A traditional harbour town, Ilfracombe in Devon is home to impressive cliffs, oceanic views, and colourful portside boats.
It’s no wonder that so many of us flock to the sunny shores of Ilfracombe every year; countryside walks, long strolls by the beach and relaxing as the sun sets over the horizon all help to make this town popular among tourists and locals.
We have created this essential travel guide to highlight some of the very best things to do in Ilfracombe.
Outdoor activities in Ilfracombe make up a large part of its natural appeal. As a seaside town, beachfront walks are essential – but there’s plenty more than the coastline to experience:
Active Escape Adventure
Are you a thrill-seeker? An adrenaline junkie? Do you have a passion for action, thriving in high-intensity environments? If so, Active Escape Adventure is for you.
With exclusive access to private Ilfracombe coastline, you can take on the waves in a unique coasteering adventure. Explore caves, coves and beaches in this action-packed watersports adventure, whilst learning more about Ilfracombe along the way.
The Tunnels Beaches
The Tunnels Beaches are private coastal areas that offer breathtaking ocean views over the Ilfracombe landscape. Accessible by four hand-carved tunnels (dating back to 1820), explorers will be rewarded with sheltered Victorian bathing areas, an exclusive tidal pool and a unique hidden café.
Statue of Verity
Though it was only constructed in 2012, the Statue of Verity is already an icon; a statement to art, justice and independence, at the forefront of the Ilfracombe shores.
Standing at an impressive 66-foot-tall, the stainless steel and bronze figure guards the entrance to the Ilfracombe harbour, looking out carefully over the Bristol Channel. Created by renowned artist Damien Hirst, it’s a must-see piece of art for anyone visiting the area.
Maybe it’s raining outside, or perhaps you just just fancy a calming indoor activity instead! Here are some of the best things you can do indoors:
Hele Corn Mill and Tea Room
The Hele Corn Mill is situated just 300 yards from Hele Bay Beach. Complete with a functioning mill, guided tours, a cosy tea room, and a bunny barn, it’s a perfect place to relax and unwind with the family.
Home to an enviable collection of natural curiosities from around the world, Ilfracombe Museum is a cultural hotspot.
Chambercombe Manor is supposedly one of the oldest houses in Britain that is still standing today. With a rich history, and shrouded in legend, Chambercombe Manot has managed to retain many of its original architectural features. But be warned, it is widely believed that the manor is haunted – so come prepared to face the ghost of Lady Jane Grey.
Fun for the Whole Family
Combe Martin Wildlife and Dinosaur Park
The Combe Martin Wildlife and Dinosaur Park is a fun and educational resort that the whole family can enjoy. Guests can meet the many fantastic animals, from lions to animatronic dinosaurs.
Watermouth Family Theme Park and Castle
A theme park within a castle might be a dream come true for the more adventurous of us, and you will find just that at Watermouth Family Theme Park and Castle.
Watermouth is a stunning Victorian castle, decorated with nostalgic treasures, strange curios and eccentric displays. Featuring pristine gardens, scary dungeons, and even an intricate maze.
Ilfracombe Art and Craft Society
The Art and Craft Society showcases of local Ilfracombe talent, where upcoming and established artists alike can display their hard work and passions. Nothing is off-limits, so you can expect to find incredible paintings, drawings, felt work, photography, leather-work, jewellery and more.
Something a bit different
Ilfracombe Sea Safari
Ilfracombe Sea Safari allows you the rare opportunity to spot wild dolphins as they glide elegantly through the waves.
There are plenty of packages on offer, catering to thrill-seekers, animal fanatics, history buffs and those who appreciate the natural beauty of the setting sun over the water.
There are even opportunities to explore the smugglers’ caves or swim with the seals.
Mullacott Equestrian Centre
Mullacott Equestrian Centre is perfect for adults as well as children. Offering the chance to ride along guided courses with trained instructors or to gallop freely along the coastline, there is something everyone, from beginners to advanced riders.
Chapel of St Nicholas
St Nicholas is said to be the patron saint of both children and sailors, so it’s fitting that the Chapel of St Nicholas, sat atop an island hill, is one of the oldest lighthouses in Britain. With the open ocean on either side, it continues to serve as a protective beacon, guiding sailors to safety as they embark on their nautical journeys.
Also in Devon
Red House Mysteries
Red House Mysteries, King Street Business Centre, King Street, Exeter, Devon, EX1 1BH