North Devon & Exmoor (Slow Travel)

by Hilary Bradt 

Publication Date:  15th Feb 2019


Slow North Devon and Exmoor – Expert local tips and holiday advice featuring the best cream teas and pubs, cycling, walking, hiking and wildlife. Includes the International Dark Sky Reserve, local food and accommodation, Exmoor National Park, wildlife and birdwatching, Barnstaple, Braunton, Ilfracombe, Broomhill, Lundy Island and North Devon Coast.

About this book

This new, thoroughly updated edition of Bradt’s award-winning North Devon & Exmoor remains the only dedicated general guide to this compelling area. North Devon’s relative inaccessibility has been a deterrent to ugly development, and Exmoor National Park is one of the smallest, least well known, and utterly delightful of all national parks. The rugged western cliffs around Hartland Point are the most dramatic in Devon and the cliff-top walking some of the best. New to this edition are several nature reserves which didn’t make it into the first edition and more in-depth descriptions of the far western part of Devon abutting the Cornish border. Also included are the Gnome Reserve and the Bakelite Museum – just two of several quirky places in the region – and expanded information on the island of Lundy in the Bristol Channel, as well as unique coverage of the whole of Exmoor National Park straddling Devon and Somerset. Particularly intriguing are the many descriptions of country churches, ‘the storerooms of history’.
The North Devon and Exmoor region is arguably the most scenic in the southwest. No other has this blend of wild rugged coastline, deep river valleys, heather-covered moorland, family-friendly sandy beaches, great surfing and enchanting villages. Some of the prettiest villages in the southwest are found here, with cream teas aplenty. Much information is unique to this guidebook, blending descriptions of little-known places and country pursuits with portraits of local characters, past and present. The guide also places special emphasis on car-free travel, walking, local food, pubs and unusual or special accommodation. Whether you like to spend time exploring National Trust properties, discovering gardens, wildlife watching (Exmoor is home to Britain’s largest mammal, the red deer), or indulging in more active pursuits such as coasteering, kayaking or just a gentle pony trek, Bradt’s North Devon & Exmoor is the ideal companion for a successful visit.

About the Author

Hilary Bradt co-founded Bradt Travel Guides in 1974, but now lives in semi-retirement in Seaton, East Devon. After 40 years of writing guidebooks to Africa and South America, she has embraced her chosen home to the extent of insisting that such a large, varied and beautiful county deserved three Slow guides, not just one. Her first visit to the region was as a child on a pony-trekking holiday on Exmoor – a never to be forgotten experience. A keen walker, she has covered many miles of the South West Coast Path and inland footpaths, and most Saturdays see her taking part in one of Devon’s Parkruns (5k, but she’s appropriately slow). She is a productive member of the South West Sculptors’ Association and lectures regularly on travel-related topics at libraries and literary festivals, both in Devon and further afield.
In 2008 she was awarded an MBE for services to the tourist industry and to charity and in 2009 she received a Lifetime Achievement Award from the British Guild of Travel Writers.


‘Eye-opening and wonderful’ India Knight, The Sunday Times Magazine

‘An invaluable inspiration to those who like to walk and discover new things about the region.’ North Devon Journal

‘Contains all manner of little known facts and tales about local characters both past and present.’ Western Morning News

‘Lifts the lid on secret spots in Devon, with out-of-the-way places, local characters and a guide to sustainable tourism.’ Food & Travel Magazine

‘In short, for residents and tourists, the guide is a brilliant addition to the bookcase.’ Devon Life

‘An interesting read which made me want to revisit many of the places it describes. I loved the tales associated with the places visited and could feel the enthusiasm the author has for this part of the country.’ Third Age Matters

Additional Information

Table of Contents


Going Slow in North Devon & Exmoor
A taste of North Devon & Exmoor, Festivals, NGS Gardens & Open Studios, Car-free travel, Wildlife, Further reading & media, How this book is arranged

1 Northwest Devon: The Cornish border to the River Torridge
Getting there & around, The Hartland heartland, The Clovelly area, South of the Atlantic Highway, Bideford & area, Some exceptional churches
2 North Devon’s Seaside
Getting there & around, Braunton, the Burrows & Saunton Sands, Georgeham & Croyde, Beaches & headlands: Morte Bay, The Ilfracombe area, Combe Martin & area
3 Lundy Island
Lundy’s history, Lundy today, Wildlife, Getting there, Staying on Lundy, Getting around Lundy, What to take, Making the most of a day trip, Exploring the north
4 Barnstaple & inland north Devon
Getting there & around, Barnstaple, North of Barnstaple, South of Barnstaple, Southwest of Barnstaple, Great Torrington & area, Southeast of Barnstaple: between the A377 & A361
5 Exmoor National Park
Exmoor & the hand of man, Getting there & around, Active Exmoor, Inactive Exmoor, Further information, Western Exmoor: to Lynton via Blackmoor Gate, The coastal triangle, Lynton, Lynmouth & area, Central
& southern Exmoor, Porlock & area, The West Somerset coast: Porlock Weir to County Gate, East of Porlock: the National Trust villages
6 Minehead & the eastern fringes of Exmoor
Getting there & around, Minehead & along the coast, The Washford & Williton area, Within the national park: the northern section, The southern segment: Dulverton & area