Ilfracombe and Combe Martin Cottages
There are few places with such a setting as Ilfracombe. So it’s easy to understand why it became so popular with Victorian visitors. They flocked here to stay in the elegant hotels, to stroll by the harbour and to enjoy the views from Hillsborough of the whole shebang: the cliffs, the St Nicholas Chapel and the sea beyond. It is breath-taking.
Today Ilfracombe still retains some of its Victorian elegance, but with a modern edge. Verity, the beautiful Damien Hirst statue now guards the entrance to the harbour while the striking ‘chimneys’ of the Landmark Theatre watch over the beaches at the western end of the town. Tunnels Beaches, reached through a series of tunnels carved out of the rock in the 1820s, offer secluded and sheltered sands, rock pools and a tidal swimming pool.
Eating out is becoming a bit of a thing in Ilfracombe of late. Thomas Carr at the Olive Room Restaurant has recently won a Michelin star for his food while other eateries are following suit and upping their game to help make Ilfracombe a real foodie destination.
Nearby, Combe Martin is another gem on the North Devon coast. Selfproclaimed as having the longest high street in England, it meanders down a once silver-rich valley to a little cove. It’s on the very edge of Exmoor, which means that the coast is protected and a delight to walk, although climbing Great and Little Hangman Hills might take a bit of effort. The larger of the two is the highest sea cliff in England with a cliff face that is 800 feet high. Views, in case you were wondering, are incredible from the top, the highest point on the whole of the South West Coast Path.
Combe Martin was once famous for its silver mines, which, so they say, paid for the Battle of Agincourt. Whether it’s true or not is moot, but it is well documented that the Crown Jewels contain silver from this little village by the sea in North Devon. The mines might be long closed but there’s still gold to be found in Combe Martin - it’s a great place to swim, kayak, explore rock pools or peer into sea caves. Perfect for kids who like beach days on (golden) sands.
Not far away you’ll find Berrynarbor, a village that’s won its fair share of Britain in Bloom awards. You can see why when you visit - it’s a really pretty, and neat and tidy village, a picture perfect location, you might say, with a fantastic beach and natural harbour nearby at Watermouth.
Take some time to browse through our collection of holiday cottages in Ilfracombe, Combe Martin and surrounding area. We’re sure you’ll find something just right for a truly special Devon holiday.
Don't forget to bring the camera!