9th January 2019

February Half Term in North Devon - there's lots to plan in

Come rain or shine, there’s always something to do during February Half Term in North Devon.

When planning a break to the area, whether you’re a family or couple looking for time away, or are visiting relatives or friends, you know there are many ways to fill your days together.

Sometimes the weather is wet, sometimes dry, and sometimes it just can’t make up its mind, so we hope this break down of how to spend your Half Term in February helps plan your stay with us...

Wet Days

Air Extreme

Air Extreme is a trampoline park in Barnstaple, full of indoor trampolines to bounce around the room wall to wall. There are several session types available to book, along with a cafe for refreshments.

Take the opportunity to burn energy on Battle Beams, Performance Trampolines and Freestyle areas. Or turn it into a game with Dodgeball or the basketball style Airball.

There's something for everyone at Air Extreme. They advise customers to book sessions online in advance to ensure you don't miss out.

By booking a set session in advance, you get your own time in the park, for as much space and fun as possible. If staying with us, speak to our reception team to discover how you can claim a 15% discount upon booking.

Dartington Visitor Centre

Dartington Crystal is the only remaining factory scale producer of handmade glass in the UK and Ireland, their products are sold all over the world including at Tiffany’s in the U.S. They are also the home of Royal Brierley - the longest established name in English crystal.

Their Torrington Visitor Centre showcases their glassmakers at work, the ideal place to learn the art of glassblowing.

It's where guests can shop, create unique gifts, take a tour and discover history during a visit.  It offers a wonderful opportunity to see first-hand the art of cutting glass and creating fine English crystal - an experience for all the family to enjoy.

You can see and hear their fascinating history in the Audio Visual Theatre, follow the timeline exhibition, learn interesting facts and see products dating from their early years. Take the factory tour, get involved in creative activities, indulge in some shopping and relax in the cafe or Ginspiration Bar.

This is the perfect day out for all the family. A trip to Great Torrington and the rolling Devon countryside is a must, so make sure Dartington is on your 'to-do' list - you'll get 2 for 1 entry price as our guest.

Let’s Go Ten Pin Bowling and Ice Skating

Right next door to the Barnstaple Hotel, Let's Go is a combined centre that features tenpin bowling and a unique indoor ice skating rink, the only place that provides these services in the area.

It’s great fun for the whole family to enjoy, with traditional bowling, pool tables, game machines and a bar for food and drink.

The Milky Way Adventure Park

Open throughout Half Term, 16th to 24th February, is The Milky Way Adventure Park based between Bideford and Clovelly.

Highlights of a day out here include the family-friendly roller coasters and rides (based indoors and outdoors), dodgems, indoor play areas and sports facilities, plus a collection of Sci-Fi memorabilia for the young-at-heart adults. There’s something for everyone to run, jump, bounce, slide, crash or relax - all ages can enjoy a complete day out, whatever the weather.

Speak to our reception team for 10% or £2 off per person upon entry.

The Big Sheep - Lambing Live

Meanwhile, at The Big Sheep, February is the start of the lambing season. So for the little ones, there’s nothing more exciting than getting to meet and even feed lambs and other baby animals.

Found near Westward Ho!, the all-day family park, the family attraction is open every day, and between the 16th and 24th February, there will be live lambing.

The whole flock is waiting to provide a fun day out. Alongside the adorable lambs, pups, piglets and more the family can also enjoy the indoor and outdoor play areas, six live shows, four rides, and much more.

‘Ewe’ can’t afford to miss this, for a ‘baaaaaing’ good time with one child getting in for free with two paying adults - speak to reception for details.

Dry Days

Broomhill Gardens

Broomhill Sculpture Gardens are where art and culture meet in magical surroundings.

The gardens were created in 1997 and have become one of the largest permanent collections of contemporary sculpture in the South-West.

Spend a day wandering the grounds deep in a valley, surrounded by wooded nature and works of art from all styles and backgrounds.

The sculpted gardens are open throughout February, Wednesday to Saturday, giving plenty of time to take in the featured artwork, interesting projects and iconic figurines that stand so proudly in the grounds.

Arlington Court - Photography Trail

Perhaps you’re a family or group that doesn't mind getting muddy outdoors?  For those who love to embrace nature, Arlington Court is the place to visit for a February Half Term in North Devon treat.

Arlington Court, its surrounding gardens and old carriage museum, is a place steeped in history. The grand house and carriage museum is fascinating, giving visitors an insight into the past.  

