Local Activities Guide

We hope that you will find our guide of use as a quick and easy reference of things to do in the area. We have kept details brief, so please go online to make your mind up as to where to go and what to see and do and most importantly to check the finer details. A few points to think about, especially as North Devon gets busy in the school holidays:

  • A guide on where to eat out will be emailed in advance of your stay so that you can pre-book popular restaurants and pubs and information on local dog walking will be in your cottage, so information on these topics is not contained in this guide.
  • This list is not exhaustive – we have only included the popular and obvious attractions.
  • We have not included all the obvious pretty/historic/fun towns that are worth a visit but these would include, Ilfracombe, Combe Martin and Bude.
  • If you are going to town/village and need to park, leave here early, parking can be difficult.
  • Traffic – can be busy, especially if heading North to Ilfracombe, Croyde, etc, so again leave early.
  • Combine activities – one in the morning, one in the afternoon – saves petrol and time in the car.
  • The activities guide is split into three easy sections – beaches, activities within 10 miles/half an hour by car and those further afield (but within 25 miles/ an hour by car)


Whether you're looking to swim, surf, paddle board, dog walk, build sandcastles or sunbathe, you are spoilt for choice in this part of North Devon. Being situated right in the middle of the North Devon coastline, Robin Hill Farm is a great place from which to access a variety of beaches. For further advice or guidance, please just ask Andrew ( especially on surfing) or Jane and we will be happy to help. 

Westward Ho!

The nearest beach, Westward Ho!, is only 3 miles away and boasts 1 ½ miles of award-winning Blue Flag sand. Being so large, the beach is NEVER overcrowded and there is more than enough parking right by the beach. The beach is also dog-friendly all year round, with half the area available in the summer months. The beach also has RNLI lifeguards in operation from May through to September so you and your kids can swim safely.


Just around the corner from Westward Ho! is Instow. This beach is a far smaller, but is better protected from the weather, and is fully accessible even at high tide, which makes it the ideal place for those with young children. There are numerous bars and cafes within a minute’s walk, and pay & display parking at either end of the beach. Free parking is available for 45 minutes on the front, which is ideal for a quick stroll. The beach is also dog-friendly all year round ( though check signs for which parts of the beach).

Saunton Sands

About 20 miles away is Saunton Sands and it is well worth the trip. This privately owned 3-mile-long beach boasts the largest sand dunes in England. The beach is popular with surfers. There are 3 zones for dogs, please check the precise details when you arrive


23 miles from Robin Hill Farm is, Croyde, three miles along the coast from Saunton Sands. The 0.4-mile long beach is very picturesque and is extremely popular with surfers. Does get very busy in the peak summer, so leave early!

Putsborough / Woolacombe

Just beyond Croyde is another popular surfing beach, Putsborough / Woolacomb. Being 2 miles long the beach is never too crowded but as with Croyde, parking can be hard work in the summer holidays.


23 miles South of Robin Hill Farm is the seaside town of Bude, yet another popular surfing destination. Bude actually has 3 or 4 different beaches, so get online to do your research as to which best suits you. The small town of Bude offers numerous places to eat, drink and shop.

Activities within 10 miles/half an hour by car

North Devon Wakepark/Aqua Park

Wakeboard or knee board, have fun on the aqua park (obstacle course, assault course). Paddleboarding, Ringo Rides.

Milky Way Adventure Park

A must day out and close to Robin Hill Farm

All weather, all ages, all rides free. Dodgems, Balloon Room, Blast Quest, Outdoor rides, maze, soft-play, giant slides, pottery painting, Bird of Prey Center.

Ultimate Adventure

Very close to Robin Hill Farm

High ropes, archery, wipe-out assault course (both water and land-based), mountain boarding – plus can arrange SUP, coasteering etc.

The Big Sheep Farm and Theme Park

Very close to Robin Hill Farm

Fun for all ages of kids - Rides, shows, loads of animals, indoor play, rollercoasters, tractor track, duck trials, pets corner, animal barn.

Quince Honey Farm

Tours and activities, indoor and outdoor play, tours and activities plus landscaped gardens.

Dartington Crystal

Factory experience, craft demonstrations, shop and café. Kids go FREE

RHS Garden Rosemoor

Beautiful gardens, shop, café. Close to Dartington Crystal, combine the two on a day out?

