5 Outdoor Activities in North Devon

Published: 2022-06-08 / Author: Alice Beresford

5 Outdoor Activities in North Devon

As each day passes, we can all feel the promised of warming Summer days on the horizon - brightening our mood, boosting our energy. The 21st June marks the first official day of Summer, which can’t come soon enough, but whether the Great British Summer arrives on time or not, there are plenty of outdoor activities in North Devon to keep the whole family entertained this June and beyond.

No matter your budget, there’s a variety of outdoor activities in North Devon to accommodate your Summer plans and get you exploring the scenic county during National Great Outdoors Month.

Cycle the Tarka Trail

What better way to explore North Devon’s beautiful beaches, dramatic cliffs and unspoilt countryside than along a 180 mile traffic free cycle path? The North Devon trail - named after Tarka the fictional Otter - is a figure-of-eight loop. There’s a Southern Loop and a Northern loop you can choose between. Or, if you're feeling adventurous, you can cover the entire Tarka Trail from Ilfracombe down to the edge of Dartmoor.

Choose between cycling, walking or a mixture of the two. There are plenty of cycle hire stops near the trail so you can get kitted out in the best gear for your North Devon outdoor adventure.

Explore Exmoor

As one of the UK’s fifteen National Parks, Exmoor boasts a dramatic range of coastlines, heather beds, moorland and wildlife. Famous for its wild deer and ponies, it’s an unmissable outdoor haven for all ages visiting and living in North Devon.

Not only is the National Park a protected area due to its unfathomable beauty, but it’s also an area of great historical interest with evidence and stories of communities thriving on the moorland dating back to Mesolithic times.

You can enjoy Exmoor via numerous walking routes, ranging from easy and accessible trails to expert-only rambles. There are plenty of circular and linear walks accessible via public transport, so you can leave the car at home knowing you won’t miss out on an Exmoor adventure.

Not feeling the love for walking? How about exploring Exmoor on horseback or by bike? There are over 300 miles of bridleways across the moors and a range of mountain and road cycling routes for all abilities.

UK National Parks are free for all to enjoy, just remember to always respect the area and wildlife to keep it a special space for everyone.

Make a Splash

One of the main reasons people from around the country and World flock to North Devon is to enjoy the scenic sprawl of sandy stretches this South West county has to offer. So, of course, we can’t talk about outdoor activities in North Devon without mentioning the variety of water-based frivolities this famous coastline features.

Whether you’re a water baby or new to coastal adventures, there’s something for everyone to enjoy in North Devon – even for those who don’t want to venture into the water at all.

Try your hand at some of North Devon’s more famous activities, such as surfing, paddleboarding and kayaking, or perhaps try something a little more daring like coasteering - a combination of cliff climbing, sea jumping and rock scrambling.

There are opportunities to enjoy the beach without entering the water with beach yoga, beach games for all ages and cliff-top walks. Check out local Facebook groups and beach social media pages to see what’s happening at the sandy shores near you!

The Big Sheep

This farm and theme park attraction is definitely one for the family. With family rides to suit everyone, you can choose to scream on the Rampage roller coaster or go for a spin on Twister. For a tamer time, take a relaxing trip around the lake on our elegant swan pedalos or spot all kinds of Devon wildlife on the tractor safari.

Should the weather turn, take the fun inside to EWEtopia, one of the South West’s largest indoor playgrounds. Or perhaps get a feel for life on a farm with live milking and shearing demonstrations. This North Devon activity is undoubtedly one any thrill-seeking and animal-loving kids and adults will look forward to during your North Devon stay.

Leisure activities at Highbullen Hotel

After you’ve lounged on the beach, admired miles of views and surfed the waves, why not unleash your competitive side and challenge your friends and family to a game of tennis or golf? It doesn’t matter if you’re a seasoned pro or have never hit a ball in your life. Our tennis courts and golf course caters to the whole family and encourages all abilities to try something new.

Try out your backhand on one of our all weather seven tennis courts, which are open for both residents and non-residents. Not a tennis fan? Our Tennis Pavilion offers non-players the opportunity to sit and relax on the veranda with refreshments.

Similarly to our tennis courts, our nine hole golf course is an excellent test for all abilities, from those wanting a challenge to anyone simply looking to practice their skills. Set in richly wooded parkland with exquisite views across Dartmoor and Exmoor, it truly is one of the most perfect outdoor activities in North Devon.

Booking for both tennis and golf is essential.

Where to Stay?

After a fun-filled day, the last thing you want is to go back to a soggy tent or disappointing hotel. At Highbullen, we’re ready to welcome the whole family to our 125 acre, dog friendly estate.

Whether you have a fun filled outdoor activity holiday planned or want to go with the flow, we have enough on site to keep you and the family entertained come rain or shine, including an indoor pool, sauna and steam room, tennis, and golf. Stay in one of our lovely hotel rooms or boutique self-catering cottages.

Why settle for any less during your outdoor activity holiday in North Devon?