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Simple pleasures

When we think back on our childhood holidays, it’s the simple pleasures we tend to remember most – the friends we made on the beach, the dens we built in the woods and the trees we climbed. The best part of adventuring with your kids is that once you get into it, you easily end up feeling like you’re 8 again too. Once that child-like imagination kicks in, you can be onto a winner with just the simplest of pleasures.

Simple family fun…


Seaside treasures

Wildlife including crabs, shrimps, anemones, limpets, snails and starfish can all commonly be seen in rockpools around the North Devon coastline.

Lee Bay, between Ilfracombe and Woolacombe is a sheltered cove with excellent rockpooling. And nearby Combe Martin has some really deep pools, affording you great views of sponges, volcano barnacles, coral weed and strawberry anemones.


Coastal trails

You needn’t have ridden so much as a pony before to get involved at Woolacombe Riding Stables, where beginners and all youngsters of seven or over are more than welcome.

Meanwhile, the slightly more experienced riders can put their skills to practice with some lovely coastal trails, without a car in sight.

Waterfall Hike

Secret places

Hiking for the sake of hiking can become tiresome for kids. But if you have something to find then it turns it into a quest that is much more exciting than just taking in the nice views.

Spekes Mill Mouth is home to one the most famous waterfalls in North Devon. It is easy to reach – just 20 minutes from Hartland Quay on the South West Coast Path.


in North Devon

Woolacombe Beach is on our doorstep, offering miles of uninterrupted sand and clean waves – excellent for bodyboarding. We’ve also got wide open spaces galore, so be sure to pack bats, balls and bikes! There’s also the Adventure Playground which has been home to many an imaginative takeover.

Perfect for when the younger ones get restless, we’ve put together a collection of the best places to visit…


For animal lovers

For families with youngsters who are animal crackers, Borough Farm makes for a lively detour right on our doorstep in Woolacombe.

The standout feature of this outdoor attraction are the displays of falconry and working sheepdogs, where visitors of all ages can enjoy a fine display of old world skill. Evening shows also make it possible to stop in later in the day during the summer.


Retro fun

Packing a serious amount of play into a single family attraction, Watermouth Castle has a lot to entertain children and adults of most persuasions.

Grown-ups will probably enjoy the 2p retro slot machines as much as the kids, while the family can also solve the labyrinth, enjoy the adventure playground and discover a whole raft of other fun (and sometimes slightly random!) things to do.


Fun all round!

There can’t be many kids who don’t enjoy big play areas, rides, entertainment and animals to make friends with. The Big Sheep has a huge amount of suitable holiday activities for kids, along with entertainment and plenty to enjoy for all ages.

Especially popular are the family activities and children’s sessions such as the Toddler Take Over, loved by energetic tots and overworked parents alike.


Best family beaches

North Devon beaches are beautiful. Blessed with magnificent stretches of golden sand, secret beaches and secluded coves, this designated area of outstanding natural beauty is a fabulous place to enjoy some sandy adventures. From caves, grottos and body boarding, to kite-flying and tide-filled rockpools, this is our pick of the best family-friendly beaches.

All of the following have toilets, cafe or restaurant, and easy parking…


Family favourite

A great mix of everything – the dunes backing the beach are a haven for happy kids, there’s fabulous rockpooling and kids love splashing in the stream which splits the beach in half.

The Southern end of the beach is less busy – park at Down End Pay & Display. It takes only a couple of minutes to reach the beach from the path.

There are RNLI lifeguards here until October half-term, as well as a National Trust tea room, toilets, showers and playground.


Surf’s up!

Putsborough and Woolacombe Sands merge into a 3 mile sweep of beautiful beach between Morte Point and Baggy Point. With less swell than Croyde, this beach is an intermediate surfer beach.

Putsborough Sands is an easy walk from the hotel – not suitable for prams – but easy enough for young children to do & varied enough to keep them amused. Alternatively there is a car park. Toilets and a cafe are available but there are no RNLI life guards.


All-day fun

With 3.5 miles of soft sand, Saunton Sands is one of the best beaches in North Devon for families. The surf is mellow, making it the perfect spot to get kids in surfing, boogie boarding or skim boarding. It’s also possible to hire beach huts for the day (although demand is high).

This beach is not RNLI patrolled so whilst it is regarded as a relatively safe beach, do keep an eye on children. There is a voluntary patrol by Saunton Sands Surf Life Saving during the Summer months. There’s a pay & display car park, toilets, showers and a choice of dining options.

Explore more travel inspiration…

CHILDREN’S DININGBig tastes, for smaller appetites…

We’ve a whole menu of tasty options… dine in Bay Brasserie for laid back, spacious dining is available in our light-filled courtyard. For the ultimate flexibility, or for when you just fancy a night in after a busy day on the beach, there’s room service.

Family dining


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