Life is returning to a level of usualness and as usual, Ilfracombe has plenty to offer visitors this summer.
Our regular guests know that there is a hub of activity in and around the harbour. And others know of the many other land-based leisure pursuits. Be it playing on the range, shooting a clay or getting on your wheels. And to relax into the evening our local food and pub scene has re-opened with meals and drinks of choice and quality for everyone.
Let’s start with a brief look at retail opportunities during the day. With a fine selection of galleries open to browse in, a number centred on the seafront and St James Place, with more up Fore Street. Art including contemporary pieces, paintings, sculptures and more, mingle with more traditional crafts and art. The towns galleries are open most days for viewing and purchase of pieces.
Not forgetting the obvious stroll along our pier to visit Verity; why not detour up the hill to St Nicholas Chapel or stop off outside the old lifeboat shed for a quick snack in the Aquarium café?
If you’ve found St James Place then you will have noticed the tea rooms, with three to choose from. Sit back and relax in their outdoor gardens as you decide which way to top off that freshly baked scone. The Landmark theatre is open for food and drink, with plenty of outside seating too. It’s a great little spot near Wildersmouth beach and handy for a socially distanced visit to our Tourist Information Centre, which is bound to have up to the minute ideas and information to make your visit complete.
Focussing on the water-based activities this year there are some new operators in town. Depending on your reason for getting on board you can choose from a cruise around the coast and over to Lundy, or a half-day at sea fishing for figuratively casting your net. With slow boats and fast ribs and even heritage lifeboats at your disposal. Of course, our harbour is a safe haven, you might catch our local gig pilot boat club practising on the water, or the commercial fishing vessels landing today’s catch.
A short walk up the hill away from the seaside will bring you to our eclectic high street. Despite the global woes of the physical retail sector, Ilfracombe boasts a wide range of shops, cafes and services. Mind you don’t miss the snake sanctuary as you catch one of our traditional butchers at work. Artisan crafts shine through, with expert chocolatiers and marmalade purveyors competing for your £s. Only in Ilfracombe of course!
To the seafront once more, where you can enjoy a round of crazy golf, perhaps before you indulge in another Devon Cream tea? And if you are a serious player then you must see the sea from every tee, at Ilfracombe Golf Club. Just five minutes drive from the town centre, visitors are very welcome. For the serious Tiger Woods why not hop over to Saunton or Woolacombe or even the Royal Devon for further rounds of this Scottish pursuit. Yes apparently started up there…
Back to the land, and there’s a choice in clay pigeon shooting grounds. With have goers as welcome as the more competitive club set. An overnight stay is a must to maximise the shooting practice.
Ilfracombe pier is the start of one of the UK’s longest cycle routes, taking full advantage of redundant railway lines for the least onerous inclines. Bikes can be hired from nearby Braunton for your pedal pleasure. Maybe you fancy a bit more powered transport – so the off-road quad bikes, seg ways and even horse riding are available from Mullacott.
North Devon is a natural haven, and within the town of Ilfracombe, there are plenty of opportunities to walk at leisure. A stroll through Bicclescombe Park, with its water wheel, or follow one of the Town Trails for a diversion. Further afield you can drive to Marwell Gardens, a classic retreat for horticulturists. Why not get up close with more exotic nature at Exmoor Zoo, Combe Martin Wildlife Park or enjoy real farmyard tales with regular Sheepdog and Falconry displays at Borough Farm.
The High Street, Fore Street and The Quay have a variety of take-away and dine-in, table service restaurants including specialities in modern cuisine, fish & seafood, traditional pub suppers, fish and chips, pizzas, pasta, Indian, Italian, wine bars and simply bars (or great British pubs as we used to call them).
Further information can be found online at Visit Ilfracombe, or call the people that know on 01271 863001.
Below is a selection of links to some of the operators mentioned above.
- Ilfracombe Harbour
- Galleries, Arts & Crafts
- St Nicholas Chapel
- Landmark Theatre
- TIC Ilfracombe
- Ilfracombe Boat Trips
- Tarka Trail
- North Devon Shooting Ground
- South West Shooting
- North Devon Segway
- Quad Biking
- Borough Farm sheepdog & falconry
- Lundy Island & MS Oldenburg – we are also a registered ticketing agent
- Chocolate Emporium & Museum
- Ilfracombe Golf Club
- Marwell Gardens
- Exmoor Zoo
- Combe Martin Wildlife Park
- Lynton & Barnstaple Railway
To reserve your table call us on 01271 862446 or email firstname.lastname@example.org today.