activities

Lots to see and do

Beaches and Water Sports

Beaches

North Devon's beaches are perfect for a variety of water sports and can cater for all ages and abilities. Croyde, Saunton and Woolacombe are some of the best beaches for surfers, as well as those looking to enjoy a spot of sea kayaking and wind surfing. Backed by pretty villages, they are ideal for a fun filled day out.

A little closer to Pine Lodge, Instow is a relaxing all round family friendly beach with a pleasant mix of sand and shingle. Spend your day watching the colourful sailing boats drift around the estuary before enjoying a meal at one of the wonderful village restaurants.

For a larger sandy beach, Westward Ho! is a just a few more minutes along the coast from Instow. This spacious beach is backed by the Northam Burrows and a pebble ridge. Westward Ho! is perfect for surfing, wind surfing and kite surfing, as well as building sand castles, sunbathing and swimming.

Walking

Walking

North Devon is a wonderful place to don a pair of walking boots and head off for a day on one of the many footpaths that showcase some of the best of the area's wildlife and views.

One of the best ways to capture the scenery is from the South West Coast Path, which can be accessed at Fremington Quay. This well-loved footpath skirts its way around the coastline, passing by villages such as Lee Bay, Mortehoe and Hartland.

Walking

Exmoor is another great place to see the varied landscape of North Devon. The National Park is only a 30-40 minute drive from Pine Lodge and is a great place to enjoy a day trip. Cross the border into Somerset and see the old packhorse bridge at Tarr Steps, or climb to the highest point on Exmoor at Dunkery Beacon. Alternatively, spend the day at the Valley of the Rocks, where Exmoor meets the sea.

For those just looking for a light after dinner stroll there is a footpath that crosses open fields just behind Pine Lodge.

Cycling

Cycling

The Tarka Trail winds its way through Devon, from Braunton all the way to Dartmoor, covering more than 180 miles. Fondly named after Henry Williamson's Tarka the Otter, the trail is perfect for cyclists and walkers.

For 30 miles the trail uses the old railway line that journeyed from Braunton to Meeth. This stretch of the Tarka Trail is well-maintained and mainly level, so great for families with young children. It also has some of the best views of the estuary at Barnstaple and the North Devon coastline.

In Fremington, the trail passes the old railway station that is now a café, as well as a heritage centre. This is one of the ideal places for guests staying at Pine Lodge to begin or end their trip along the Tarka Trail. Bikes can also be hired at Fremington Quay.

Golf

Golf

Within a 30 minute radius of Pine Lodge there are several excellent golf courses. The Royal North Devon in Westward Ho! is the oldest links course in England to still use its original fairways. There are no trees or hedges on the course - only stunning views of the coastline.

If you are looking for a championship course then head to Saunton, where Sergio Garcia won the British Boys Championship in 1997. Located in an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and a UNESCO designated site of importance, Saunton is guaranteed to provide views and a challenging course.

Only a short drive from Pine Lodge is Portmore Golf Park, which lies on the outskirts of Barnstaple. This pretty 27 hole course is suitable for all levels of ability, and also includes a 23 bay floodlit golf range.

Towns and Villages

Barnstaple

Pine Lodge is only a few minutes' drive from Barnstaple, North Devon's largest town. The pretty market town has a large range of shops, pubs and restaurants, as well as several supermarkets and banks. At the heart of Barnstaple is its historic Pannier Market, which runs alongside Butchers Row, a street where independent traders still enjoy good business.

Just outside the centre of Barnstaple there is a very good leisure centre with swimming pool, badminton and squash courts. There is also an excellent tennis centre that is used as part of the professional tour. Other attractions in Barnstaple include its theatre, a multi-screen cinema and a ten-pin bowling arcade.

Buses to Barnstaple run every 10 minutes from the stop located on the edge of Bickington, just a five minute walk from Pine Lodge. Once in Barnstaple there are further buses on offer to many other towns and villages across North Devon, as well as a train journeying to Exeter.

Ilfracombe

Another lovely town worth visiting is Ilfracombe with its beautiful harbour and array of seafood restaurants. The town is also a good place to set sail on a trip around the coastline, or to Lundy Island.

Other pretty villages dotted along the North Devon coastline include Clovelly, a traffic free village with harbour, Appledore, a beautiful seaside haven for artists, and Lynton and Lynmouth, two lovely villages situated on the edge of Exmoor and perfect for walkers or families.

Gardens

Broomhill

There are some beautiful gardens in and around North Devon that are well worth visiting to see an array of colourful flowers, sculpture gardens and intricate designs, many of which are set in the grounds of stunning estate houses.

RHS Rosemoor is only a 12 mile drive from Pine Lodge and is a firm favourite with many visitors. With more than 65 acres to explore, the garden is packed full of attractions, including formal gardens, a fruit and vegetable garden, seasonal displays, woodland walks and a very good restaurant.

Less than a 15 minute journey from Pine Lodge is Tapley Park, a magical house with gardens. From its formal terraces to its beautiful lake it is a great place to spend a summer's day. Whilst at Tapley, walk around the estate and capture some of the wonderful views of the local coastline.

Other nearby gardens include Castle Hill on the outskirts of South Molton where Lady Arran has created a wonderful array of 18th century gardens, Broomhill Sculpture Gardens near Barnstaple where art and flowers combine in a gorgeous wooded valley, and Hartland Abbey, a stunning garden surrounding a former monastery and featuring a lovely wildflower walk to Blackpool Mill beach.

Family Friendly Attractions

Big Sheep

If you're looking for a day away from the beaches and Exmoor, why not visit one of North Devon's family friendly attractions.

Winner of Devon's large attraction award, The Big Sheep on the outskirts of Westward Ho! provides fun and enjoyment for everyone. Laugh as the woolly jockeys race the sheep in a tribute to the Grand National, take a farm safari on a tractor or bounce on one of the country's largest outdoor jumping pillows.

The Milky Way near Clovelly is also a great place for all ages no matter what the weather. The park, which has been voted as North Devon's top day out with the kids for the past three years, has five large rides, an indoor play area and live shows.

On the edge of Exmoor is the region's favourite zoo. The friendly Exmoor Zoo has a relaxed atmosphere that allows you to see a variety of different animals, from creepy crawlies to cute baby wallabies. There are also plenty of chances to get up close to the animals at one of the many daily activities.

Some of the other nearby attractions include Dartington Crystal, where you can craft your own souvenir, and Arlington Court where there is a large collection of horse-drawn carriages, as well as a stunning Regency house with gardens to explore.

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