Mini guide to Barnstaple
As the regional centre of North Devon, Barnstaple boasts an excellent location
on the banks of the river Taw, close to Exmoor National Park and near the stunning,
rugged North Devon coastline.
The thriving town centre, which is partly pedestrianised, has many fine buildings
and attractive streets as well as a traditional historic pannier market. Take
a stroll along the 13th Century 'Long Bridge' which stretches across the river
and overlooks Queen Anne's walk. Close to the bridge is the museum for North
Devon with a Tarka the Otter room and undersea room. The new Green Lanes Shopping
Centre, the Gammon Walk and Butchers Row are also popular shopping spots.
Outdoor activities in the countryside around Barnstaple are numerous, golf,
horse riding, sea fishing, cycling and walking are all well catered for. An
interesting diversion is the Tarka Line preserved railway which runs the 40
miles to Exeter through some spectacular countryside.
Barnstaple provides an excellent base for exploring North Devon- the towns
of Lynton and Lynmouth are all within easy reach, as are the popular beaches
at Woollacombe, Croyde Bay and Saunton. Watermouth castle is situated near Ilfracombe
and makes a great day out. Arlington Court near Shirwell boasts some beautiful
Victorian gardens, a nature trail with ponds, tearooms and even carriage rides.
If you are travelling by car, take the M5 motorway to Junction 27 and then
take the A361 to Barnstaple. Alternatively Barnstaple is connected to the main
rail network by changing trains at Exeter St. Davids. Great Western Trains operate
a fast and frequent service from London Paddington to Exeter St Davids. Virgin
Trains offer services from all major UK destinations to Exeter St Davids.
Selection of hotels in this region:
Royal & Fortescue Hotel
Cedars Lodge Inn
The Imperial Hotel
Click below for a
full list of hotels and online booking