Thursday, 25 March 2021

My 9 Favourite Spots in North Devon & Cornwall.

My parents moved to the border of North Devon & Cornwall in 2019, and as someone who used to live across the world from her parents, I now use every opportunity I can get to visit them...even though they're now a five hour drive away. In non-lockdown times I tend to go down to visit them every other month, and at the start of the first lockdown I actually got stuck down there and ended up living with them for almost three months until things opened up again and I was allowed to drive back to London. 

During my time down there with them I've found my own favourite spots (towns/villages/beaches) in North Devon & Cornwall, and after the majority of you told me in an Instagram poll that you wanted more Devon & Cornwall content, I thought I'd finally put something together! 



So, without further ado, let's get started...

Instow

Instow has a special place in my heart. I get really attached to places that have meaning, and Instow was the last holiday I went on with my family and grandma before I moved back to Australia. It gave me a bit of downtime and relaxation before the madness and stress of moving to the other side of the world (again), and I have such fond memories of our little holiday there. Now that my parents live so close, I often just go for a drive over there and sit on the beach or grab a slice of cake from John's deli. It's definitely one of my favourite places! You just can't swim in the water because the beach is actually on the river so the water quality isn't great...but it looks nice!



Appledore

Appledore is actually opposite Instow, just across the river, and is the perfect place for a crab sandwich from Market Street Kitchen and then a walk along the river and through the cute little streets filled with Appledore's famous colourful houses! If you're lucky and you're there in the summer months, don't forget to get a Hockings ice-cream - it's the best ice-cream in the world! Although if you're more of a cake person, Sailor's Rest do the best chocolate brownies.



Clovelly

When you think of North Devon, you probably think of Clovelly. It's one of the areas most iconic locations, having been used in multiple films, TV shows, and featuring all over every UK travel instagrammers page in the summer of 2020. It's a very cute little privately-owned harbour village near Hartland, and the village charges a small entrance fee to enter as a visitor. It's owned by the Clovelly Estate Company but has about 500-600 residents who live there, and every building apart from seven of them are listed. 

The village has a super steep pedestrianised cobbled main street, traditional architecture, super cute donkeys, and breathtaking views over the ocean, and there are no motor vehicles allowed. There are a couple of cute cafes around halfway up the hill, and at the very bottom next to the harbour there's the Red Lion Hotel. In the summer there's honestly nothing better than grabbing a drink from there and sitting on the harbour wall in the sunshine with your drink and a bag of crisps! 



Hartland

Hartland Abbey is a beautiful house and gardens just a bit further along from Clovelly. I absolutely adore the gardens - think beautiful Hydrangea trails with stunning royal blue flowers, a trail of ferns and other Jurassic plants that make you feel like you're in a secret hidden forest, and a cute vegetable garden filled with pretty old greenhouses! Once you've visited the gardens you can go inside the house, and make sure to have one of the huge pieces of cake from the cafe. If it's a sunny day, you can walk to Abbey River beach, which takes around 45minutes from the Abbey. It's not a sandy beach. more of a cliffy/shingle beach, but the walk is great for getting your steps in and the view at the end is pretty spectacular! 



Broadsands beach, Watermouth

Getting to this beach is a massive pain in the A and I get SO stressed driving on the roads there and back (very steep, very narrow, very not designed for my 15-year-old Hyundai Getz). But if you have a bigger, more powerful car I'm sure it will be less stressful for you! And I promise it is worth the pain! This beach is like something from an adventure or pirate movie, it's a tiny picturesque cove hidden within the cliffs, and you have to walk down over 200 steps to get to the beach. 

If you're visiting via car you need to park in the Sandy Cove Hotel car park, and then you can walk up Old Coast Road which runs behind the hotel, until you reach the entrance to the South West Coast Path. You then follow the path until you see the gate and the steps down to the beach. The viewpoint where this photo was taken is actually further up towards the Watermouth holiday park entrance, it's a gate that goes into what looks like a field, but then you walk through the field and you'll see the lookout spot!



Bude

Seaside towns in the UK tend to get a bad rep. Many of them are tired, a bit soulless and depressing. I was pretty nervous when my parents told me they were moving down to Devon & Cornwall and their nearest 'big town' would be Bude. It wasn't the typical 'popular' place I had really heard of, not like St Ives or Newquay. But then I visited, and I fell a little bit in love with it. It's full of incredible cafes and restaurants, cool beach bars, great pasty shops (Pengenna Pasties is the best place), and a fantastic selection of independent shops (think cute, modern homewares and clothes). 

There's a canal with a cute barge cafe (literally called, The Barge, - they do the BEST bacon sandwiches), and beaches are also beautiful, and each time I visit my parents, I can't leave without a couple of walks along Summerleaze and Crooklets. The Bude Sea Pool is also super cool, and my mum and I had great fun swimming there last summer and then sitting in the wall in the sunshine - it almost felt like we were back in Australia! Bude has become one of those places were I just feel peaceful, and I find myself missing it when I'm back in London.



Widemouth Bay

pronounced 'Wid-muth', Widemouth Bay is just along a bit from Bude, and is the best place to see the sunset over the ocean! Head to the Beach House restaurant for some delicious food, then walk down to the beach and just soak up all the peace and quiet. My parents also have a little routine where they have a morning walk from Widemouth bay to Black Rock beach, so whenever I'm down visiting them I join them on their walk...and obviously because it's my parents it always ends with a bacon sandwich and a cup of tea at the Black Rock Cafe. 



Boscastle

I adore Boscastle! It's so cute, so quaint, and has a brilliant walk with plenty of scenic views! This little Cornish village has a National Trust shop, and the Harbour Light tea garden does a selection of delicious cakes goodies. There was a huge flood in Boscastle in 2004, and the Harbour Light tea garden actually had to be rebuilt brick-by-brick, so they built it higher than it was before the flood to protect it in the future! The harbour itself is a natural inlet protected by two stone harbour walls built in 1584, and the walk along the inlet towards the ocean is beautiful whichever side you choose to walk (you can walk along the right hand side up to Warren Point, or along the left hand side which was the side where I took this photo). 




Port Isaac

Port Isaac has to be one of the prettiest Cornish fishing villages, and is the famous filming location of the TV series Doc Martin. It was really funny when I was in a relationship with my first boyfriend back in Australia, his parents were obsessed with Doc Martin, so when he came to visit me in 2009 when I moved back to England, we went to Cornwall and took photos outside Doc Martin's house for them, haha. They were so excited and thought it was amazing! 

As well as being the home of Doc Martin, it's also the home of the sea-shanty group Fisherman's Friends, and Chef Nathan Outlaw's famous restaurants. It's become one of my favourite places to visit though, especially during lockdown when there were no tourists around and is just a very relaxing village to have a wander around (there's also a great fudge shop in the village) and walk around the cliffs. It always has the bluest waters in the harbour and looks especially dreamy in the spring sunshine when it's quieter! 





I hope this helps if you're thinking of booking a trip to North Devon & Cornwall this spring/summer, and if you're not...I hope this changes your mind and makes you consider visiting ;) 


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