Garden lovers will want to visit for the National Trust parkland that surrounds the house. Follow your feet and undertake a mini-hike along natural walks that take in ponds, woods and open fields possibly full of deer!

As a Half Term treat, Arlington is running a Photography Trail from the 16th to 24th February. They invite you to explore the house and grounds through the camera's lens with a brand new photography trail. Compare the old with the new, see previously unseen photographs, and take your own pictures.

Exmoor Zoo

Exmoor Zoo is an award-winning zoo that has a mission to promote education and conservation. It’s a small but friendly zoo which allows visitors to get really close to the protected animals and cheeky characters in its care.

Open from 10am every morning, Exmoor Zoo is home of the “Exmoor Beast” - the black leopard! In fact, the zoo has the only pair of black leopards on exhibit in the UK!

They are also the home of cheetahs, wolves, African wild dogs, wallabies, lynx, singing dogs, reindeer, a great number of monkeys, a wide range of birds of all sizes, snakes, tortoise, reptiles, bugs and much more!

Talks and feeds take place daily, giving you the chance to learn about many of the animals from the enthusiastic staff. Get 15% off entry fee as a hotel guest.

Castle Hill

The gardens at Castle Hill sit in the beautiful Devon countryside just outside Barnstaple.

These beautiful gardens are found in 50 acres of historic parkland set against an 18th Century Palladian Mansion House - home of the Fortescue family since 1454. Sadly the house is not open to the general public but the gardens are available all year round.

Try starting with a walk through the Millennium Garden with its striking water feature, to reach the walled garden.

Gaze to the distant Triumphal Arch and magnificent Holwell Temple and wander through the woodland gardens, stroll down to the river and take a climb up to the Castle for panoramic views to Exmoor, Dartmoor and beyond.

Clovelly Village

Coastal villages don’t come any more picturesque than Clovelly. Nestled in the hillside, it oozes charm with a feeling of stepping into the past.

No cars are allowed on the cobbled streets. The houses and narrow paths tumble down 400 feet to the harbour. Higgledy-piggledy cottages open up to reveal the stunning views and the ocean.

Walk the streets and learn about the villages pass, whilst chatting to the people who live there. A selection of shops, cafes and mini-museums make great places to duck into between rain showers.

This popular, private village attraction is well visited by our guests. Don’t forget to discuss how you can get 20% off Cream Teas in Clovelly with reception.

RHS Gardens Rosemoor

For those not familiar with the gardens, discover all about the stunning grounds with our guide to RHS Gardens Rosemoor.

In the Rosemoor grounds, guests can experience 65-acres of lovingly planted gardens alongside historic buildings, fruit and veg patches, an award-winning restaurant and a full calendar of events. All set in an area of natural beauty with a pretty wooded valley backdrop.

For those who love to wander amongst nature and the flowers, expect to find streams, woodlands, fruit and veg, quaint cottages and many more pleasant surprises.

Hotel guests pay £8 entry instead of £12.65, speak to reception for details.

The North Devon countryside, stunning beaches and popular Tarka Trail

There’s no doubt the weather is always a factor during February Half Term in North Devon, but whatever the weather the countryside is always stunning to see and experience.

When the sun shines the beaches are a must for walks, surfing or blanket picnics on the sand.

When the skies are dark and dramatic, the beach is a must for photography opportunities. When it won’t stop drizzling, a family walk along the beach is a must if you don’t mind taking in the scenery with your hood up.

Woolacombe Beach, Westward Ho! and Saunton Sands attract the crowds, but there are plenty of hidden beaches to explore if you fancy getting off the beaten track.

Elsewhere, don’t forget about Exmoor with its miles of unspoiled and rugged walks along the coast and over the moors. And there are many scenic walks throughout the North Devon countryside to enjoy.

If nothing else, a stroll along the Tarka Trail will blow away the cobwebs. The flat and paved path travels through North Devon, connecting many key places such as Bideford, Barnstaple centre and Braunton.


Then at the end of the day, it’s good to relax in a luxury setting, with indulgent food and a refreshing drink before bed.

Here at The Royal and Fortescue Hotel, we provide a charming setting to unwind in. If you feel like adding a little extra to your February Half Term stay, there is a heated indoor swimming pool, gym and leisure facilities at our sister hotel, The Barnstaple, that you can use. 

See our Winter Breaks offer for the best prices.