Ilfracombe’s business breakfast meetings are held at The Carlton, where you can meet and network. Chat with fellow business owners and entrepreneurs at Love Ilfracombe’s fortnightly open sessions.
This informal group meets every other week on Thursdays from 7:45am onwards. It’s a safe and friendly environment where ideas and tips are shared. Usually a guest speaker presents their business, initiative or advice.
Enjoy a tasty local pork sausage or grilled back bacon sandwich washed down with juice and as much coffee and tea as you need! Meetings close around 9am.
Upcoming dates include
- March 4 & 18
- April 7, 16 & 30
To recover catering costs there is a small charge of £5 per attendee.
Find out more about our meeting, business facilities here.
The Victorian Era is a fascinating subject. From modern-day corsets to steampunk fashion, the Victorian Era has inspired a menagerie of reclaimed objects and clothing couture. It’s very magical to those of us living in the 21st century. England’s proud Victorian history is being celebrated in Ilfracombe from June 11-19, 2016 at the Grand Victorian & Steampunk Festival and Gala Weekend. Come visit Ilfracombe for their annual Victorian Week and take a step back in time!
Steampunk is a recent trend inspired by technology, movement and creativity to the backdrop of the Victorian era, modern technologies are re-imagined and realised as elaborate works of art, mechanics and of course, fashion. If Jules Verne or H.G. Wells were alive and writing their science fiction today, it would be considered “steampunk.”
Ilfracombe Victorian Week: Celebrating An Era
The Victorian era was named after Queen Victoria (of course!) and spanned 1837 to 1901. Queen Victoria was loved by many, and many famous English authors emerged during the time of her reign, including Charles Dickens and Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, both equally famous in their own right. The Victorian era is when Ilfracombe was in its prime as a seaside getaway. Most of the buildings in Ilfracombe were built in the Victorian era, something that can easily be seen in the superb architecture.
Victorian Week 2016 Festivities
There’s loads going on for Ilfracombe’s Victorian Week, but we’ve gathered a few of the highlights to get you started.
The Grand Opening Ceremony
Runnymede Gardens will be host to the Grand Opening Ceremony at 4pm for Victorian Week in Ilfracombe. The Mayor will be there, along with Charles Dickens himself who will be present throughout the week to join in on the festivities. The Mayor’s Tea Party will be held right afterwards, along with the Beatrix Potter & Steampunk Art Competition Awards.
The Grand Promenade
June 12th is a very special day indeed! Victorian Week and the people of Ilfracombe will be celebrating Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II’s 90th birthday, and a celebratory toast will be held in the early afternoon, but that’s not the only high point of the day. Queen Victoria will be joining Ilfracombe in the Grand Promenade, after which there will be a group photograph of everyone in their Victorian wear.
Those attending are welcome to wear either classic Victorian or steampunk costumes in honour of Victorian Week. The election of Mr. and Mrs. Ilfracombe will take place around 12:30pm. If you’re not too tired after that, you can pop on by the Lala Voices concert on the Landmark Green.
Boots & Saddles
The famous gunfight at the OK Corral will be re-enacted before your very eyes. Although the story of Wyatt Earp and Doc Holliday finds its roots in the annals of American history, it was a very historic moment in Victorian history as well. You can watch the gunfight on Celebration Lawn by the seafront. Not only will the views be spectacular, but the entire display will be historically accurate – right down to the boots.
Open Air Film Night
If you fancy learning more about the Victorian Era, and you love the great outdoors, you can attend the Open Air Film Night at Celebration Circle. You’ll be under a blanket of stars as you watch an award-winning documentary presented by Rhys Edwards. All ages are welcome to attend – make sure to bring popcorn!
Everyone loves a good ghost story, especially in the dark of night. Notourious is a ghost tour that takes you on a fright night walk by the seaside. Old tales include those of murder, crime and the people who committed them. Some are gruesome, while others are simply mysterious. The walk will begin at the Ilfracombe Museum and is hosted by tour guide Susan Pengelly. Prepare to be spooked as you learn the sordid history of Ilfracombe after nightfall.
Grand Firework Display
As Ilfracombe Victorian Week comes to a close, the bursting blooms of fireworks will light up the sky at the Grand Firework Display. The show starts at 10:15pm, and a fire show will be held afterward on the beach for those who want to stay up a little later. If you think that’s the end of the festivities, however, you’d be wrong! Sunday, June 19th is Steampunk Day! Bring your best steampunk costume and see Steampunk Alice, a new spin on the classic novel and play by Lewis Carroll.
To enjoy Victorian Week to its fullest, you’ll need first class accommodations to get rested up for each day. Celebrate Victorian Week June 11-19, 2016 with the Ilfracombe Carlton. If you’re staying with us during Victorian week and you dress up in costume, you can enjoy a free dinner at the hotel.
Terms apply – call 01271 862446 for more information.
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.