses and some real golfing history.
Play and Stay the Carlton Way!
To set the tone for a great North Devon golfing break, the Carlton offers a Play and Stay package (starting at £67.50 per person, per night) which includes, three course dinner, stay, breakfast and a hefty discount off green fees at nearby Ilfracombe Golf Club.
Three of the Best: North Devon Golf Courses!
What commends the Ilfracombe Golf Club course? For a start, the location is hard to beat – you can literally “See the sea from every tee”. Its 18 holes progress along the cliff top, overlooking the rugged North Devon coastline, with views that extend out over the Bristol Channel and beyond, to the Welsh Hills in the distance (the club’s hole by hole video gives the ultimate visual guide).
The course is open year roundthanks to a little help from Ilfracombe’s contributing microclimate and impeccable grounds keeping. The club house has a reputation for its convivial bar and good food (available all day), although be advised that the club, like most, does have a dress code that needs to be respected.
The Carlton’s Play and Stay package is ideal for a quick getaway, but there is also the option to extend your North Devon golfing break and complete a tour of North Devon golf courses. The Carlton serves as an excellent base to return to at the end of each day, where comfortable en suite rooms invite comfort and relaxation while the great foodand locally sourced drinks of the hotel Brasserie provide the opportunity to reflect and revive, ready for the next round.
Of North Devon’s golf courses, two in particular have interesting histories. Let’s start with the Royal North Devon Golf Club at Westward Ho! which made the Golf World list of ‘Top 100 golf courses in the world a golfer must play’. Its claim to be the ‘cradle of English golf’ comes with the provenance of being founded in 1864 and mirroring the development of the newly created seaside town of Westward Ho! (named after the novel by author Charles Kingsley). It has a reputation as ‘the St Andrews of the South’ and the links are some of the most challenging in the country, making this a very desirable stop on a UK golfing holiday.
Since its establishment in 1897, the Saunton Golf Club has gone through various incarnations, expanding from an initial 9 hole to its present day 36 hole status. Located on the fringes of the UNESCO biosphere reserve of Braunton Burrows, the holes are divided between the West and the East courses. Saunton enjoys a healthy bit of competition with its older North Devon rival and gleefully trumpets its own credentials too, with its two courses ranked 32 and 67 in the Golf World Top 100 (while claiming “there is only one Club with 2 better links courses in the whole country and that is St Andrews!”).
If the former heavyweight courses sound a little too daunting, the region offers less testing alternatives that come with their own charmsand also a few challenges. These include nearby Woolacombe and Morthoe, Portmore Golf Park on the fringes of Barnstaple (9 and 18 hole options), the picturesque Torrington Golf Club (9 holes) and Libbaton (18 hole parkland course).
There are also numerous courses en route to North Devon, should one want to turn a break into a grand tour! The Carlton has a deal with Minehead Golf Course, to name one, which ensures arriving or departing golfers from Devon can ensure they maximise their time away on the greens.
North Devon Golf – An Attractive Proposition
North Devon golf courses have been providing challenging conditions in beautiful locations for many years. For this reason the area has always been popular with golfers looking to get away from it all for a few days – not only from within the UK but also from parts of Europe where the sport is significantly more expensive to practice.
With North Devon serviced by two provincial airports (Bristol is two hours away and Exeter is one hour away), visiting golfers from northern European countries have been making the most of a favorable Euro to Pound exchange rate and discovering the delights of North Devon golf breaks. As well as great golfing, the region also has so much more to offer with opportunities to enjoy wonderful beaches, beautiful countryside, adventure and an abundance of native wildlife.
On the golf course meanwhile, golfers will have their sights set on specific targets and be hoping to capture a satisfying birdie, congratulatory eagle, memorable albatross or legendary condor! If you’re looking for a rewarding UK golf holiday head to the West Country! Contact us on email@example.com and book a Play and Stay North Devon golfing break with the Carlton.
