Lynmouth 01598 753349

Coast & Country Logo

Top Free things to do in North Devon

From walking the dramatic cliffs of Lynmouth, wild swimming in secret coves to hiking the vast expanse of Exmoor, here are the top best things to do in North Devon on a budget.

Lynton & Lynmouth are enchantingly connected by the infamous Cliff Railway, built in 1888 the 862ft funicular railway is the highest and steepest fully water-powered Victorian railway in the World with breathtaking views across the dramatic cliff-scape.

Okay, this one might not be completely free but we think it’s definitely worth the small fee and it also helps support the running of the railway!

£3.50 adult – £2.20 child.

Nestled less than a mile outside the village of Lynton, the Valley of the Rocks is a dramatic place to visit in North Devon; with it’s magnificent rock formations and mountainous terrain only goats could master – oh did we mention there are wild goats?

Catch them roaming the challenging cliff-paths with their kids in springtime, it’s no wonder why it’s such a popular spot with photographers – take a wander around late afternoon for a pretty sweet sunset over the valley and cliffs.

There’s a mind-boggling amount of beaches to choose from in Devon, but the most charming are the wondrous bays flittering the North Coast. If you enjoy quieter more intimate coves and you don’t mind the walk back up; Croyde bay, Woody bay and Lee bay are amongst some of the prettiest and most dramatic.

If sandcastle building and body-boarding is more on your agenda then you’ll find loads of the gold stuff at Saunton Sands and Woolacombe bay!

From Victorian railways and cast-iron street lights, to picture-postcard postboxes, quaint shop fronts and tranquil Harbourside; Lynmouth is nestled alongside the mouth of the River Lyn and can often be referred to as a Little Switzerland, a town so steeped in quaint history that it itself should be a museum!

Whilst Lynmouth is harbouring itself into the foothills, you’ll find Lynton perched proud high above the Lyn valley with views and experiences to remember forever.

Designated a National park, way back in 1954, if you love the Great Outdoors and getting your hiking on; this is the perfect stop off with huge views and dramatic landscapes steeped in history it is one of England’s last tranquil areas.

Roam across the moorland trails that criss-cross the expanse of Exmoor, head to the Breacon beacons or dart across to the coastline of Porlock Weir, you can’t miss out on visiting Tarr Steps – cross the 3,000 year old bridge and step back in time to when the Mesolithic civilisations roamed the hillside.

Whilst out and about why not try and identify Exmoor’s local wildlife with Devon Wildlife Trust’s species finder, and see how many you can see on your journey, you might even catch a glimpse of a herd of wild Exmoor ponies or red deer!

Probably one of Lynmouth’s most famous walks and made even more popular by TV’s Julia Bradbury. The walk from Lynmouth is a delightful 2.5 mile walk alongside the East Lyn River to Watersmeet, where an old fishing lodge now offering a National Trust shop and tea gardens sits along the exuberant East Lyn River and is an absolute walker’s delight.

This luscious valley is home to meandering riverways, woodland canopies, age-old bridges and dotted along the river you can even take a dip in the brisk natural bathing pools traversing where the two waters meet, so don’t forget to pack the cossies amongst the sarnies!

This town has it all, the harbour where you can chill out with your deck chairs and watch the kids play in the water at low tide, bucket, spade and fish-nets galore. Climb up Lantern hill a popular viewpoint and peak inside the old Chapel of St Nicholas dating back to 1321 – you can’t miss the iconic Damien Hirst statue ‘Verity’ that towers over Ilfracombe harbour, you could even splash out on a stick of rock – you are by the seaside after all!

Discover Tunnels beach, a curious phenomenon, hand-carved by the local community back in the 1820s, the tunnels led down to sandy beaches and a popular Victorian bathing spot; now turned into a low-cost attraction for visitors:

£2.50 per adult – £1.95 per child.

North Devon has some dreamy Wild swimming locations, from natural sea pools of Woody bay, to secluded cliffside coves at Broadsands to Watersmeet bathing pools. Be sure to take some warm clothing, look up the tides before you go, keep an eye on the flow of the river and always be prepared, most important of all – know who you can trust to be in charge of not forgetting the hot chocolate flask!

Seek out the waterfalls and hidden natural sea pools of Woody bay, these locations might be lacking in facilities and ice-cream shops, but that’s why they remain some of Devon’s best kept secrets.

From just £5 for the day you can save your fuel and discover the beauty of Exmoor from a completely new perspective – a Heritage open top bus ride along the Coastal road, to Porlock. Not only is it a more sustainable way to get about it’s also quite probably the most scenic bus ride in the country?

The 300 Exmoor Coaster service between Minehead and Lynmouth runs from the end of May to September every day apart from Mondays, see full routes here…

Tucked away amidst sand dunes and rolling hills and very close to the popular resort of Newquay, Crantock beach is open to dogs all year round. This beach has wide stretches of golden sand and is surrounded by beautiful dunes and green hills, as well as being tidal; why not bring your water crafts and float down the river at high tide with your pooch.

Tucked away amidst sand dunes and rolling hills and very close to the popular resort of Newquay, Crantock beach is open to dogs all year round. This beach has wide stretches of golden sand and is surrounded by beautiful dunes and green hills, as well as being tidal; why not bring your water crafts and float down the river at high tide with your pooch.

Parking facilities at Crantock Beach include a large car park located just a short walk from the beach, ensuring convenient access for visitors and their four-legged companions.

Restrictions: Dogs allowed all year. 

Parking: facilities at Crantock Beach include a large car park located just a short walk from the beach, ensuring convenient access for visitors and their four-legged companions.

The Retreat is quite honestly nature’s paradise, the wildlife and backdrop surrounding the park is pretty surreal. Camping around Lynton & Lynmouth is a fantastic way to spend a holiday in North Devon; not only is it a sustainable way to holiday it also gets you out and about in the great outdoors of Exmoor, check out all things to do in North Devon here..

Book something with a touch more comfort, check out their heated Bell Tents,  Glamping Pods or Hot tub stays perfect for those wanting a budget break without having to negotiate tent poles!

If you liked this post, give it a share!

Facebook
WhatsApp
Twitter
Pinterest

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *