North Devon

Intensely rugged and in places utterly remote, north Devon has a coast to inspire. Drastically concertinaed cliffs frame atmospheric fishing villages while long sandy beaches stretch out alongside. It offers a smorgasbord of delights, from surfing lessons at cool Croyde to Damien Hirst’s artistry in Ilfracombe. Swimming experiences include snorkelling safaris and Victorian-style bathing, and gardens range from the classic designs of the Royal Horticultural Society to those dotted with contemporary art. Then there’s Braunton’s immense sand dunes, impossibly pretty Clovelly, Hartland’s phenomenal rock formations, and (sitting on the horizon 10 miles out to sea) Lundy Island – a truly get-away-from-it-all escape.

Exmoor National Park reaches into both north Devon and Somerset, and includes the villages of Lynton and Lynmouth, rolling moors and plunging sea cliffs.

Top attractions

These are our favorite local haunts, touristy spots, and hidden gems throughout North Devon.