Before we start to talk about doggy breaks in North Devon, let’s take a moment to paws (sorry!) for thought…
It’s great being thefamily dog! You get treated like one of the kids (‘better than one of the kids’a few guys will now be mumbling under their breath!), get fed good grub, get taken for a walk to your favourite spot, and generally get lavished with love and attention.
Yet every now and again, that loving family seems to desert you for no reason, sending you off to some strange institution inhabited by numerous noisy canines – some of whom you’re not too sure about. So why don’t they take you with them? (*insert sad face emoticon here).
Popular Doggy Breaks
Once upon a time, not so long ago, taking your dog on holiday was a problem. You would spend a lot of time researching holiday spots and types of accommodation, scanning descriptionsto find those magic wordsDog friendly.
Thankfully, those days are gone and the Carlton Hotel in Ilfracombe, is one of the new breed of pet friendly hotels which openly embraces guests of the shaggy (and short) haired kind. Pet friendly doggy breaks in North Devon have been booming in recent years, and for good reason. The North Devon region is a paradise for all dogswho enjoy feeling the wind through their hair, the sand between their paws and their lovely wet noses being consumed by all manner of exciting new scents!.
Your Dog Wants a North Devon Doggy Break!
3 reasons we know this!
1) Dogs Love the Great Outdoors!
OK, so this a no brainer but, for a dog, hitting the great outdoors with their favourite human to explore new territory is as good as it gets – especially for those young whippersnappers that still have the breeze in their sails. We see it time and again with urban dogs that hit the beach and literally cannot believe their luck!
If you want sandy beaches, North Devon has them in spades. If you want coastal walks, we have some of the finest in the country (starting right from the Carlton’s doorstep). If you want country walks, we have fields, woods and long flat stretches of riverside to choose from. On your arrival at the Carlton, we will give you a book of dog walks and to get more ideas of great North Devon doggy break destinations during your stay, take a look at our blog.
One of our favourite hounds is a certain Ragamuffin Lewis, local canine star, and he and his “mum” have worked with us to test some local walks around Ilfracombe. You can find out more HERE
2) Dogs Love Consistency!
As every owner knows, dogs are sensitive things. We know when they’re not comfortable and they know when they’re not welcome. So to turn up in a strange place to find their own bed, a bowl laid out so there’s no break in the meal routine and a nice spot to laze in the restaurant while the humans take an age to eat their own food is a big plus. Dog owners don’t miss out either – they enjoy all the benefits of first class rooms – sumptuous beds, stylish bathrooms and breakfast included.
3) Dogs Love Pampering Too!
As if things couldn’t get any better, all dogs arriving as guests at the Carlton receive their own special complimentary doggy hamper! The hotel also provides pampering services on request. Need a bit of a trim? No problem, we can sort out a dog groomer to have them looking their holiday best (although we can’t guarantee that lovely hair job will survive the beach the next day…).
At the Carlton, we’re dog lovers ourselves, so we know what dogs (and owners) are looking for to make the most of a doggy break stay. Please do get in touch, tell us about the dog in your life and how we can do those little things that will make your dog’s stay as enjoyable as yours and book your doggy break in North Devon this Autumn. Email us on firstname.lastname@example.org call on 01271 862446.
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.
The Carlton Hotel in Ilfracombe, North Devon, is amongst a new breed of British hotel which is embracing the concept of pet inclusive and dog-friendly holidays. “I have two large hairy dogs that were made very welcome…” Just one line from a Trip Advisor review speaks volumes!
The dog friendly credentials of the Carlton stem, in part, from the owners’ own affection for their canine companion, in the form of a Border Terrier named Leo. “Before we owned the Carlton”, explains Eliot Seabourn-Wren, “we encountered the same problems as many dog owners when planning a holiday. We didn’t want to leave Leoat home and it was quite a challenge finding holiday destinations with hotels and restaurants that were dog friendly”.
