Route Highlight

The Taw & Torridge

At the mouth of the Torridge, Appledore’s charming maze of pastel-painted fishermen’s cottages offers views (and water taxis) across the Torridge to grander captain’s houses at Instow on the east shore.

Along the estuary Bideford, once England’s third biggest port, now has streets of quirky independent shops leading up from the waterfront where you can take regular sailings to Lundy. It’s also a popular starting point for the Tarka Trail, the longest continuous off-road cycle path in the UK.

The A361 Taw Bridge bypasses Barnstaple, North Devon’s biggest town. But if you stop for the shops and hospitality, take a peek at the main attraction: a huge Victorian market with historic rows of butchers’ stalls.

During your trip

Other Route Highlights

Westward Ho!

The first beach since Bude is a two-mile sandy stretch. It leads from the family-friendly candyfloss and go-karts at Westward Ho! town to the wild and windy headland at Greysands facing Saunton Sands on the far side of the estuary. 

The Surf Shore

The enormous beaches at Saunton, Woolacombe and Putsborough offer miles of sand stretching into a hazy distance between grassy headlands. They’re huge flat spaces for any number of watersporters, swimmers, families and sunbathers. The surf can be exciting but it can be a long walk to reach it at low tide.

Ilfracombe

North Devon’s biggest resort is a mix of peeling Victoriana, kiss-me-quick seaside tartiness and contemporary chic, set amid steep cliffs, rocky inlets and sandy coves. Highlights include Damien Hirst’s controversial harbourside statue, the hidden Tunnel Beach and St Nicholas’s Chapel on Lantern Hill – Britain’s oldest lighthouse.

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