Category Archives: Places to Visit

Woody Bay – Lynton & Barnstaple Railway

Woody Bay Station is one of the original Lynton & Barnstaple Railway stations, opened in 1898 the railway started at sea level in Barnstaple and climbed 16 miles until it reaches Woody Bay Station, finishing its journey in Lynton, 91 metres higher. The railway line ran until it’s closure in 1935, when on Sunday 29th September a packed train ran from Lynton for the last time, the train stopped at Woody Bay at 8:16pm and as a nod to this occasion, the clock in the station’s tea room is now permanently set to this time. The station as you see it today, was purchased in 1995 as part of an exciting project to rebuild one of the world’s most famous narrow-gauge railways. The process of restoring this line has been one of love, and has certainly not been easy. When the line was sold off, it was to various landowners, which has made the revival all the more difficult.

The future hopes to see further parts of the line opening, with approval of planning applications being given for Killington Lane to Wistlandpound. It is with thanks to the wonderful volunteers and people that keep this work going that you can enjoy the trip from Woody Bay today. If you are in the area it is worth popping in, and having a ride on the train or just admiring the pretty station and enjoying a cup of tea and a slice of cake in the tearoom (which I can highly recommend their fruitcake!) For more information on the times, prices and special events at Woody Bay Station please visit their website:


Ilfracombe Museum

Ilfracombe museum was founded in 1932 by professional museum collector Mervyn G Palmer, who spent many years in South America studying and collecting the wildlife and archaeology there. When he retired to Ilfracombe he discovered that the town lacked a museum, and so he formed a committee, and Ilfracombe museum was opened to the public on the 1st August 1932.

Thousands turned up that day and many of them brought objects to donate to the growing museum collection. Eighty-four years later and Ilfracombe museum is still amazing visitors with its unique and eclectic collections. It is a museum that reflects the Victorian passion for collecting, and also Ilfracombe’s importance in the history of British sea-side resorts. There are eight rooms filled with treasures including drawers of butterflies and insects from Britain and South America and artefacts from India, Africa and the ancient world. Two rooms are dedicated to local maritime history and Lundy island. Ilfracombe museum is unique and family-friendly. Children can explore the insect, bat and spider specimens, have a go at a dinosaur quiz, send Morse code messages, or have a go at brass rubbing.

Visitors with disabilities will find the museum is accessible to wheelchairs (except for one small room). For researchers there are extensive photographic and family history resources for Ilfracombe, including original town newspapers The museum is a perfect all-weather attraction and can be found next to the Landmark theatre on Ilfracombe sea-front. It is an independently funded charity. Children under 16 FREE, £3 for adults, £2.50 concessions. Annual ticket £5.00. Open everyday April – Oct 10am – 5pm.

The Museum of British Surfing

Museum of British Surfing The Museum of British Surfing is located in Braunton. It won a national museum’s award and had more than 3,000 visitors through its doors in just the first three months of opening. Surfing has taken place on the area’s beaches since the early 1900s,

The bulk of the Museum of British Surfing’s collection was purchased between 1997 and 2012 by Pete Robinson, and donated to the charity as his founding gift. In the last few years it has been boosted by many public donations of surfing and beach items, and now has the most extensive and historically significant collection of vintage surfboards, literature and memorabilia on public display and for academic research in Europe.

It has developed as a flexible and innovative museum – each year you’ll see a new themed exhibition at the venue which will then go on tour around the UK.

Alongside this we have smaller outreach displays and regular events at The Yard and other locations in North Devon and beyond, featuring music, film, art and culture. There is a special focus on young people and those who might never have been to the coast – the museum plan to take them to beach and the collection ‘on the road’!

The Yard Caen Street Braunton North Devon EX33 1AA 01271 815155

Tarka Trail

The Tarka Trail is a delightful pedestrian and cycle way which runs through the stunning North Devon countryside.

The entire Trail is a 290km figure-of-eight travelling through landscapes little changed from those described by Henry Williamson in his classic 1927 novel Tarka the Otter. It is an invigorating and sustainable way to explore some of our stunning coastline, through deeply incised river valleys with ancient tangled woodland to the productive farmland and moorland higher up the catchments. Some sections of the Trail are also part of the South West Coast Path, the Two Moors Way and the Dartmoor Way.

It is part of the National Cycle Network (routes 27, Devon Coast to Coast and 3, West Country Way) and the shared-use section between Braunton and Meeth is totally traffic free. Along this stretch, many interpretation boards and other information will help you discover the wildlife, heritage, culture and natural features along the route. To the south of Petrockstowe Halt, Devon Wildlife Trust have now opened Meeth Quarry Nature Reserve. This exciting nature reserve can be accessed directly from the Tarka Trail.

The Tarka Trail Guide


The Tarka Trail is a traffic-free pedestrian and cycle route running through Devon for 290km. This new and comprehensive guide to the 48km shared-use section between Braunton and Meeth has been written and designed by Bideford couple Carl and Gigha Klinkenborg and includes everything needed to make your experience of the Tarka Trail and adventure.

The guide covers the route from Braunton, through Barnstaple, Fremington, Instow, Bideford, Torrington and ending at Meeth. It has easy to use coloured icons detailing access points, parking, toilet facilities, nature and wildlife, cycle hire, pubs and much more. “We realised there was a need for an all-inclusive guide that caters for walkers, cyclists, families, horse-riders, and those with mobility issues” said co-author Gigha. “My children loved cycling on the Tarka Trail when they were small, and as a parent I knew they were safe from any road traffic. Now my little granddaughter is the newest generation to benefit.” Carl said “When we began this project I thought I knew the Trail, having walked and cycled on it hundreds of times over many years, but our research has helped even me to see it afresh.”

Braunton -Barnstaple map