Short Breaks in North Devon

With magnificent sandy beaches, hidden coves, pretty villages and windswept moorland, North Devon sure packs in the attractions. So if you’re heading to this stunning corner of Britain for a short break, you’ll be spoilt for choice.

But the question that’s probably on your lips is: ‘With limited time, where do I start?’.

Well, we reckon the best thing to do is pick an activity, must-see attraction and cracking pub from our suggestions below. That way, you’ll get a taste of North Devon that will hopefully have you coming back for more!

What’s the best beach in North Devon?

Everyone has their favourite beach in North Devon. Woolacombe is repeatedly listed in the UK’s top ten beaches, while Croyde is popular with surfers. If you’re not one to run with the crowds, why not try Putsborough, near Braunton. It’s a real family favourite, with a fabulous mix of soft sand and rock-pooling.

What about walking?

The whole of the North Devon coastline is mapped out on the South West Coast Path, which includes dramatic treks along moorland and clifftops as well as softer jaunts along beaches, through woodland and pretty villages. If you’re pushed for time, we recommend the well-signed Coleridge Way. It starts in the Quantocks in Somerset but, for its latter portion, crosses the north end of Exmoor. It’s a route that takes you through the landscape that inspired the poet, ensuring plenty of pit stops in villages with tea rooms and pubs. There’s also a delightful short route near Liscombe, a circular jaunt along the riverside that involves crossing Tarr Steps, the longest clapper bridge in the country!

Where’s the best cycle track?

The level and traffic-free 21-mile Tarka Trail, running between Braunton and Meeth, is the perfect cycle track for those who’ve not got the time to plot their own route. There’s no need to bring bikes as they can be rented from Tarka Trail Cycle Hire at Barnstaple station. Simply enjoy the ride! Created along the route of a closed railway, it follows, for the most part, the River Taw (which was the setting of Henry Williamson’s 1927 novel, Tarka the Otter – which explains the trail’s name!).

What about pretty villages?

That’s a tough question as there are some lovely spots throughout the area. But perhaps the most fun introduction to North Devon – and a place where you get a two-for-the-price-of-one deal – is Lynton and its neighbour Lynmouth. Linked by a funicular lift that’s powered by water, these are lovely Victorian villages blessed with tea shops, pubs and a fair sprinkling of excellent restaurants. Be sure to take the lift for glorious views of Exmoor and the North Devon coastline.

What’s the best stately home to visit?

There are plenty of grand homes to visit in North Devon but the one blessed with both fascinating history and a stunning situation is Hartland Abbey. Unlike many National Trust or English Heritage properties, this is a house that’s still owned by a family, so it’s both a historical gem and a home. Even more interesting, the family are direct descendants of the original owner, who was keeper of Henry VIII’s wine cellar. Originally built as a monastery, the house was gifted to the family in 1539. It’s a treasure trove for those who love British history – with architecture, artwork and decorative objects from the Mediaeval, Queen Anne, Georgian and Victorian periods. The estate is just as magical, with paths leading all over the landscape, including one that takes visitors down to the beach.

Where’s a good pub for a short break in North Devon?

It depends on what you’re after!

For fantastic views, try the Hartland Quay Hotel (and its Wreckers Bar). Their garden offers diners a dramatic view of the sea and the drama of the surrounding cliffs.

For a special occasion, then it’s probably a toss-up between a coastal boozer and one deep in the country. For those who are staying closer to the sea, the Rock Inn in Georgeham is a lovely gastro pub which serves up legendary burgers, fish pie, local cask ales and wines drawn from a 48-bin list. For those inland, The Masons is just as popular with foodies. A 13th century thatched pub in Knowstone, just south of Exmoor, with oak beams, log fires and a Michelin star, it boasts a kitchen led by Michel Roux’s former Head Chef at the Waterside Inn, Bray – so fine dining is guaranteed!



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Croyde, North Devon Coast

FORDA

(No dates selected)

£521 - £956
per week
From £400 for a 3-night stay
  • 4 Star
  • Detached high quality holiday home in a beautiful countryside setting with its own private outdoor hot tub. Just a short drive from North Devon’s fabulous sandy surfing beaches.
  • 2 Guests
  • 1 Bedroom
  • 2 Pets
  • 2 Bathrooms
  • WiFi
  • Garden
  • Enclosed garden
  • Private parking
  • Hot tub
  • Open fire or woodburner
  • Beach 1.62 miles
  • Pub 0.7 miles

Woolacombe, North Devon Coast

WAVES

(No dates selected)

£405 - £956
per week
From £313 for a 3-night stay
  • 4 Star Gold
  • A wonderful property in a lovely location with fabulous sea views. A good choice of shops, pubs/restaurants and Woolacombe beach just a short stroll away.
  • 2 Guests
  • 1 Bedroom
  • 2 Pets
  • 1 Bathroom
  • WiFi
  • Private parking
  • Beach 0.1 miles
  • Pub 0.3 miles

Woody Bay, North Devon Countryside

N1779

(No dates selected)

