The next time you’re in North Devon, take a gander at the long list of things to do in Ilfracombe. The sheer, jaw-dropping cliffs and the rolling countryside offer plenty of fun for any type of visitor, and the welcome you’ll receive will have you booking your next vacation in the charming town of Ilfracombe.
Castles & Coastal Views
Not sure where to start in this scenic coastal getaway? We’ve got you covered! Our Ilfracombe guide will make sure you don’t miss a single thing.
One place you absolutely must go when you visit Ilfracombe is Watermouth Castle. The castle is breathtaking on the outside, with steep walls made of stone and geese huddled around a glistening pond. However, not all is as it appears. Inside is a fun-filled park with anything from Crazy Snooker to a giant snake tube slide in the waterpark. Any age will have a great time touring the castle and lounging on the Sea Lion Water-Go-Round.
Tunnels Beaches never fails to amaze. You could have seen all the coastal wonders of the world and still be impressed by the splendid natural architecture in the entrances to the beach. Tunnels Beaches gets its name from the tunnels that surround the beach. Visitors enter the water by walking through the tunnels and onto the sand, but there’s also a bath house, cafe and wedding venue.
South West Coastal Path
This amazing walk starts at Minehead and continues all the way round to Poole in Dorset. Over 45 miles are walked in the local environ, and all offer outstanding views out to the Bristol Channel, the Welsh coast, Lundy and the rolling Atlantic.
Oceanic creatures come in all sorts, but just wait until you see what’s in store for you when you visit Ilfracombe’s waterfront.
Do you remember the sense of wonder and amazement you felt when you visited the aquarium as a child? You can relive every moment by walking through the Ilfracombe Aquarium. Your children will love seeing the wide variety of species floating behind the aquarium glass, including the lesser octopus, anemones, and the spider crab. All aquatic creatures are local species that have been showcased to educate people young and old about ocean life found right off the coast of Ilfracombe.
If you fancy some open air sightseeing, the Ilfracombe Harbour is a great place to be. The Harbour is part of the Ilfracombe Aquarium attractions, and visitors can spot aquatic wildlife from one of the many carefully reconstructed ocean environments found there. Even sharks make an appearance sometimes; the lesser Spotted Dogfish is relatively harmless and prefers its own company to that of its fellow fish. In July the formidable South West birdman competition is held, and draws crowds in their thousands to watch the would-be aviators dare.
Leave the land behind and join a charter boat. With a choice of submarine adventures, including diving trips; or fast paced sea safaris and more sedate cruises from other craft including a former life boat you can experience first-hand life on the open waves.
A trip back in time may be just what you need to make your visit to Ilfracombe complete. Don’t forget to stop by these two attractions and you’ll be going back home with more knowledge than you left with.
Combe Martin Wildlife & Dinosaur Park
If you hear the mighty roar of the T-rex, don’t be alarmed! It’s just one of the many dinosaur replicas to be found at the Combe Martin Wildlife and Dinosaur Park. Stunning recreations of prehistoric giants will have your children beside themselves. Species you’re sure to see include the T-rex, Spinosaurus, and native English dinosaurs Neovenator and Megalosaur. There are plenty of extant species to be found as well. The park is full of exotic animals like the lion, baboon, sea lion and the mighty European wolf.
Ilfracombe’s past is a varied one, and it’s highly evident once you’ve seen the exhibits at the Ilfracombe Museum. Exhibits include anything from African beadwork to a two-headed kitten, along with an impressive python display that’s almost too lifelike. Records of Ilfracombe’s yesteryears can be found in radio transcripts, census forms and more. Family events are held often for adults and children to have fun while spending the day on the museum grounds.
Victorian Week and Steampunk Celebration
And if going back in time is really your thing, you should visit Ilfracombe in early June when the annual festival is held. Growing in popularity each year the celebration see’s the town folk and vistors alike in full costume with free entertainment laid on.
Parks & Recreation
You and your family will have a blast at any of Ilfracombe’s many parks. All-day festivities and a surprisingly lively nightlife will create lasting memories that you’ll want to revisit time and time again.
Bicclescombe Park isn’t just a set of tennis courts. This sprawling award-winning recreational park is filled to the brim with excitement for all ages. A Fun Day will be hosted now and again, but there are plenty of attractions for children every day, including a sensory park and pet corner. Your furry friends can play with their fellow canines while you take a nice stroll by the river running through the centre of the park. After that, stop by the tea room for a relaxing refresher course, and don’t forget to visit the old mil on your way.
Damien Hirst’s ‘Verity’
It’s hard to ignore Verity. She stands look over the pier, a stalwart guardian with sword raised high into the sky. When we say high in the sky, we really mean it. Verity is approximately 66 feet tall, and she displays a pregnant belly so large that we’re surprised she hasn’t tipped over yet. Much like the Statue of Liberty in the United States, Verity stands for truth and justice in a modern age when it is sorely needed.