A traditional seaside destination, Ilfracombe was a popular holiday haunt throughout the Victorian era largely due to its infamous Tunnel Beaches, which modestly segregated the men and women. Now enjoyed by the masses, this part of the North Devon coastline, situated within an area of ‘Outstanding Natural Beauty’ has seen a resurgence of visitors who appreciate its unique appeal and Ilfracombe holidays have become a popular choice once again.
A wide range of activities can be enjoyed during your holiday in Ilfracombe, including kayaking, coasteering and for kids, rock-pooling. The tidal pool is also popular with families and is visible for three hours before and after low tide. If you stray a little outside of Ilfracombe you’ll be met with some stunning beaches that this part of North Devon is famed for including the best beach in the UK at Woolacombe Bay.
World famous artist Damien Hirst who lives in the region has recently erected a statue in the harbour called Verity, which has split opinions but is certainly worth forming your own on the 66ft statue while on holiday in Ilfracombe. There are also several arts and craft galleries scattered around the town with work from local artists on display.
The surrounding area also offers many appealing attractions; cruise around the pretty harbour and take in the rugged beauty of its dramatic coastline. Part of the North Devon Marine Conservation Coastline, dolphins, seals and porpoises are sometimes spotted by the eagle-eyed. You can sail to Lundy Island aboard the MS Oldenburg from Ilfracombe and explore the marine nature reserve with the puffin being the bird that gave the island its name and seals that you have the chance to swim with off the coast of the island.
There are plenty of family attractions in Ilfracombe including the popular Watermouth Castle, a family theme park and castle where you’re able to view wonderful displays, enjoy a cream tea in the café, play old fashioned slot machines and ride the tea cups all in one day. In Ilfracombe Museum you’ll find plenty of unique collections of historical artefacts both local and international including a 40 year old wedding cake!
Part of the North Devon Marine Conservation Coastline, dolphins, seals and porpoises are sometimes spotted by the eagle-eyed
Ilfracombe Aquarium is an award winning, all weather attraction located in the Old Lifeboat House in the harbour. Home to over 75 species the aquarium takes you on a journey from the source of a river all the way to the sea and even has a display dedicated to the marine life around Lundy Island.
For great North Devon holidays, take a look at our cottages, holiday parks, B&Bs, and hotels in Ilfracombe.