£301 - £591
per week
From £235 for a 3-night stay
  • 3 Star
  • The Garden Suite, has wonderful views across the Exmoor coastline and stroll amongst the natural beauty of the property's very own private grounds and swimming pool.
  • 2 Guests
  • 1 Bedroom
  • 2 Pets
  • 0 Bathrooms
  • WiFi
  • Garden
  • Private parking
  • Swimming pool
  • Games room
  • Beach 4.7 miles
  • Pub 5 miles

Lynmouth, North Devon Countryside

SEAV2

(No dates selected)

£365 - £606
per week
From £283 for a 3-night stay
  • 3 Star
  • Offering wonderful sea and coastal views this delightful apartment is an ideal base for exploring Exmoor.
  • 2 Guests
  • 1 Bedroom
  • 1 Pet
  • 1 Bathroom
  • WiFi
  • Garden
  • Private parking
  • Beach 0.5 miles
  • Pub 0.5 miles

Tawstock Nr Barnstaple, North Devon Countryside

GRANAR

(No dates selected)

£316 - £616
per week
From £246 for a 3-night stay
  • 4 Star
  • A pretty barn conversion, stylishly furnished and perfect for couples to use as a base to explore both the Devon coast and countryside.
  • 2 Guests
  • 1 Bedroom
  • 1 Pet
  • 1 Bathroom
  • WiFi
  • Garden
  • Private parking
  • Beach 6.5 miles
  • Pub 1.3 miles

Brendon Nr. Lynmouth, North Devon Coast

ROSECO

(No dates selected)

£307 - £641
per week
From £239 for a 3-night stay
  • 3 Star Gold
  • Lovely character property in peaceful rural setting close to Lynmouth and the Brendon Valley. Offering easy access to wonderful moorland, riverside/coastal walks.
  • 2 Guests
  • 1 Bedroom
  • 1 Pet
  • 1 Bathroom
  • WiFi
  • Garden
  • Enclosed garden
  • On-street parking
  • Beach 3 miles
  • Pub 1.5 miles

Woolsery, North Devon Coast

SHIPHH

(No dates selected)

£406 - £586
per week
From £314 for a 3-night stay
  • 4 Star Gold
  • Single storey barn conversion furnished to a high standard , with additional facilities for walkers, cyclists and dogs. One of three barns ideal for couples/friends to get together.
  • 2 Guests
  • 1 Bedroom
  • 2 Pets
  • 1 Bathroom
  • WiFi
  • Garden
  • Private parking
  • Beach 2.5 miles
  • Pub 2.5 miles

Lynmouth, North Devon Countryside

SNUG

(No dates selected)

£311 - £601
per week
From £242 for a 3-night stay
  • 3 Star Gold
  • In the heart of Lynmouth village, contemporary lower ground floor apartment for two people.
  • 2 Guests
  • 1 Bedroom
  • No Pets
  • 1 Bathroom
  • WiFi
  • Parking permit provided
  • Beach 0.2 miles
  • Pub 0.1 miles
New Property

Lynton, Exmoor

MIDDFL

(No dates selected)

£266 - £596
per week
From £209 for a 3-night stay
  • 3 Star
  • Spacious first floor flat in the heart of Lynton and a good base for visiting and enjoying Exmoor's many attractions, dramatic coastline and relaxing countryside.
  • 2 Guests
  • 1 Bedroom
  • 1 Pet
  • 1 Bathroom
  • WiFi
  • Open fire or woodburner
  • Beach 1 mile
  • Pub 0.1 miles

Shaldon, Devon (South & East)

CCSHA2

(No dates selected)

£425 - £611
per week
From £328 for a 3-night stay
  • 4 Star Gold
  • A simply stunning coastal retreat, this boutique bolthole for two is tucked away in the charming village of Shaldon.
  • 2 Guests
  • 1 Bedroom
  • No Pets
  • 1 Bathroom
  • WiFi
  • Enclosed garden
  • Open fire or woodburner
  • Beach 0.1 miles

Lynmouth, North Devon Coast

RIVERV

(No dates selected)

£346 - £606
per week
From £269 for a 3-night stay
  • 3 Star
  • A delightful apartment with beautiful views of the river, harbour and out to sea. Surrounded by beautiful countryside yet within walking distance of all amenities.
  • 2 Guests
  • 1 Bedroom
  • 1 Pet
  • 1 Bathroom
  • WiFi
  • Parking permit provided
  • Beach 0.1 miles
  • Pub 0.1 miles

Saunton Sands, North Devon Coast

KNELL4

(No dates selected)

£516 - £911
per week
From £396 for a 3-night stay
  • 3 Star Gold
  • Ground apartment just a couple of minutes walk to the sandy, surfing beach of Saunton and a short drive to the nearby villages of Croyde and Braunton.
  • 2 Guests
  • 1 Bedroom
  • 1 Pet
  • 1 Bathroom
  • WiFi
  • Garden
  • Private parking
  • Beach 0.1 miles
  • Pub 2 miles
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