Five reasons to visit North Devon & Exmoor

06/03/2019 14:54

Written by Bradt Travel Guides

From picturesque villages and heather-covered moorland to the South West Coast Path and coastal waters, North Devon and Exmoor share a landscape that invites Slow travel. Add in the extra bonus of wildlife and the ubiquitous cream tea and you have the ingredients for a perfect holiday. Though the opportunities are endless, here are five of our favourite things about the region:

1. Exmoor

Ponies, Wimbleball Lake, North Devon, UK by Mike Charles, ShutterstockExmoor ponies overlooking Wimbleball Lake on Exmoor © Mike Charles, Shutterstock

One of the smallest – and least visited – national parks in England, Exmoor is superb. Within its boundaries are true moorland, purple with heather in the summer, and rivers bordered by ancient woodland. Add to this a rugged but accesible coastline, and you have something for everyone.

2. Dazzling coastline

beach, croyde, north devon, UK by Ian Woolcock, ShutterstockCroyde Bay is smaller than Saunton and Woolacombe, Devon's most popular seaside resorts © Ian Woolcock, Shutterstock

The region's specialities include its hidden coves – only reachable on foot – and fishing villages. For families there are easily accessible sandy beaches, and North Devon is second only to Cornwall for surfing.

3. Lundy Island

Puffins, Lundy, North Devon, UK by Mark Caunt, ShutterstockAtlantic puffins frequent the coastal areas of Lundy © Mark Caunt, Shutterstock

A visit to Lundy can be the start of a life-long love affair. The name means Puffin Island – fitting as this is one of the most southerly places in Britain where you can see these delightful birds.

4. Walking and cycling

South West Coast path, Lynton, North Devon, UK by Steve Heap, ShutterstockThe region has 120 miles of superb walking along the South West Coast Path © Steve Heap, Shutterstock

You'll find the best walking in the southwest here, above the coast, across moorland or along rivers, as well as a nationally famous cycle path, the Tarka Trail.

5. Rural life

Sheep racing, Abbotsham, North Devon, UK by The Big SheepThe race is on at The Big Sheep, Abbotsham © The Big Sheep

Much of Exmoor is traditionally farmed to preserve the environment, and locally sourced food is easy to find. Festivals are big in rural Devon, with locals and visitors alike turning out to watch.


Want to learn more about North Devon & Exmoor? Check out the latest guide to the area.

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