Leisure Guide for North Devon

Taking a holiday in North Devon can open your eyes to a variety of contrasts just waiting to be explored. North Devon is proud to offer a great selection of activities when searching for what to do in Devon, offering visitors the very best of the coastline, green luscious countryside, quaint fishing harbours and even rustic ancient ruins. Devon self catering provides the perfect opportunity for families, groups of friends and couples to take a well deserved break and choose for themselves what to do on holiday.  

If your idea of finding things to do revolves around peace, quiet and tranquillity then there are plenty of leisurely attractions in North Devon to keep you entertained. Wander in the miles of unspoilt green countryside, visit ancient castles, browse the various art galleries, see the old fishing harbours, play a relaxing round of golf or why not take a boat trip to Lundy Island to watch the puffins, seals and wildlife play in their natural environment.

Many of North Devons leisurely attractions wont leave you feeling out of pocket, in fact there are several free activities to do during your family holiday. Hit the glorious beaches to discover rock-pools bursting with wildlife, inspiring gardens to ramble through, cycling the Tarka Trail, Running along the dramatic cliff tops or for the less energetic.....walking! 


Leisurely activities in Devon



North Devon Leisure Centre

 - Barnstaple

Lane swimming, aqua aerobics and fun sessions there is something to suit everyone with varied timetables.


Tarka Cycle Trail

Enjoy a family outing on the Tarka Trail Cycle Path which meanders through the North Devon countryside and by the coast. Enjoy 21 miles of traffic-free scenery on foot or in the saddle.

From off road routes away from busy traffic will appeal to families with young children, while there are longer on-road routes along quiet lanes which wind their way through peaceful countryside and historic villages.

marwood gardens.jpg

Marwood Hill gardens

20 acres of beautiful gardens and three lakes in a valley setting with Plant Centre and Garden Tea Room. Marwood Hill is open daily from 9.30 - 5.30 (closed Christmas Day). The Plant Centre and Garden Tea Room are open March - October

walking devon.jpg

Fabulous walks in North Devon

Walking here is one of our famous activities in North Devon as its peaceful and tranquil place.

(Below are just a few)

Baggy point - This short 3 mile exhilarating walk to Baggy Point is a steep climb but rewarded with amazing seascapes.

Lyn Gorge - About 5 miles. A classic walk offering spectacular river scenery and a glimpse of the sea.

Watermouth - About 7.5 miles. An invigorating, hilly walk, passing an 11th century manor house and a 19th century castle

Barnstaple country walk - About 6 miles. Farmland and an estuary walk on the Tarka Trail


Saunton Golf Club.jpgWillingcott Valley Golf Course.jpg

Portmore Golf Park.jpg



Golfing in North Devon

North Devon has many courses suitable for all abilities, including Saunton and the Royal North Devon voted two of the best courses in the U.K. Enjoy a golfing holiday in North Devon or just an odd game while away on holiday with your family. You will be hard pushed find such variety of golf courses elsewhere in the UK.

Saunton Golf Club - The two famous links courses at Saunton justify their claim to be among the finest in Britain having both been listed in Golf World & Golf Monthly magazine's top 100 courses in the UK.

Willingcott Valley Golf Course - Willingcott Valley is a dramatic golf course with fantastic panoramic views. The course has a series of ponds and lakes that run along the valley floor, providing natural hazards on 9 of the 18 holes. Several of the holes provide views across to Exmoor, some a view of Lundy Island, and the rest have views down the valley. Excellent club house with restaurant and bar.

Woolacombe & Mortehoe Golf Club - A testing 9 hole golf course with exceptional sea views to Lundy Island & Wales. Friendly Clubhouse and Cafe, Golf Shop with competitive prices.

Ilfracombe Golf Club - An interesting and testing mature course (founded 1892) offering unsurpassed views over the Bristol Channel and Lundy Island.

Portamore Golf Club - The two 9 hole courses offer a challenging 27 hole layout, well planned courses, with carefully placed water, bunker, and tree hazards provides a challenging and interesting round of golf.

Libberton Golf Club - Attractive parkland course spans 110 acres and offers 6481 yards, of gently sloped fairways, water hazards and trees.

Great Torrington Club - Established in 1895 on Torrington Common the course has changed very little. Although short the course is very tight and supplies some very interesting holes all of which afford stunning views over the countryside and the valley below.

Hartland Forest Golf Park - This is a magnificent golf course situated in the heart of North Devon's finest habitat, the course stretches through 6000 yards, with many water hazards, lakes and ponds.

Just to name a few!


Tarka Tennis Centre - Barnstaple

Tarka Tennis Centre runs an extensive tennis programme for all ages & standards. Players from the ages of 3-90 years young can find tennis to suit them. Tarka runs Coaching Programmes to suit all standards. These run throughout the week in the day & evening.

Picture 076.jpg

Horse riding - Croyde

- Roylands riding stables are a family run riding stables, established 20 years ago, open all year for hacking, tuition, livery and holidays. BHS approved and qualified friendly staff. Enjoy hacks around the surrounding area and soak up the breath taking views of the sea and coastline. Roylands are fortunate to be able to ride along Putsborough beach.



Fishing in North Devon

Appledore, Ilfracombe and Watermouth are great places for anyone wishing to relax and enjoy fishing.

Appledore is a great place to take the kids fishing or for beginners who are looking for other things to occupy them should the fishing become slow.Ilfracombe is a great place to fish as it offers a variety of different fishing conditions within a small area.Watermouth is great in the summer time for catching Bass, Mullet & Mackerel.



Clay Pigeon Shooting - Ilfracombe
  • Clay shooting for experienced groups and individuals
  • Tuition for novices
  • "Have a go" sessions
  • Tuition for the game shooter
  • Fun shoots for stag/hen parties

scott cinema.png

Scott Barnstaple Cinema


north devon theatre.gif

North Devon Theatre - Barnstaple

North Devon Theatres produces a stranded arts and entertainment programme featuring drama, classical music, opera, children's shows, popular music (including rock, jazz, folk and roots), contemporary dance, ballet, amateur shows, visual arts and community events. In addition they run a wide-ranging arts education and outreach programme for people of all ages.





Surfing Museum

Museum of British Surfing - Braunton


The Museum of British Surfing - built by you, the British surfer! Showcasing surfboards through the ages, Learn how surfing originally came to be.

flexible and innovative museum - each year you'll see a new themed exhibition at our venue which will then go on tour around the UK.  Alongside this we're planning smaller outreach displays and regular events at The Yard and other locations in North Devon, featuring music, film, art and culture.

There will a special focus on young people and those who might never have been to the coast - we hope to take the beach and our collection 'on the road'!  Look out for our special beach days, and surfing & skateboarding events.