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Ilfracombe in Devon

Ilfracombe is a small town on the North Devon coast in the west of England. It has a beautiful harbour and some wonderful examples of Victorian architecture. Ilfracombe has become a culinary centre for the area with several excellent seafood restaurants, a buzzing cafe culture and Damien Hirsts' 10 The Quay restaurant. Ilfracombe has a vibrant, up and coming feel to it and is perfectly placed for a great family holiday.


Get in[edit]

By road[edit]

  • Ilfracombe sits on the A361 road which is connected to the M5 Motorway near Tiverton. Ilfracombe is typically 2 hours drive from Bristol.

By coach[edit]

  • The town is served by National Express coaches, including direct services to Bristol and London (via Heathrow Airport).
  • Several holiday companies offer coach holidays in Ilfracombe.

By train[edit]

  • The nearest train station is situated in Barnstaple, at the end of the branch line from Exeter. Local bus services connect Ilfracombe to 1 Barnstaple station.

Get around[edit]

By bus[edit]

  • Local buses connect Ilfracombe to the surrounding seaside resorts, including neighbouring Woolacombe, a large sandy beach popular with surfers.
  • Frequent buses also connect Ilfracombe to nearby towns and villages, including Combe Martin, Braunton and Barnstaple: the largest town in the area.


  • 1 Ilfracombe Aquarium, The Quay, EX34 9EQ, +44 1271 864533.
  • 2 Ilfracombe Museum, Wilder Rd, EX34 8AF, +44 1271 863541. M-Sa 10AM-5PM, Su closed.
  • 3 Chambercombe Manor, +44 1271 862624. M-F 11AM-4PM, Sa closed, Su noon-4PM. A white-painted Norman manor house, apparently haunted. Chambercombe Manor (Q5069562) on Wikidata Chambercombe Manor on Wikipedia
  • 4 Verity. The giant art installation by Damien Hirst on the end of the pier. Verity (Q1428547) on Wikidata Verity (statue) on Wikipedia
  • 5 St. Nicholas's Chapel, Lantern Hill, EX34 9EQ. Chapel with lighthouse lantern.


  • Take a day-trip to Swansea or Penarth (near Cardiff) on a paddle steamer – summer only.
  • 1 Lundy Island. Take a trip to Lundy. See puffins and seals. Lundy (Q324812) on Wikidata Lundy on Wikipedia
  • Take a walk up Hillsborough or Capstone for superb views.
  • Walk the coast path to Lee and Woolacombe and beyond
  • 2 Landmark Theatre. Landmark Theatre (Q15241474) on Wikidata Landmark Theatre, Devon on Wikipedia
  • 3 The Embassy Cinema, 134 High St, EX34 9EZ, +44 1271 862323.


  • Enjoy the High Street with its wide range of independent shops


  • Espresso. For great seafood and meat.
  • Gazpacho. For authentic Spanish food and fabulous tapas.
  • 10 The Quay. For good food surrounded by Damien Hirst artwork and sometimes a chance to spot him.
  • Grassroots. For great vegetarian delights.
  • The Deli. For coffee, brunch and lunch.
  • Maddys. Fish and chips.
  • Harbour Deli. Olives, paninis and coffee.
  • Joe Deluccis. Great ice cream.
  • For pub grub go down Fore Street. At the end before reaching the harbour the George & Dragon as well as the Prince of Wales serve food.
  • Storm in a Teacup is a former rescue boat, turned into an offbeat cafe by Watermouth Harbour. It's open daily 9:30AM-5PM.



A couple of B&Bs are located on St. Brannock's Road near the intersection with Bicclescombe Park Road. If you do not want to walk from here to the town centre, a bus stop is right at this intersection.


As of Sep 2023, Ilfracombe and its approach roads have 4G from EE, but next-to-no signal from other carriers. 5G has not reached this area.

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