North Devon England’s ‘Adventure Coast’ has lots of options for an active break.
If you are looking for adventure during your holiday, then look no further than North Devon.
There’s Exmoor wildlife safaris or night time star safaris. Or for those looking for adrenaline-fuelled adventures we’ve got rock climbing, white water kayaking and coasteering.
Alternatively, take to the water for a fishing trip or coastal cruise.
Coastal activities are a firm favourite in North Devon with a range of excellent beaches to choose from. Many people choose to go surfing at one of the local beaches, world-famous for their quality waves. Coasteering, kayaking, and paddleboarding are also popular options among both locals and visitors.
Rock climbing is also popular and there are several local companies who organise rock climbing trips.
If you enjoy walking, there is lots of countryside to discover. The South West Coast Path runs along the entire coast of North Devon and is a good way to explore the region.
If you’d like to try something a bit different, you can try an Exmoor Safari – an Exmoor excursion that brings you close to local wildlife, including red deer and Exmoor ponies.
You could also try a Sea Safari or coastal boat trip, with the chance to go seal and dolphin watching.
Perhaps horse riding is more your style? Some local stables offer the chance for scenic horse riding on the beach – an amazing experience. Just ask us for more details.
You can enjoy bird watching from your doorstep at Bampfield Farm. We have our very own Barn owl box and a family of owls who live there.
You can also see lots of other birds here, including buzzards, wagtails and yellow hammers– so make sure you bring your binoculars!
RSPB reserves in North Devon
There are two local RSPB reserves.
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UNESCO Biosphere in North Devon
Stretching from Dartmoor to Exmoor and via the sea to Lundy, North Devon is part of the official UNESCO Biosphere reserve.
Much of North Devon is also an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. Unsurprisingly, there is an abundance of habitats for bird watching throughout the year.
Lundy Island is also well worth a visit. Situated just 12 miles from the North Devon coast, it is a wonderful haven for wildlife – over 300 individual puffins were counted there in 2016.
You can take a day trip by boat from Bideford of Ilfracombe and explore the island on foot. We have details of the sailings and can help you book.
We have bike cleaning facilities along with cycle maps on site.
North Devon and Exmoor offers a wide range of cycling – from adrenalin-filled mountain biking, to the traffic free Tarka Trail.
Named after the book ‘Tarka the Otter’, the Tarka Trail is a 32-mile traffic-free cycle trail around North Devon. The route offers an ideal family cycle, with a number of interesting pit stops along the way.
Our favourite is Fremington Quay. Here you can take refreshments in the café, which sells delicious home cooked food. Situated in a restored old station building, you can also visit the heritage centre which tells you about the history of the Quay.
We also like Instow, with its sandy beach – perfect for a spot of lunch, some boat spotting and a famous Hockings ice cream.
Road cycling and mountain biking in North Devon
As you might expect, the rural landscape in North Devon provides the perfect playground for cyclists of all abilities.
Whether you want to try mountain biking on the numerous bridleways that cross the North Devon landscape or explore the intricate network of quiet country lanes on a road bike, it’s the perfect cycling destination.
There are plenty of bike hire options available, including tandems and trailers.
Tarka Trail 01271 324202
Bideford surf, kayak and cycle hire 01237 424123
Bampfield Farm is a fantastic base for a walking holiday in North Devon.
North Devon is home to some of the finest footpaths and trails in the country, including the South West Coast Path, the Tarka Trail, walks on Exmoor, the Biosphere Reserve at Braunton and countless National Trust walks. Set in beautiful, rolling countryside, Bampfield Farm also has a variety of walks direct from the doorstep. Because you will be spoilt for choice, we have a large selection of maps and walking guides available for our guests.
Here are some of our favourite walks in the area:
Baggy Point – this is a 4.5 mile walk around the west of Baggy Point, a headland that is located just beyond the village of Croyde. There are spectacular views of the coastline and you may be able to spot seals in the sea. You can also enjoy lunch or a cream tea in the National Trust’s Sandleigh tearoom, which is located near the car park.
Bull Point and Morte Point – this stretch of coast offers dramatic scenery along an area which was once famous for smugglers and wreckers. The 6 mile walk takes you along a path to the Bull Point Lighthouse, past the rugged cove of Rockham Beach and around the rocky headland of Morte Point. The pretty stone village of Mortehoe has plenty of places for refreshments and is also worth a visit.
Heddon’s Mouth – located on Exmoor, this is a gentle walk through lush woodland. The path follows the River Heddon until it meets the sea – a restored 19th Century lime kiln is an interesting feature.
Watersmeet – this is a walk through ancient woodlands, with spectacular views and trails alongside the river. Located at its heart is a former fishing lodge, which is now a National Trust tea room, shop and information centre.
Valley of the Rocks – explore the dramatic coastline of North Devon. During this walk you’ll be amazed by the wide landscape with jagged rocks that sheer into the sea. It’s believed that during the Ice Age the valley was carved out by the Lyn rivers when the sea was blocked. Then when the ice retreated, the valley was revealed.