Ilfracombe Town is 7.7 miles from Braunton along the North Devon countryside roads. Dramatic rugged cliffs and colourful houses in rows line the steep streets. Mansions and large hotels dominate the main streets and hills to make best of the views. The Victorian feel has survived in this stunning architecture from a time when 10,000 visitors a week came to Ilfracombe in the 1950’s to enjoy this great seaside resort. Numbers dwindled in the 60’s due to package deals abroad and then again when the track closed. This later became the Tarka Trail. The Victorian Tunnel Beaches is still a popular day out providing sheltered pebble beach fun and rock pooling.
Ilfracombe Town Seafront
The Seafront Promenade with gardens and a band stand is a hive of activity. Walk up and down the shops and restaurants or catch the little train that takes you to the harbour and back. Walk up Capstone Hill and enjoy the views all around, out to sea with speed boats, along the rocks with fishermen or down on the crowds. There is crazy golf, bouncy castles, art galleries and the theatre, next to the central Wilder beach and car park.
Harbour and restaurants
St Nicholas Chapel stands out on the mound and is England’s oldest working lighthouse. Hillsborough Hill is also clear and is the site of an iron age settlement. Then there is Verity at 66 ft tall and makes for a unique and visually interesting harbour. The harbour is a great place to eat outdoors giving it a continental feel. A Port since the 12th century, fishermen still bring in their catch of seafood and in season next to the harbour it is possible to eat fresh lobster. Ilfracombe offers some of the best boat trips in North Devon with trips to Lundy Island and around the Exmoor coast. There are plenty of restaurants, pubs and cafes to choose from 3 fish n chip shops all with great reputations. Recommended by visitors is the Blacksands Bistro, Thomas Carr Olive Room and Nelly May’s Parlour.