A 14th Century harbour lies at the bottom of Clovelly Village, down a steep, traffic free and cobbled street where the locals now use sledges instead of donkeys to get their shopping to their doors. Prepare for a long walk back up the hill, or take a ride in the Land Rover that goes from the Harbour up through the back road to the Visitors Centre. The village was once owned by William the Conqueror and has only been owned by a handful of families since - discover more at the Visitors Centre...
There are a whole host of dog friendly walks available locally, sandy beaches to run and play on, plus many pubs and venues that allow your canine friends to join you. Check out the Ruff Guide to North Devon below for some dog friendly ideas.... The Pier House at Westward Ho is a lovely venue that allows dogs and you can sit on the glass enclosed deck, with a drink or a meal, looking out over the sea with views to Lundy Island, or over the Pebble Ridge and beach, which are perfect for a long stroll with your friend.
There are two lakes to explore at Tamar Lakes, joined by a trail where you can spot Kingfishers and Heron. Alternatively, spend an hour or two getting to grips with paddleboarding or one of the many watersports on offer. Take a gentle stroll around the lakes with a picnic along for the midway point, or save yourself for The Frog Hopper lakeside cafe.
Affinity Outlet on the outskirts of Bideford boasts a variety of shops to browse through, a food court and a play area for children, plus some crazy golf and outdoor fun. There are various retailers in the immediate vincinity of Affinity outlet such as Lidl, Aldi, McDonalds, Dominos and Starbucks. High street shopping is available in Bideford and Barnstaple with the usual high street shops and large supermarkets. Look out for the Pannier Markets in both Bideford and Barnstaple too - traditional farmers markets held under one roof which now share space with artisan boutiques where you'll find unique items you won't find on the high street.
North Devon Beaches
There are beaches aplenty in North Devon, from the small and quiet pebble and sand beach at Bucks Mills, just a few miles up the road from The Captain's Quarters, Woolsery to the long expanse of sand at Saunton Sands, which is pictured opposite. It is always recommended that you check tide times and swim only from a lifeguarded beach and stay between the flags for the safest experience. There is a sea pool at Bude, a pebbleridge at Westward Ho and many small coves and beaches along the North Devon Coast. Your canine companions are welcome at all but a few beaches in the local area too.
From burgers to a full Sunday roast, and just about everything in between, you'll find it all in the North Devon area. In Woolsery Village itself, you can stroll to The Farmers Arms or visit the local fish and chip shop. Bideford and Barnstaple have many resturants, take-aways and cafes. Check out the link below for some ideas or ask for a specfic recommendation if you have something special in mind...
South West Coast Path
The South West Coast Path is more than 630 miles long with routes running from Somerset to Cornwall - we don't recommend you attempt it all in one day!!! There are mapped out routes for the adventurous and novices alike, with trails over field and cliff top paths showcasing the beauty of the North Devon coast locally. Sensible footwear is a must especially if the weather has been wet in the days before your walk as the trails can be very muddy and slippery. You can plan your route on the link below and our closest access is at Clovelly, 3.5 miles away (on route 319 bus):-
Woolfardisworthy West to give it its full name, or Woolsery might be just the spot for a quiet day on your stay here in North Devon. You could head off on the local roads or over the fields on public footpaths to admire the scenery. Merry Harriers Garden Centre is just over two miles from The Captains Quarters so an ideal coffee or lunch stop before walking back again. If that is too much effort, or you have energy to spare, wander to the village pub, The Farmers Arms before a visit to the churchyard to explore the history of the village through the people laid to rest. All Hallows has history dating back to the Norman period and is often open for visitors. Outside the church you'll find a couple of benches, perfect to sit and watch the world go by, especially on a sunny day.
RHS Rosemoor lies in a valley just outside of Torrington and combines formal and informal gardens, a gift shop, cafe and a garden centre. The gardens host events all year round which show off the best of the garden in all seasons, so it doesn't matter when you visit, there will be something to see. Whilst in the area, you could combine your visit with a trip to Dartington Crystal. Dartington Crystal is the last, large scale UK glass maker - take a factory tour and see the handmade crystal being made before a visit to the factory shop.
The Tarka Trail is made up of a combination of traffic free footpaths, bridlepaths and old railway track suitable for walking or cycling. There are various routes around the Trail and cycle hire venues at several locations including in Bideford and Barnstaple. We can recommend the route from Bideford to Barnstaple, especially with a stop off at Fremington Quay for coffee and views out over the Estuary. James May used the Tarka Trail in seaons 1 and 2 of his series Toy Stories, running a toy train from Barnstaple to Bideford.
Learn to Surf
If you fancy learning to surf whilst here in North Devon then Westward Ho beach is the perfect spot. There are plenty of surf schools, the water is shallow and safe yet still gets good waves and there is space enough for everyone. Wetsuits and all equipment can be hired from your chosen surf school, or if you want to purchase items there are plenty of opportunites to do so in the busy centre of Westward Ho. There are lots of beaches with surfing schools in North Devon where you can learn, practice and hone your surfing skills.
Exmoor and Dartmoor
Exmoor and Dartmoor are both accessible from Woolsery and offer many ways to enjoy these National Parks. Some like to walk across the moorland and find a quiet spot all to themselves. Or maybe a cycle through little villages is more your thing? Whether on foot or in a car you can enjoy the stunning scenery - but remember to take care and keep an eye out for the free roaming sheep on Exmoor and ponies on Dartmoor!