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.
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.
A hat during the summer months.
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.