Taking stock in North Devon

Traditionally viewed as one of the best places to enjoy surfing in England. The dramatic North Devon coastline has a lot to offer visitors to this part of the world.

After last week’s review of Mellion in Cornwall, it seemed a good time to visit Devon and offering something so different but within easy reach was the North Devon coastline. Staying in the market towns of Bideford and Barnstaple, I explored the coastline for a number of days and found a delightful amount of things to tell all you readers.

Firstly, as I’ve said earlier, anyone interested in surfing and heading to England will be sure to want to get to grips with this part of the world. The beaches at Saunton and Croyde can offer opportunities to enjoy some of the finest conditions around on a good day, while Westward Ho!, & Puttsborough can also have great waves in the right conditions.

However, it’s not just surfing that makes the coast in this part of the world special. Head over towards Lynton and Lynmouth, a delightful collection of two villages, one at the top of the hill and one at the bottom to find what can quite literally be described as the most beautiful views. Head to the ‘Valley of the Rocks’ in Lynton to quite literally have your breath taken from you. Amazing.

The English Riviera

After considering the northern part of Devon in my last post, this week we’ve decided to consider the contrasts that exist at the other end of the county. While both have amazing coastlines, they’re different in so many ways – here we explore the beauty of the South.

The hotels that line the sea front here are quite amazing. Something you’d probably be more likely to see in a Spanish resort or in a French town on the edge of the Mediterranean. Torquay though is perhaps most famous for its links to the famous crime writer Agatha Christie – I’ve read quite a few of her books over the years, and it was wonderful to go and visit some of the places that so obviously inspired her work.

If you go over to the nearby town of Paignton, the Zoo here is easily one of the best that I’ve been to anywhere in the world. A truly brilliant visitor attraction, we saw amazing gorillas, lions and zebras, as well as some very old looking tortoises!

One of the best things about this coast though were the beaches. Unlike the north coast you won’t get to surf here, but if you’re looking for somewhere to build a sandcastle or take the family I couldn’t recommend anywhere better. The tides are much calmer so swimming is perfect – though at times I can imagine it might be a little cold!