20th November 2019

10 reasons to visit North Devon in 2020

In our eyes, Devon is one of the most beautiful places to visit, so if you are thinking of booking a break for next year, here are 10 reasons we think you should consider visiting North Devon. Although Devon is known for its natural scenery and authentic feel, there’s much more to be discovered during a trip to the South West.

1. The incredible coastline

Whether you’re looking for secluded coastal walks, beautiful beaches or characterful pubs with a seaside view, Devon’s coastline can provide it all. Take advantage of the area’s fantastic beaches such as Saunton, Westward Ho!, and Woolacombe (just to name a few). Whatever the weather, the coastline in Devon is always worth exploring…. Spend long summer days lounging under the sun, playing sports by the tide, learning to surf and walking hand in hand in the sunset. If surfing is something you wish to try, check out Walking on Waves at Saunton Sands - as our hotel guests, you’ll receive up to 30% off lessons. During winter, wrap up warm and take a peaceful walk across the beach, and let the sea breeze relax you during your wondrous winter break.

2. Great Torrington’s popular bonfire - Mayflower 400

Every five years, thousands of people from across Devon gather to watch one of the biggest spectacles in the country. The Torrington Cavaliers' celebratory bonfires are spectacular, with dozens of people spending years to create incredible wooden structures - which are then burned to the ground in a single night. Previously, enormous replicas of HMS Victory, the Houses of Parliament, Trumpton and a huge Viking ship have been razed to the ground at the Cavaliers' charitable event. This year’s controversial bonfire will celebrate the 400th anniversary of the Mayflower’s sailing. As the Cavaliers have decided to build a life-size replica of the Mayflower ship which famously transported the pilgrims to what is now America. The bonfire will take place next year on Saturday 29th August from 6:00pm. For more information or to book tickets, click here. With the future of these famous bonfires being uncertain, this event is not to be missed.

3. Enjoy a famous Hockings ice cream

A visit to North Devon is not complete unless you visit one of Hocking’s distinctive yellow and red vans and enjoy an ice cream. If you ask any North Devon holidaymaker, they will certainly tell you that Hocking’s is the best ice cream they have ever tasted. No one can quite put their finger on why Hocking’s is above the rest. Maybe it’s the classic cone done extremely well (don’t forget to add the Flake), perhaps it brings back childhood memories of chasing vans down the street, or it could be the West Country ingredients used in a family recipe that’s been developed since 1936? Hocking’s vans can be found in beautiful locations around North Devon: Appledore, Barnstaple, Bideford, Ilfracombe, Torrington and Westward Ho! - and other spontaneous places throughout the summer. There’s no better feeling than sitting on a bench or on the beach to watch the waves whilst enjoying a classic ice cream cone.

4. Explore Exmoor National Park

Visit Exmoor and discover one of Britain’s hidden treasures. Renowned for its beautiful landscapes, the views at Exmoor are simply breathtaking. Fast-flowing rivers provide excellent spots for fishing, while after dark, the national park is a dark sky reserve making it an idyllic location for stargazing. Soak up the fresh air, admire the scenery, and recharge with a relaxing North Devon break. The variety of Exmoor’s landscape makes it a wonderful place to visit during your countryside break.

5. Bask in the glorious weather

Devon gets up to 1,700 hours of sunshine every year so if you want to increase the chances of sunshine during your stay then Devon is the place for you. You’ll also find the mildest UK weather here and so the winters are less severe than they are in many other places. The summer is a good time to explore a number of Devon’s towns and villages and take in the scenic countryside along the way. While there is never a guarantee when it comes to the weather, we’re sure you’ll have an amazing time in Devon whatever the weather!

6. Admire the picturesque villages

The fascinating history, natural beauty and varied landscape have helped create a plethora of palaces in Devon which are striking in their character and appearance. Ranging from rocky and windy walkways to the sandy beaches on the picturesque coastline, North Devon is one of the prettiest areas you can visit. Our top picks include the historic town of Clovelly, the beautiful towns of Lynton & Lynmouth and spectacular Morthoe.

7. Foodie hotspot

There are plenty of unmissable places to eat and drink in North Devon, making it the perfect place for a foodie escape. With popular food festivals hosted throughout the year, as well as many incredible restaurants and pubs available all year round, Devon has earned the respected reputation of a foodie hotspot. Ranging from beachside cafes, country pubs, seafood eateries, cream teas and delicious restaurants - if you visit Devon next year we can guarantee you won’t leave hungry...

8. Gardens

North Devon’s temperate climate and diverse landscape have long inspired gardeners and we have a wide variety of beautiful gardens to explore. They come in all shapes and styles, all offering something different but each with a familiar feeling that you are visiting a garden that is loved and cared for. Whether you are looking to spend a couple of hours strolling around a flower garden at RHS Garden Rosemoor or a whole day walking through woodland. Many gardens also have play areas for children and cafes or shops/garden centres making them a great place for fun and relaxation for the whole family. See the full list of our must-visit North Devon gardens here.

9. Music festivals

There’s nothing like good music and a good vibe to raise your spirits and North Devon is the place to be next year as it comes alive with festivals and music events. There are several popular festivals throughout the year which are enjoyed by locals and visitors alike. The SkyBar Festival (Croyde), Oceanfest (Croyde), Traditional Folk Music (Combe Martin), ShebFest (Shebbear) and Pigstock (Bideford) are some of our favourites. Keep your eyes peeled for more information on next year’s music events or check out our events page to see confirmed festivals.

10. Last but not least - excellent accommodation Discover exceptional accommodation in our North Devon Hotel - The Royal and Fortescue. We invite you to escape with us and join our welcoming staff who will provide a first-class service, excellent fine dining, rooms you’ll want to return to time after time, and a wonderful central location. Add this to the many other reasons North Devon is a great place for a 2020 break, and you won’t be disappointed. We recommend that you book early to avoid disappointment!

*** Stay at The Royal and Fortescue and enjoy a memorable break whatever the time of year. Book today via our Reception Team on 01271 342289 or visit our website.