Woolly’s Guide to Devon

Woollys Guide to North Devon | The BIG Sheep

20th May 2018

The holiday industry has seen a recent increase in UK ‘Staycations’ thanks to the rise in holiday home rentals, pet-friendly spots and Brexit’s impact on tourism, meaning many families are choosing to visit unexplored areas of their own country rather than holidaying abroad.  Devon is a top destination when it comes to choosing a very British holiday, not only does it provide great value on accommodation and family entertainment but can also provide that foreign beach experience in the summer season that the public love.

Getting There:

Aside from the windy narrow roads that may come as a shock for urban residents, Devon has a forever improving transport service. By car, the A39 is the best route to experience where the forest meets the sea in North Devon, alternatively the A361 is the quickest route from the M5 to most coastal towns. The public transport may not be as frequent as the UK’s built up areas but it does give you the chance to sit back and enjoy the view of the beautiful countryside, there is a train line leading up to North Devon’s largest town Barnstaple where the bus can take you to your next rural destination, visit Travel Devon for timetables and possible discounts on travel.


There are many choices for accommodation in North Devon for the whole family, why not rent out a quaint seaside cottage, or for a full family package check in at one of our the vast range of holiday parks topped off with entertainment and events for all ages. There are also a great choice of hotels and B&Bs around the county too!

Here’s a few of our favourites:


North Devon is home to 3 blue flag beaches, Woolacombe Beach, Tunnel’s Beaches and Westward Ho!, the only official place in the world with an exclamation mark. The unique sand dunes and rolling waves make it the perfect surfers retreat that has also been used as a film location for many stars including The Edge of Tomorrow (Tom Cruise), and artists including Pink Floyd, Olly Murrs and Robbie Williams.

With over 100 miles of coastline there are tonnes of beaches to choose from, if you’re staying on the coast we can assure you you’ll be within a stone’s throw of a fantastic beach!

Food and Drink:

The Thatch Inn | The BIG Sheep

The coastline and busy fishing industry provides North Devon with a tasty fresh menu of seafood dishes to offer. The countryside means fresh meat and plenty of locally produced vegetables and ingredients. Whatever you have a craving for there’ll be something for you!

Why not stop by for a pint or a a bite to eat at these amazing places:

  • The Thatched Inn, Abbotsham
  • Red Barn, Woolacombe
  • Morthoe Fish & Chips
  • Mr Chips, Bideford
  • Cafe Collective, Bideford
  • Quay 22, Bideford


North Devon’s farming industry has encouraged the growth in farm shops around the county why not visit Johns of Appledore and Instow to see their award-winning farm deli and café serving fresh local produce daily. Be sure to visit Affinity, formerly known as Atlantic Village, Bideford for a shopping trip, with top names including GAP, Cadbury and M&S as well as a Atlantis Adventure Park with its large indoor and outdoor play area you can keep all the family pleased!

If you are looking for a day on the high street then a trip to Barnstaple or Exeter is on the cards, with high street’s both packed with a number of big name brands.

Great Days Out:

Rampage Rollercoaster | The BIG Sheep

It goes without saying that The Big Sheep is the best baaa none! With Devon’s largest rollercoaster, indoor and outdoor facilities and live shows throughout the day there is much to do for all the family, we’ve even got our brewery and gin distillery on site for the older ones too!

Further around the coast is Combe Martin Wildlife and Dinosaur Park, a place where animals and dinosaurs meet along the 28 acre valley, swim with seals, visit animals from all over the globe or ride the Dino Express train that resembles a giant earthquake!

For a unique experience be sure to take the family to Dartington Crystal. Discover one of the UK’s remaining glass factories and take part in creative activities including glass blowing, jewellery making and hand casting.

For more places to go and see check out the Snaptrip guide to Devon!

Free Days Out:

The coast and natural sights provide lots of free activities to do in the summer, why not hire a bike and explore North Devon’s 30 mile cycle route, The Tarka Trail. This disused railway track has been transformed into a stunning cycle route from Braunton and ends in Meeth, passing through 7 historical villages each offering amazing views and great food.

Another free idea is a day at the beach, where you can build sandcastles, fly kites or try crabbing (we recommend bacon as bait!). You can fill a day just sight seeing in the car or on the bus too!

Canine Friends:

Thanks to the range of dog friendly holiday parks, homes and places to eat, its now easier than ever to bring your family pet along on a trip to North Devon. We love dogs and provide onsite kennels  for visiting dogs throughout the day. Our working sheep dogs are very territorial and only guide dogs are admitted into the park.

Many pubs and restaurants around Devon are dog friendly, some with pub dogs of their own! The Pig on the Hill in Westward Ho! offers delicious home cooked food, local ales and ciders with a large patio and grassy area for your dog (or children!) to have fun.

Walking couldn’t be easier with a dog in North Devon with the South West Coast Path right on your doorstep. There’s over 100 miles and lots of small route to choose from!

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