29th April 2020
10 things to do in North Devon after lockdown
With restrictions put in place by the government to stop the spread of COVID-19, daily life for the nation has seen major changes, but what are the MUST-DO things to do when everything returns to 'normal'?
From reuniting with loved ones to tucking into our favourite foodie treats - there is a lot to look forward to. Most importantly though, let’s look forward to spending time together again and enjoy each others company.
1. Go to the beach
The south-west has some of the best beaches in the world, which are often said to rival the beaches of Australia and even the Caribbean, despite the UK’s cooler climate. So, why travel across the world when you have such an impressive selection of beaches on your doorstep? There is no need to board a plane when you can simply load up your car and go!
Being based in beautiful North Devon, we're incredibly lucky to be surrounded by several stunning beaches including Saunton Sands, Croyde, Westward Ho! and Woolacombe. You can find out more about the best beaches in North Devon here.
2. Have a Hockings ice cream
If you ask any North Devon holidaymaker, they will certainly tell you that Hocking’s is the best ice cream they have ever tasted. No one can quite put their finger on why Hocking’s is above the rest. Maybe it’s the classic cone done extremely well (don’t forget to add the Flake), perhaps it brings back childhood memories of chasing vans down the street, or it could be the West Country ingredients used in a family recipe that’s been developed since 1936?
Hocking’s vans can be found in beautiful locations around North Devon: Appledore, Barnstaple, Bideford, Ilfracombe, Torrington and Westward Ho! - and other spontaneous places throughout the summer.
There’s no better feeling than sitting on a bench or on the beach to watch the waves whilst enjoying a classic ice cream cone.
3. Explore Exmoor National Park
We can’t be the only ones who have spent most of the lockdown dreaming of stunning Exmoor and admiring all of the lovely photos and throwbacks shared by them during this time. It truly is one of Britain’s hidden treasures.
Renowned for its beautiful landscapes, the views at Exmoor are simply breathtaking. Fast-flowing rivers provide excellent spots for fishing, while after dark, the national park is a dark sky reserve making it an idyllic location for stargazing. Soak up the fresh air, admire the scenery, and recharge with a relaxing North Devon break. The variety of Exmoor’s landscape makes it a wonderful place to visit during your countryside break.
4. Go for dinner
Whether you enjoy a romantic meal for two, family dinner or a large celebration for a birthday or anniversary, there is definitely an excuse to have a nice dinner after lockdown.
The Arlington Restaurant in Barnstaple has a reputation as one of the best restaurants in North Devon and has recently been awarded an AA rosette for culinary excellence. You can choose from the table d’hôte menu, which is changed daily to ensure we make the very best of seasonal local produce or the a la carte menu which bursts with imagination.
5. Visit beautiful gardens
Who else has become a keen gardener during lockdown? You’re in luck because North Devon’s temperate climate and diverse landscape have long inspired gardeners and so we have a wide variety of beautiful gardens to explore. They come in all shapes and styles, all offering something different but each with a familiar feeling that you are visiting a garden that is loved and cared for.
Whether you are looking to spend a couple of hours strolling around a flower garden at RHS Garden Rosemoor or a whole day walking through woodland. Many gardens also have play areas for children and cafes or shops/garden centres making them a great place for fun and relaxation for the whole family.
See the full list of our must-visit North Devon gardens here.
6. Be adventurous
Enjoy a break filled with adventure when you visit North Devon. Starting with North Devon Wake Park, located on a stunning lake in the beautiful fields of North Devon. Accompanied by a wooden clubhouse, undercover decking and luscious grassed areas, it’s the perfect place to enjoy the charming setting and take on an enjoyable and entertaining activity. The WakePark has a variety of outdoor activities for all ages which include wakeboarding, Paddleboarding, slacklining and their unique aquapark. What are you waiting for? It’s time to try something new!
You might also be inspired by our Things to do page...
7. Admire the picturesque villages
If you’ve been scrolling through Instagram admiring all of the fascinating and charming places you’ve never been before, now's your chance to admire them! The enchanting history, natural beauty and varied landscape have helped create a plethora of palaces in Devon which are striking in their character and appearance.
Ranging from rocky and windy walkways to the sandy beaches on the picturesque coastline, North Devon is one of the prettiest areas you can visit. Our top picks include the historic town of Clovelly, the beautiful towns of Lynton & Lynmouth and spectacular Morthoe.
8. Enjoy a traditional Afternoon Tea
Craving Devonshire delights? Devon is well known for its cream teas and no trip to the country is complete without a laid back afternoon enjoying a delicious treat. Come and enjoy a Devon cream tea (with the cream and then the jam) in the sumptuous surroundings of Lounge at The Imperial - it’s the perfect excuse to catch up with loved ones!
9. Relax during restorative a spa day
Escape the stresses of lockdown life with your loved ones at Source Spa and Wellness. Enjoy the peace and tranquillity that only a spa day set atop the cliffs on the North Devon coast can deliver, and enjoy the breathtaking views as you overlook Saunton Sands beach and World Heritage Braunton Burrows. Whether it’s to escape from the kids, to celebrate an anniversary, or just to spend time together, it’s a great opportunity to revive. Browse their range of spa days and treatments here.
10. Walk the South West coast path
If you’ve spent a lot of time indoors during lockdown it’s time to get out and stretch your legs!
Where else can you walk along 630 miles of such a beautiful shoreline that constitutes the UK’s longest National Trail? The heritage, wildlife, geology and scenery along the way are truly inspirational and walking it brings stunning new experiences. So strap on your boots it’s time to get walking!
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The Imperial is ideally located in the heart of North Devon, convenient for everything this fantastic area has to offer, including the coast, Exmoor, picturesque villages and beautiful gardens.