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10 finest issues to do in Ilfracombe, England – carry-on solely

Located on the beautiful North Devon coast, Ilfracombe is a historic fishing village well worth a look when exploring this picturesque region of England. In fact, there are tons of the best things to do in Ilfracombe all over town – but it doesn’t end there! Everywhere in the city there are the most beautiful bays; Hiking trails and small villages that are great for a day out while visiting larger Ilfracombe.

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No wonder we love this part of England! In fact, we spent a whole trip alone in this corner of Devon. It was so beautiful and totally picturesque. I’m pretty sure we ate our weight in seafood while exploring all the little gems in and around the city.

From iconic works of art, historical sites, and beautiful bays, you’ll be spoiled for choice when taking a day trip or a long weekend break.

To help you make the most of your time upon arrival, I wanted to introduce you to some of the best things to do in Ilfracombe to do when you visit.

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Have the best trip!

1.) Tunnel and Ilfracombe Beaches

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Tunnels and Ilfracombe Beaches, pebbly with their cliffs and dramatic coastline, are absolutely pristine. Not only that, there is one Victorian bathing pool that is filled with the incoming tidal water.

Even on a not so sunny day, this is one of the best things to do for a little walk in Ilfracombe. Right on the beach you also have part of the southwest coast and some great views from this lookout point.

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Do you feel spicy? Get a table at the Antidote for the seasonal British menu. Their fish dishes are always so fresh and delicious.

Read more: Best Things to Do in North Devon

2.) truth

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Verity overlooking the historic port of Ilfracombe is a 20.25 meter high sculpture (by Damien Hirst) made of stainless steel and bronze that is hard to miss.

Now Verity itself is a sculpture of a pregnant woman standing on a pile of books with the sword of justice in one arm. The other side of Verity shows the exposed muscles and the fetus in her womb and it’s pretty impressive to see.

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You can easily spot them by walking along the pier. It is located right next to the Chapel of St. Nicholas.

3.) Southwest coast route

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The South West Coast Path stretches for 630 miles of National Trail and is one of the best things to do in Ilfracombe if you want to explore the pristine coastline nearby.

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With views of the cliffs, hidden coves, and an easy path to follow, this is a great way to immerse yourself in the dazzling natural beauty of Devon.

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You will come across places like this; Watermouth, Valley of Rocks, Lynton and Lynmouth (to the east) which are totally picturesque and also have their own cliff track!

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Note, however, that the walk to the latter points can take more than 7 hours (30 minutes by car).

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If you want to get a little closer to a stroll, check out the cliffs above Broadsands Beach. It’s breathtaking.

Read more: Best Things to Do in North Devon

4.) Water mouth

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Just a little bit from Ilfracombe, Watermouth is a gem of a place to visit for a couple of hours drive from Ilfracombe. If you can easily walk (or drive) the South West Coast Path, you can visit Watermouth Castle and its attractions Beautifully landscaped gardens and enjoy the view from Watermouth Bay.

Have a cup of coffee in the cozy Storm In A Teacup Cafe. It sits on the most adorable little boat and is one of those finds that make Watermouth so unique.

5.) Ilfracombe Museum

Visiting the museum is one of the best things to do in Ilfracombe if you are an avid history lover.

From vintage home appliances, fossils, and rare antiques from Ilfracombe’s history, it’s well worth taking a peek for an hour.

6.) Port of Ilfracombe

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With Ilfracombe Harbor being the largest port on the North Devon coast, it is unlikely to be missed when exploring the city.

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It’s the perfect place to grab an ice cream or a bag of fries and stroll the pier. Watch out for the annoying seagulls; their chip thieves!

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Right around the quay you will find many small boat tours that go on trips. Some look for dolphins while others follow the coast.

We made our way to the coast (but didn’t see any dolphins)! 🙁

7. Chambercombe Manor

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Nestled in the coast itself, Chambercombe Manor is a Norman mansion dating back to the 11th century.

Here you will learn a lot of interesting stories and information about the history of the mansion and the eerie rooms. In fact, it is considered to be one of the most haunted buildings in the country. Boo!

Then head to the pub down to the harbor for a decent lunch and stop by the Smugglers Restaurant for a beer and cake!

8th.) Hillsborough nature reserve

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Strolling around Hillsborough on the coast overlooking Ilfracombe is one of the best things to do in Ilfracombe on a sunny day.

As you can see, it is a local nature reserve that is great for walking, bird watching or eating your fish and chips! From here you have breathtaking views of the North Devonshire coast and Ilfracombe harbor.

For a delicious lunch, head to Hele Bay Pub, where they grill a mean West Country steak.

9.) Chapel of St. Nicholas

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The St Nicholas’ Chapel is believed to be Britain’s oldest working lighthouse, dating back to 1321. Built as a place of worship for the people of Ilfracombe, it is not a port-view landmark that you really shouldn’t miss.

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Best of all, you can easily take a stroll to the chapel with a wider walk around the pier, see Verity, and explore the historic harbor promenade. It’s all in the same area.

Read more: Best Things to Do in North Devon

10.) Landmark theater

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The Landmark Theater is an award winning theater in Ilfracombe that offers a ton of seasonal programs and shows from. Music, drama, comedy, dance, film, festivals (you name it, it continues here).

Check deals before visiting Ilfracombe and book your tickets in advance. In the busier months, tickets can sell out much faster.

Read more: Best Things to Do in North Devon

10 best things to do in North Devon, England

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