Weird And Wonderful Things to Do in Ilfracombe – If you are planning a family trip to Devon and you’re not sure where to pick as your base for the holiday, Ilfracombe should surely come high on your list. This picturesque seaside town with its historic harbour lies nestled among the cliffs and provides an idyllic blend of traditional charm and eclectic modern influences.
Intrigued? If you need any more reason to visit, here’s a quick guide to some weird and wonderful things you can do in Ilfracombe during your stay.
Visit A Haunted House
Once you have taken your pick of comfortable and well-appointed Ilfracombe hotels – among whose number you will find the luxurious and uniquely picturesque clifftop-situated Sandy Cove Hotel – it’s time to venture out and start your explorations of Ilfracombe.
If you have a fascination for the supernatural, then your first port of call should be Chambercombe Manor. This reputedly haunted former farmhouse, nestled among the trees, is an ideal place to go to absorb some spooky history, imparted by eager volunteer guides; who knows, you may even encounter a spirit if you’re lucky.
Go On A Sea Safari
The seas around Ilfracombe are blessed with an abundance of marine life, including creatures you and your children will love to spy on among the waves, such as inquisitive dolphins and seals.
Departing from Ilfracombe pier, your sea safari will take you along the breathtaking North Devon coastline and around Lundy Island, the first Marine Conservation Zone in Britain.
The island itself is well worth a visit in its own right, particularly if you are a keen birdwatcher, as you will have the opportunity to spot a wealth of feathered inhabitants, including Manx shearwater and even puffins.
You can also explore the island’s historic monuments, which date from different eras of British history – from the Bronze Age to the Victorian – and take scenic walks among its population of wild ponies and freely wandering goats.
Have Cream Tea At A Historic Mill
Offering a picturesque slice of history – and some truly decadent slices of cake, alongside a traditional Devonshire cream tea – you will find Hele Corn Mill and Tea Room.
This working mill has been in action for over four hundred years, but these days it’s the perfect place to linger over a warming beverage and indulge in some sweet treats before continuing your Ilfracombe adventures.
If you have a fondness for unique artworks – or controversial landmarks – then you should take a walk around Ilfracombe Harbour and go and pay your respects to the pregnant statue of Verity.
Looming 20 metres high, this bronze and stainless steel woman was created by the notorious Damien Hirst and cuts an imposing figure as she thrusts a sword up into the sky.
Representing justice and truth – hence her name – Verity was only supposed to be on loan to the harbour for five years, but if you are fortunate, she will still be there when you pay a visit and you can marvel at her bold and controversial beauty.
While Devon isn’t short of picturesque towns and villages overlooking the coast, Ilfracombe is increasingly making a name for itself as both a cultural and culinary destination of note. And, as you can see, it’s not short of interesting and quirky things to see and do, making it an ideal base for your next sojourn to the awe-inspiring coastline of North Devon.