Ilfracombe has plenty to offer visitors all year round, whatever the weather.

The Carlton’s location, close to the centre of town and Ilfracombe harbour, means that guests have a huge choice of things to do from the hotel doorstep, whether the emphasis is on fun, activities, nature, food or culture.

Let’s start at the seafront, with the town’s many small beaches dotted along the way and coastal views from hilltop paths. The harbour is the starting point for boat trips and other water based excursions, and plays host to the striking Verity, donated to the town by the artist Damien Hirst. 

Local things to do in Ilfracombe include crazy golf, the ubiquitous seaside amusement arcades and visits to the town museum, the Tunnels and the RNLI lifeboat station to soak up a bit of local history. Ilfracombe’s rich Victorian tradition is all around and most evident in the architecture of many of the town’s buildings.

Through a regular Summer, there are a number of free festivals and events which take place in the town and on the seafront. The town’s cinema, Pavilion Theatre and numerous galleries provide evening entertainment programmes featuring film, theatre and the arts.

Any break away requires a little over indulgence! Excellent fish and chips, local ice creams and a Devon Cream tea are obvious ‘holiday’ choices although the town also serves up more gourmet dining options, as well as fulfilling sweet toothed desires at The Chocolate Emporium. The town’s numerous pubs and cafes are also great places to sit, enjoy the sun on your face and just watch the world go by!

Things to do in North Devon

The name Adventure Coast provides a clue as to the wide ranging options for visitors looking to make the most of the region’s natural beauty and diverse landscape.  This is big walking and hiking country – the Southwest coastal path and Exmoor National Park being two of the most popular destinations for walkers and dog walkers. The Carlton’s blog page is filled with suggestions for all interests of what to do and where to find them!

North Devon has been a go to destination for families for many years and the area boasts many family friendly theme park attractions for small and big kids alike. The Exmoor Zoo, Watermouth Castle and the Combe Martin Wildlife Park are all close by, while The Big Sheep and Milky Way attractions are less than an hour away.

The Carlton is surrounded by awesome beaches – golden sands and quiet coves – but to name check a handful, there are the expanses of Woolacombe, Saunton and Westward Ho!, coastal village beaches at Combe Martin,  Croyde and Instow. Most beaches offer a full complement of water sports lessons and hire and of course North Devon is renowned for its many surf spots.

There are plenty of nearby opportunities to engage in individual and group sporting activities. Quad biking, horse riding, mountain and road biking and clay pigeon shooting opportunities are short drives away. You can “see the sea from every tee”, at Ilfracombe Golf Club  or face a stiffer challenge at Saunton or Royal Devon golf clubs.

Further information can be found online at Visit Ilfracombe, or call the people that know on 01271 863001.

So what’s on then…

Gallery hopping

Chocolate shopping

Landmark Theatre

Combe Martin Wildlife Park

Take to the water – ribs and bibs

Scuba diving

Indoor rock climbing

Relax at the hotel

Afternoon tea in town

Splash in muddy puddles along the Tarka Trail

Air Extreme

Catch a movie

Day trip to Barnstaple (museum, shops, indoor market, theatre, cinema)

Ilfracombe Harbour


TIC Ilfracombe

Book a break today! To reserve a table call us on 01271 862446 or email