It’s estimated that there are 8.9 million pet dogs in the UK and a significant percentage of these would prefer to go on holiday than be left in kennels (probably!). North Devon has become a popular destination for dog owners due to its beautiful scenery, abundance of great walking and dog friendly holiday spots, from beaches to hotels and restaurants.
Beaches are an obvious draw for visitors looking to get away from it all for a dog friendly break and the North Devon region offers these in great variety; from huge swathes of sandy beach to charge aroundto numerous pebbly coves accessed cross country, with many new and wonderful scents to sniff at along the way!
Country walks are another big plus of a dog friendly break in North Devon, with many miles of footpaths criss-crossing the Exmoor national park (close by to Ilfracombe) and the beautifully scenic coastal path winding its way around North Devon’s cliff tops and green landscapes. Many of these walks are shaded which allow for exercise even in the long days of English sunshine.
North Devon’s Dog Friendly Beaches
While welcoming to dogs, some of North Devon’s beaches do carry some restrictions during the summer season. Some beaches, such as Woolacombe, Putsborough and Westward Ho! have zoning guidelines that set dog friendly holiday restrictions (generally from May – October, although specific details can be found here), but there are many that are open for walks year round. Saunton Sands beach, a 3.5 mile stretch of golden sand, fringed by Braunton Burrows, one of the largest sand dunes in the UK and a UNESCO biosphere, is open to dogs year round.
Many of these can be found around Ilfracombe, itself located in a picturesque seaside setting and minutes walk from the town’s beaches (Raparee, The Cove, Larkstone, Cheyne and Wildersmouth). Overlooking the town from the east rises the impressive Hillsborough nature reserve, a lovely walk with rewarding views of the town. From here the coast path winds east, to Hele Bay and beyond to Combe Martin. The perfect day out for particularly energetic dogs and owners and a superb day trip.
For those less energetically inclined, the main road runs parallel to this route and there are several spots where one can park up and join the coast path.
When the weather is fine, there are few more rewarding pleasures than heading off with the dog and a small picnic picked up from one of Ilfracombe’s local produce selling stores, or stopping off to quench a thirst at a dog friendly pub.
Dog Friendly Country Walks in North Devon
Any dog friendly holiday in North Devonshould take in the delights of the Exmoor National Park. This rambling area of wilderness which straddles North Devon and Somerset, provides stunning walking which takes in a range of terrains – from sweeping heather filled moorland, to hidden valleys where quiet rivers run through enchanted woodland. The Exmoor National Park is attuned to the requirements of a dog friendly holiday and provides detailed information about canine inclusive activities.
Pet Friendly at The Carlton
The Carlton offers the perfect destination for pet friendly breaks. Dog owners can enjoy the luxury and comfort of the hotel’s modern en suite rooms, housed inside a classic Victorian building. Dogs get the five star treatment too, with their own beds and bowls and a dog friendly section of the restaurant and bar to hang out in.
When you book a doggie break your canine friend will get their own personal doggie hamper courtesy of Husse. And both dog and keeper will be able to access our guide to dog walks around North Devon here. These bespoke walks are curated by Ragamuffin our four legged friend who lives in the town.
While the doggy bowl may be filled with holiday treats, owners can look forward to a selection of dishes from the Carlton Brasserie menus that may not have them panting, but will definitely give the mouth cause to water. Local provenance is a key element of the food at the Carlton, with dishes cooked from scratch using local ingredients and the kitchen is renowned for its accommodating attitude, happily tailoring meals to fit in with special diets.
If you’re looking for a dog friendly holiday, then the Carlton, Ilfracombe and the North Devon surrounding area, make for a wonderful choice! Contact the Carlton for more information about dog friendly breaks by calling 01271 862446 or emailing on email@example.com.
“Rosamunde who?…” This is very often the answer when a Brit is asked by a German speaker, usually with a beaming smile, if they are familiar with the work of Rosamunde Pilcher. The Cornish born author, who died earlier this year, should be better known by her countrymen – after all, her novels have sold over 60 million copies!
