What’s On In North Devon

Things To Do

Whatever the weather, there’s plenty to see and do in and around Ilfracombe and North Devon.




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Plan Your Trip to Ilfracombe


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

The Carlton’s location, close to the centre of Ilfracombe town and harbour, means that our 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, 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.

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 (cream goes on first!) 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.

Our blog page is filled with suggestions, for all interests, of things to do in Ilfracombe and exactly where to find all of these activities!

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. Nearby Woolacombe often wins the Travelers’ Choice award for Best Beach in the UK while the whole North Devon coastline, including Croyde Bay and Lynmouth, has now been given a prestigious World Surfing Reserve status – the only cold water Surfing Reserve in the world.

Don’t forget the sandy expanses of Westward Ho! and Saunton Sands, with Braunton burrows nestling in behind Saunton. Braunton Burrows is one of the largest sand dune systems in the British Isles. At the heart of the North Devon Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) it is a UNESCO designated Biosphere reserve.

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.

Escape to north devon

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The Carlton Hotel

Runnacleave Road, Ilfracombe, Devon, EX34 8AR

Contact Info

(01271) 862446

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