Museum of Barnstaple and North Devon

Free entry

Not huge, so perhaps tie in with a shopping trip to Barnstaple. Natural History, Pottery, archaeology, Royal Devon Yeomanry, rural life in Devon, military rooms, railway.

Tapeley Park House and Gardens

A grade two listed country house and gardens. Perhaps not the grandest house and gardens you would ever visit by only 15 minutes away and not too expensive nor busy. Very close to Instow so combine a trip.

Cobbaton Combat Collection

Private collection of mainly WW2 tanks, guns, uniforms etc. Also exhibits from Boer War, Falklands, Gulf War etc. Check online for opening times as they do vary!

Hartland Abbey and Gardens

Beautiful historic house and gardens, dating back to the 12th century. Used in many films including Malory Towers. Walk to the beach from the Abbey.

Hartland Quay

Just down the coast from Hartland Point. Dramatically beautiful, stunning geology, sand and rock beach (small), hotel, pub museum and shop. Not huge but well worth visiting.

Hartland Point and Lighthouse

Dramatic views and walks on part of the SW Coast Path. Car Parking and Café

Hartland Village/Woodland

Rural gem of a historic village. Shops, galleries, studios, coffee shops etc. Lovely circular walks through valleys either side of the village.

Clovelly Village

On the way to Hartland from Robin Hill

Very famous privately owned coastal village ( you do have to pay to visit). Park at the top of the cliff and walk down the cobbled high street to the old fishing harbour. Is quite steep and slippery when wet.

The Tarka Trail

walking or cycling

180 miles in length but plenty of it passes close by – Bideford/Instow/Barnstaple/Torrington. Easy flat walking or cycling and plenty of coffee shops along the way. Cycle hire - available at Bideford, Torrington and Barnstaple. Highly recommend the Puffing Billy café on the trail at Torrington.

Activities within 25 miles/ an hour by car

Upper Tamar Lake

At Kilkhampton, this side of Bude, straight down the A39 so an easy journey. 81 acre lake - Fishing, bike hire, canoeing, rowing, windsurfing, Kayaks or just walk the 2.8 miles around the lake

Coldharbour Mill Heritage Museum

Near Cullumpton

Working museum based on the Industrial Revolution – Spinning, weaving, steam, water wheels, with the added bonus of a WW2 Air Raid shelter.

War Horse Valley Country Farm Park


Parsonage Farm, made famous by Michael Morpurgo’s War Horse book being based on the farm. War Horse exhibition, WW1 trench and exhibition, beautiful scenery, sheep, geese, donkeys.

Castle Hill Gardens

An elegant Palladian house and beautiful gardens. 50 acres of stunning landscape and woodlands. Statues, follies and temples. Herbaceous planting, 176 different magnolias, azaleas, primroses. Great views of Exmoor and Dartmoor.

Lundy Island

Well worth a day trip. An Island of outstanding natural beauty- skies full of birds, medieval castle, three lighthouses, black rabbits, Lundy ponies, smugglers cave, nature trail. And the ferry leaves from Bideford (or Ilfracombe). Plan in advance as ferries do not run 24/7 and departure varies between Bideford and Ilfracombe!

Marwood Hill Gardens and Tea Room

Slightly off the beaten track but plenty to see – three lakes, wisteria archway, beautiful bridges, walled garden, bee hives, bluebell wood, camelias, waterfall. Dogs on leads welcome.

Lyton and Lynmouth

Two adjoining historic villages – one at the top of the cliffs, one below. Take the 100 year old cliff railway from one village to the next. Explore the Valley of the Rocks – a dramatic pre historic landscape created by the last ice age. On the edge of Exmoor so lovely coastal walks and great walk from Lynmouth up a valley gorge to Watersmeet Edwardian tea room.

Keypitts Off-Road Adventure

Suitable rides for all ages - Mini Land Rovers for ages, 3-10 , Badger Run Quad Bikes for 6 & 7 year olds, Novice Quad Bikes for 8 year old and above, Adult Quad Bikes for older kids and adults. Plus Axe throwing!

Woody Bay Station Steam Trains

Woody Bay Station is an original Victorian station and the highest in southern England – lovely views of the coast. Two-mile round trip over Exmoor. Tea Room, gift shop.

Ilfracombe Aquarium

Café, over 75 species, local aquatic exhibits, daily fish feeds, accessible to all.

Exmoor Zoo

175 species, 600 animals, 15 acre countryside setting. Plus-picnic area, playground, trampolines.