off the beaten track
North Devon is famed for its hidden coves, sandy stretches and breath-taking bays. But those are the shores that people know about...for every one of our famous expanses, there is a lesser known gem waiting to be discovered. You may need to pack your own your picnic (or ask us to prepare one for you), and you may need to hike a little to get to these, but they're worth it.
"Small but perfectly formed sunset sand cove in Woolacombe. Good swimming and jumping and a little rock island to climb. Bring a rug, your own beer, and eat home-made Sri Lankan curry from the shack"
From Woolacombe beach simply head north along the Esplanade and the cove is on the left after 300 metres.
A pretty 2km coastal walk from Woolacombe will bring you to this large, isolated west-facing beach. Hauntingly beautiful, this secluded bay used to be known as 'Death Point' - in times gone by the rocks and treacherous currents here caused numerous shipwrecks, five in one year in fact - one wreck can still be seen.
This is one for the mobile as there are steep steps down to the sands. The beach also needs to be visited at low tide so check tidal tables before setting out. At low tide a sandy beach with rocky areas is revealed. Take the coast path from Woolacombe or the footpath via Mortehoe (signposted Rockham Bay).
"Silver shingle cove with soapstone rocks, small caves and a secret route across the beach to a second cove. Rocks for jumping."
Lee village is 3 miles west of Ilfracombe, so a short drive from Woolacombe. At low tide follow the causeway across rocks 300 metres via carved steps to a second cove on the left. Alternatively, you can take the path from the top of the hill heading west out of the village.
in North Devon
Even if you're just away for a night, your stay can be romantic and unforgettable with just the tiniest bit of forethought. These date night ideas are designed to make your time in North Devon extra special.
We are blessed with some of the most dramatic sunsets here in North Devon, and with miles of clear clifftops, countless secret coves and acres of private grounds we can recommend the best spots to catch it - just the two of you. Bring a beach rug and snuggle up in the sand dunes with a lovely bottle of chilled Champagne for a beautiful panoramic view of this natural show. Whisper sweet nothings as the light slowly ebbs away over the waves.
Our favourite spots: Barricane Beach (summer) Woolacombe Down/Potter's Hill (birds-eye view/all year round), & Saunton/Croyde (winter)
Quality time for you both. Indulge in a luxury copper tub bathing experience together in The Alchemist Spa. Your bath butler will draw your bath and add your choice of oil so you can simply sink in and relax in your private bathing suite.FIND OUT MORE
Exmoor National Park is home to some of the darkest skies in the country owing to its status as an International Dark Sky Reserve. On a clear night, the night sky of Exmoor is simply stunning.
The crisp clear nights of March & April are perfect for observing, while late summer and autumn are prime time to spot shooting stars. In the winter, wrap up warm, pack a flask or hot toddy and make the most of the longer nights. Hunker down on the beach (with a blanket), take a short stroll to Morte Point (away from light pollution) or for a real adventure... pack a flask, hop in the car and head to Holdstone Down.
local food, lovingly prepared
Lingering over a leisurely meal far away from the distractions of our busy lives is one of the best ways to reconnect. We've seafood restaurants serving only the freshest locally landed fish; fine dining establishments serving dishes that are as pleasing to the eye as to the palate; or family-run country pubs with cosy fires.
These are our top picks for a romantic night out...
For stylish dining with seaviews included, there’s Doyle’s. Considered to be one of the best North Devon restaurants, it’s the perfect place to wine and dine. Located in the hotel, you can also simply climb the stairs to bed straight after your delicious supper.
Whether you have a penchant for pan-fried scallops, fresh fish or a beautifully cooked West Country steak, Head Chef Eduard Grecu and his team aim to satisfy your appetite with seasonal fare.
Where: In the hotelON THE MENU
This place may not sound or look like much, and you'll have to pack your own candles, but if you want frontrow seats for the sunset, this is the place to dine. The cafe cooks up a mean Sri Lankan curry on fine weather evenings and you can join the locals for an unforgettable evening. Small firepits permitted, but please be responsible, mindful of others and take away whatever you bring with you.
Where: From Woolacombe beach simply head north along the Esplanade and the cove is on the left after 300 metres.FIND OUT MORE
The Beach House specialises in seafood and is located just down the street from the hotel. Cosy, imtimate and friendly, this is a lovely spot. They cook super fresh, just-caught seafood, taking special care with the provenance of the ingredients - keeping simplicity and attention to detail in their dishes.
We highly recommend the sizzling prawns!
Where: Granville Terrace, 3 West Road, Woolacombe EX34 7BWFIND OUT MORE