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Ilfracombe

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West Country : Devon : Ilfracombe
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Ilfracombe is a small town on the North Devon coast in the west of England. It has a beautiful harbour and some wonderful examples of Victorian architecture. Recently Ilfracombe has become a culinary centre for the area with several excellent seafood restaurants, a buzzing cafe culture and Damien Hirsts' 10 The Quay restaurant. Mr Hirst recently announced his intention to build 500 eco homes on the outskirts of the town. Ilfracombe has a vibrant, up and coming feel to it and is perfectly placed for a great family holiday.

Tourist Information[edit]

  • Visit Devon [1]

Get in[edit]

By road[edit]

  • Ilfracombe sits on the A361 road which is connected to the M5 Motorway near Tiverton. Ilfracombe is typically 2 hours drive from Bristol.

By boat[edit]

  • Swansea-Ilfracombe Ferry (Severn Link)[2] A new ferry service to and from Swansea was scheduled to begin in June 2010 but is presently on hold.. [3]
  • During the summer months - usually Whitsun Bank Holiday to early September - the paddle steamers Waverly and Balmoral ply their trade from Penarth (near Cardiff) and Swansea across the Bristol Channel in Wales to Ilfracombe (and very occasionally Bideford and Lundy Island as well). This is good option if you wish to visit Ilfracombe on a day trip, but always check time tables and the all important weather report as cancellations due to stormy conditions are obviously possible.

Get around[edit]

There is somewhat sketchy public transport system in Ilfracombe - not the best in the world, but certainly not the worst (compared to other Devonian/Cornish resorts). The bus station is near the harbour, and to go eastwards to Combe Martin catch the No.30 or No.300, or to go westwards to Woolacombe and Mortehoe, catch the No.31 and No.303. Be aware that is (annoyingly!) a reduced service on a Sunday. Visit the tourist office for upto date information on the bus services. The Ilfracombe to Woolacombe service is a good way of getting to Woolacombe without having to pay the expensive car parking charges during the summer.

See[edit][add listing]

Ilfracombe in Devon
  • Devon [4] Information, photographs and views for the towns and villages of Devon

Do[edit][add listing]

  • Take a day-trip to Swansea or Penarth (near Cardiff) on a paddle steamer - summer only.
  • Take a trip to Lundy Island. See puffins and seals.
  • Visit Ilfracombe Aquarium
  • Take a walk up Hillsborough or Capstone for superb views.
  • Visit Ilfracombe Museum
  • Watch a film at the cinema
  • Enjoy the High Street with its' wide range of independent shops
  • Visit Chambercombe Manor
  • Walk the coast path to Lee and Woolacombe and beyond
  • Watch a show at the Landmark Theatre
  • The "Ilfracombe Princess" and a few other boats ply their trade in the warm summer months, usually cruises eastwarda upto the hog back cliffs of Exmoor, or westwards to the surf blasted beaches of Bideford Bay, sometimes even as far as Clovelly and Lundy Island.

Buy[edit][add listing]

A hat during the summer months.

Eat[edit][add listing]

  • Espresso - for great seafood and meat
  • Gazpacho - for authentic Spanish food and fabulous tapas
  • 10 The Quay - for good food surrounded by Damien Hirst artwork and sometimes a chance to spot the man himself
  • Grassroots - for great vege delights
  • The Deli - for coffee, brunch and lunch,
  • Maddys - fish n chips
  • Harbour deli - olives, paninis and coffee
  • Joe Deluccis - great ice cream

Drink[edit][add listing]

Sleep[edit][add listing]

Ilfracombe and the surrounding area make an excellent base for exploring North Devon - Ilfracombe is effectively where Exmoor ends and Bideford Bay begins, so by staying in the local area you can either head east to the moors or westwards to the surf beaches such as Woolacombe (see below). There is also plenty of camping/campervan options around Ilfracombe as well - a good one being the superb Watermouth Cove campsite just slightly east. Prices in and near Ilfracombe are much more reasonable than Croyde, and paritcuarly during the all important summer holidays the town has much better facilities and less congestion than the somewhat cramped and ridiculously overpriced Croyde.

Get out[edit]

  • The surf beaches of Bideford Bay are just a few minutes drive away, with Woolacombe being the closest. If you want to get to Croyde via ilfracombe during the summer holiday season, start you journey as soon as possible to avoid the chronic and maddening jams around Croyde! It is probably better off going to Woolacombe - massive beach, lifeguarded, plenty of parking.
  • Passenger ferries to Lundy Island
  • Exmoor National Park lies just 4 miles to the east by road of Ilfracombe
  • Dartmoor National Park is about 1 hours drive to the south.
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