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UK Vacations: Why North Devon Should Be #1 On Your List

This article is all about exploring the beautiful, enchanting North Devon coast.

Credit: Grace Handworker-French

North Devon and its stunning coastline has incredible things to offer. Discover why in this article!

Croyde Bay, North Devon. Credit: Grace Handworker-French

North Devon is home to the UK’s ultimate coastline. Whether you’re a surfer, swimmer or sunbather, it is the perfect way to spend your summer holidays. It’s home to some of the UK’s best beaches, including Woolacombe, Saunton and Croyde Bay – long stretches of beautiful, golden sands that extend for miles!

1. Croyde Bay And Its Surf

Surfers at Croyde Bay, North Devon. Credit: Shutterstock/Tomholderimagery

Croyde Bay is one of the most popular beaches to visit in the UK. It’s home to the most consistent surf out of the North Devon beaches, with waves reaching up to 10 feet tall. Only a 10-minute walk away from the beach is Croyde’s quaint village, which has a delicious selection of cozy pubs and restaurants, along with surf shops and ice cream parlors. Croyde’s coastline is also home to the National Trust location, Baggy Point. This coastal path is perfect if you enjoy beautiful coastal scenery and stunning viewpoints.

2. Woolacombe Beach

Woolacombe Beach, North Devon. Credit: Shutterstock/Barisa

If you’re a beachy person, North Devon is the place for you. If you have already spent a day at Croyde, why don’t you move on to the next beach along, Woolacombe? TripAdvisor ranks it the 4th best beach in England, which is all the more reason for you to schedule it into your UK holiday.

3. Hockings Ice Cream

Credit: Shutterstock/JessicaGirvan

Since 1936, Hockings has been North Devon’s iconic ice cream company. It’s a must-try during your holiday. You can find these famous vans in Bideford, Barnstaple, Ilfracombe and Instow. Westward Ho Beach has two vans, one traditional and one with a range of different ice cream flavors available to try. They are truly delicious, take my word for it.

4. Westward Ho


If the Hockings van wasn’t enough to sell Westward Ho to you, it’s also a beautiful beach town. It has a variety of different beach shops along the seafront, as well as delicious restaurants to choose from. There are plenty of good places to stay around here too, for example, Westbeach Resort – located just a 5-minute walk away from the beach.

5. Lundy Island

Credit: Shutterstock/Diana Mower

An additional trip you can take whilst in Devon is to Lundy Island. Ms Oldenburg sails from both Ilfracombe and Bideford Harbour, and you can get to the island in two hours. Tickets can be bought from the Lundy Shore Office. It is a big day out, but it’s definitely worth it in order to see the stunning viewpoints and nature around the island. British Heritage claims there is a plethora of wildlife to explore, from puffins to seals to goats.

6. Squires Fish and Chips

Credit: Shutterstock/Kollar Peter

Located in Braunton, Squires Fish and Chips is a mandatory dinner spot whilst you’re in the area. Even if you’re not a fish eater, there are plenty of other meat or vegetarian/vegan options. It is an award-winning fish and chips restaurant and will be guaranteed to enhance your trip.

7. Tarka Trail


180 miles long, the Tarka Trail is a beautiful walking and cycle track across North Devon and Exmoor. You can rent bikes from Barnstaple train station and explore different sections of the Devon countryside, or even walk it. According to Devongeography, these sections are split into Braunton to Barnstaple along the Taw-Torridge Estuary, Bideford to Torrington and Torrington to Meeth. The Tarka Trail is a captivating stretch of nature available for you to see for yourself.

8. Transport


If transport is difficult for you or you don’t have a car, don’t stress. Barnstaple Bus Station has a range of different buses that can take you to all the places listed above (via the North Devon Wave) for a reasonable and cheap price.

North Devon is a scenic part of the UK with so much to offer in terms of beaches, walks, food and drink, and more. It’s a fantastic UK destination to visit, full of beaches, coastal paths and beautiful seaside towns! It should certainly make it to your bucket list!

Hi! I’m Grace, a third year English Literature Student at Cardiff University. Writing is one of my passions, and I’m very excited to share my work on Trill Mag.



  1. Kate French

    October 9, 2023 at 10:45 am

    Stunning and beautiful- wonderful recommendations – thank you Grace 😃

  2. Rhod James

    October 9, 2023 at 7:07 pm

    You have picked my favourite spots

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