18th November 2019

A Weekend Guide to North Devon this Winter

North Devon is the perfect place for a weekend escape - whatever the season. Just in case you still need persuading, we’ve pulled together a few ideas to help you plan your perfect North Devon getaway during the Winter.

Things to do:

1. Take a tour around Dartington Crystal

As the UK's only remaining glass factory, a visit to Dartington Crystal is a unique and fascinating experience for all. Discover their story and development in the exhibition centre and watch the skilled glassmakers in action on the factory floor. Get creative with a range of glass activities and of course, there's great factory shopping and their relaxing cafe and restaurant. Dartington Crystal is the perfect all-weather attraction.

2. Visit RHS Rosemoor

Nestled in North Devon's beautiful Torridge Valley, Rosemoor is a hidden gem and a real treat for garden lovers at any time of year. There is something for everyone to enjoy from the stunning gardens to the Woodland Walks which offer interesting glimpses of local wildlife and wildflowers. If it should start to rain, sit in the award-winning Garden Kitchen for delicious meals.

3. Go shopping at Affinity Devon

Affinity Devon is North Devon’s unique outlet shopping village. With over 30 stores offering up to 50% off rrp every day including Nike and GAP you’ll find a huge choice of famous name brands at incredible discounts and you’ll be sure to pick up a bargain. Clothes, food and drink, children's play area and regular events - what more could you want from a shopping trip?

Places to eat and drink

1. Indulge in a Vintage afternoon tea at The Imperial Hotel

Served in their Terrace Lounge, enjoy the linen-dressed tables, beautiful floral displays, cosy armchairs and sumptuous surroundings whilst you enjoy an afternoon tea. Their traditional afternoon teas include delicious freshly made finger sandwiches, an irresistible selection of cakes and pastries and warm homemade scones with strawberry jam and lashings of West Country clotted cream. Indulge this winter and enjoy a traditional Devon cream tea in the heart of Devon.

2. Enjoy a Carvery lunch at The Park Seasons Brasserie

Treat yourself to the legendary Carvery lunch before heading home after a lovely weekend in North Devon. Served every Sunday, with no less than four meets to choose from with a great selection of fresh vegetables, you’ll be guaranteed a hugely satisfying dining experience.

3. Warm up and relax in our Coffee House

Here in the lounges of the Royal & Fortescue Hotel, the Coffee House is a delightful place to take some precious time out to relax. Be tempted by the array of cupcakes, pastries and of course Devonshire Clotted Cream Teas, as well as the famous speciality coffees and warming hot chocolate with marshmallows. It’s the perfect place to relax and recharge this winter.

Scenic spots

1. Hartland Point

The spectacular cliffs at Hartland Quay with their incredibly contorted rock layers are always worth a visit and at low tide, there is plenty of sand, rock pools and rocks to scramble over. It’s the perfect place to visit in wild weather so you can appreciate the power of the sea and wind as the waves crash against the cliffs and shore.

2. Clovelly

Carved perfectly into the hillsides of North Devon is the timeless and unique village of Clovelly. Its cobbled streets are filled with stunning 16th-century cottages with breathtaking views overlooking the small harbour 400 feet below. With the impressive views, peaceful tranquillity and cobbled, traffic-free, high street of this world-famous fishing village, which tumbles its way down past whitewashed cottages festooned with flowers to the tiny working port; it’s no surprise that we recommend a visit to this beautiful place.

3. Lynton & Barnstaple railway

Make your visit to North Devon truly wonderful and take a ride through the countryside, with views out to wild moorland and the rugged coastline. Although the Railway takes a well-earned winter break until February 15th, once it reopens this popular railway attraction provides a nostalgic ride for young and old alike. On frosty late winter days, the route is especially pretty, cutting through some beautiful countryside.

Wonderous walks

1. Mortehoe

This stretch of coastline is a great place to get away from the crowds and enjoy the dramatic North Devon scenery. Take a moment to admire the views of the cliffs, rocky headlands and sandy bays. Look out for seals as you walk from Morte Point towards Bull Point and enjoy the coastal heathland and maritime grasslands, which are great habitats for birds and other wildlife.

2. Arlington Court Visit

Arlington Court and explore more than 2,700 acres of woodlands. From riverside rambles to steep hill walking we have something to suit all abilities when you visit this winter. The Lake walk is their most popular walk around the designed landscape of Arlinton court and is well worth a visit.

3. Heddon Valley

On the fringes of Exmoor, you'll discover the beautiful Heddon Valley. Beginning in Heddon Valley, you’ll travel along one of the loveliest parts of the renowned South West Coast Path national trail. It's the perfect place to take in a river walk, wooded pathways and a beautiful beach too. Follow the river to emerge at the sea, and take in all the unbeatable views along the way.

Romantic recommendations

1. Escape the stresses of day-to-day life with the one you love at Source Spa and Wellness

Enjoy the peace and tranquillity that only a romantic spa day set atop the cliffs on the North Devon coast can deliver, and enjoy the breathtaking views as you overlook Saunton Sands beach and World Heritage Braunton Burrows. Whether it’s to escape from the kids, to celebrate an anniversary, or just to spend time together, browse their range of spa days and treatments here.

2. See a show at the Queen’s Theatre

At The Queens Theatre in Barnstaple, there is something for everyone, whether that’s a play, musical, ballet, opera, band or comedian. It’s fun and exciting, which makes it a fabulous venue to bring somebody you want to impress. See what's on…

3. Enjoy drinks at either Seasons Bar or Bar 62

These popular Barnstaple bars provide the perfect date location if you are looking to sit back and relax whilst enjoying a wonderful cocktail. Both bars offer locals and residents alike the chance to celebrate an anniversary, birthday or another special occasion - as well as just spending some time enjoying each others company. Bar 62 is within The Royal and Fortescue Hotel so no need to venture out into the cold!

There is plenty for you to see and do during a weekend escape - whatever the occasion.

The Royal and Fortescue Hotel is ideally located in the centre of Barnstaple, convenient for everything this fantastic area has to offer, including the coast, Exmoor, picturesque villages and beautiful gardens. For more information on our weekend breaks, have a look at our website or call us on 01271 342289 to discuss.