While other writers have a place in the collective British heart, Rosamunde Pilcheris curiously missing. Not so in Germany (and parts of Austria and Switzerland), where Mrs Pilcher’s novels are something of a Sunday night television institution, feverishly adapted in the same way that Devon born author, Agatha Christie’s novels are adapted for British TV.
Although Rosamunde left Cornwall early in adulthood and moved to Scotland, her upbringing in the West Country formed the backdrop for many of her novels. Since 1993 more than 100 episodes, inspired by Rosamunde Pilcher’s stories, have been made for German TV by ZweitesDeutschesFernsehen (ZDF).
This explains her huge popularity in Germany and also explains the significant number of ‘Pilcher Pilgrims’ who come to the British West Country every year. From Bonn to Berlin, Dresden to Düsseldorf, and the Baltic coast to the Black Forest, an estimated 250,000 German tourists travel to Cornwall to visit the stunning locations which bring this TV show alive.
Many of these German tourists choose to break their journey along the way by stopping off in the beautiful region of North Devon. In the early days it was more as a matter of convenience, but as word of mouth spread about this unspoilt part of the UK, North Devon has become a more familiar stop on a German tourist itinerary.
Why Choose North Devon?
Co-owner of The Carlton Hotel in Ilfracombe, Eliot Seabourn-Wren, has noticed an increasing number of German visitors passing through the town. “Obviously we are aware of who Rosamunde Pilcher is now!” says Eliot, speaking in the hotel’s library, which could itself be a scene from a period drama. “But I have to admit she was news to me to begin with.”
He sees the attraction of North Devon for German visitors as being the dramatic coastal landscape and its beautiful countryside. “The terrain of Cornwall is very dramatic, but quite stark. The coastal landscape of North Devon is dramatic too, but it is softer – with rolling green hills, more sheltered waters and quiet bays.”
The variety of North Devon’s beaches has made the region a favourite stopover for German visitors; from the epic Saunton Sands (a regular backdrop for movies and record covers, including the iconic Pink Floyd Momentary Lapse of Reasonalbum) to smuggler’s coves such as nearby Watermouth Bay, which was the backdrop for a TV adaptation of the mystery tales of children’s writer Enid Blyton.
Ilfracombe: The Perfect Stopover!
German tourists have also found the pretty town of Ilfracombe a great place to spend some time in. The town, twinned with Herxheim in the Rhineland-Palatinate, offers some fine examples of Victorian architecture and unique features from the historical era such as the ‘Tunnels’ beaches. Recently in Spring 2019 the twinning association visited Ilfracombe and Herxheims finest Kolpinskapelleband gave an impromptu performance at a reception held at The Carlton.
Ilfracombefirst came to prominence during the reign of Queen Victoria (Nineteenth century) when the development of the railway opened up Britain’s small coastal towns to tourism and the era of theVictorian seaside resortbegan. Victoria was herself half German, descended from the House of Hannover, and spoke German fluently.
Ilfracombe (just two hours from Bristol airport and four hours from Heathrow) also sits on the edge of the magnificent Exmoor National Park, which is a combination of sweeping moorland, superb coastal views and hidden valleys. The area was made famous by the classic English tale, Lorna Doone, and the drive along the coast of North Devon (and neighbouring county of Somerset), via the towns of Taunton and Minehead, is spectacular.
From Ilfracombe the landmarks of Pilcher novels – such as Bodmin Moor and Padstow – are just a two hour drive. This makes the North Devon seaside town the perfect stopover point to relaxand refresh! The Carlton offers luxurious modern rooms, spa treatments and gym facilities. Its restaurant, The Brasserie, also serves great food– from locally caught fish to tasty traditional cream teas (German visitors will learn that in Devon the cream comes after the jam on a scone, while in Cornwall it is the other way around!). There are of course also great local ciders and ales to sip while browsing the pages of such Pilcher classics as The Shell Seekers, Coming Home or Winter Solstice!
Book a break at The Carlton, or contact the hotel for more information on firstname.lastname@example.org.