All About My North Devon
I moved to a hamlet in North Devon when I was 14 from Leicester, it was a bit of a shock and I fled the shire at the age of 18 to study fashion in Brighton and London, only to return 5 years later!
Fast forward 20 years on and I still live in North Devon, but I don't think I can be called a local yet!
Even though I'm not classed as a local, I figured I know a fair bit about this amazing part of the country that I live in and thought I'd share it with you.
My Favourite North Devon Beach
My 'go to' beach is Northam Burrows. This is the estuary end of Westward Ho! you drive through the Royal North Golf Club (founded in 1864 this golf club is the oldest in the country) along with dodging golf balls (my car has only been hit once) you also need to make way for ponies and sheep!
Being part of Westward Ho! beach (which is 2 miles long) you still have to climb over the pebble ridge to get to the amazing long sandy beach. I've always loved this beach as you can turn left and find yourself in Costa Del North Devon (Westaward Ho!) perfect for ice creams, a pint and the two penny slot machines or turn right and walk to the mouth of the estuary. On a clear day you can see Lundy (inspiration for our Puffin designs) an island 3 miles out in the Atlantic and the last place between us and America!
The sea is as safe as the sea can be, with very few riptides and the beach is consistently awarded Blue Flag status so taking the kids in the sea for a swim or surf is fine. The RNLI also patrol the beach between May and September.
It's a dog friendly beach too! Out of season you can walk your dog along the whole two miles of Westward Ho! but between May and September dogs are only allowed on the Northam Burrows end of the beach.
Where I eat in North Devon
Nestled between the coast and the moor North Devon has plenty to offer on the amazing food front. Obviously, the pandemic has hit these guys hard and we haven't been able to treat ourselves but with the world opening up again I hope to visit again soon.
The Royal George, Appledore
I love this pub, with its shabby chic interior, amazing location teetering on the harbour wall in Appledore and the spot on food, it's no wonder they've won so many awards. The menu changes regularly and they source local fish and meat to create delicious hearty food and if you're hankering after some yummy food but can't get a table, they do Gourmet Food boxes too, including a weekend Fruit De Mer Hamper!
Curry on The Beach
Say whaaat! Yup curry on the beach, in a little cove called Barricane just around the corner from Woolacombe (another vast sandy beach in North Devon) in March a little hut gets craned onto the beach and amazing Sri Lankan Curries are served every evening (weather dependant) until September. Be warned this gem is popular so the queues get big and its cash only!
A village pub that serves the most amazing (and massive) locally sourced pub grub. I love this pub it's within walking distance (er a 30-minute stroll) and is a quintessential 15th century thatched inn that serves proper food and a pint! In the winter you can sit by a roaring fire and in the summer, you can sit outside and enjoy the view over the river Taw.
Things I do in North Devon.
My kids are now nearly 11 and 14 and are born and bred North Devonians so I've done alot over the years to keep them occupied! The 11-year-old still likes to hang out with his parents but the 14 year old is getting more picky, here are a few of the things we do as a family at the moment:
Surf and swim in the sea, the kids still love to go in the sea and as I said before Westward Ho! is safe so we try to make a trip at the weekend and as often as we can during the school holidays for a surf or swim. Don't forget to look at the tide times if you are visiting as there is no beach at high tide (the sea hits the pebble ridge about an hour or so before actual high tide). I check tide times using magic seaweed!
Dog walks (the kids now need to be bribed to come with us), there are loads of lovely places to walk or cycle around North Devon. The Tarka Trail is 180 miles of cycle paths and walking routes that cover the whole of the area you can cycle and walk-through countryside and coast all in one day! The South West Coast path is a must if you're looking for breathtaking views but it's not one if you're scared of heights!
We often wander through the grounds of Arlington Court too, a regency house owned by the National Trust with beautiful gardens & a massive estate with over 20 miles of walks.
This is just a snippet of my North Devon and being in lockdown for the past year our options have been limited, I'll be back to add more to the list including what we used to do when the kids were younger, more on the beaches, places to visit, where to eat and where to stay!
But for now, if you feel the need for a bit of the coast in your life but aren't on your hols yet, you can always add a bit of our coastal collection into your home!