Visit Ilfracombe and the surrounding villages and stay in bed & breakfast accommodation:
Ilfracombe, Devon. A holiday and retirement resort annexing a chunk of superb country, it is curious as being almost without rival, even among fellow resorts, for the variety and immodesty of its Victorian architecture. The beauty and restrictedness of the site between cliffs and hills accentuates the size and dominance of the huge hotels and boarding houses. From the restraint of the Tunnel Baths (1836) to the grandiosity of the Holiday Inn (1870), to the confused efforts of the early 20th century, the changes in taste of a hundred years are, within a very short walk, most entertainingly displayed. And behind, farmed hills rise high before folding into deep valleys of big trees and shrubs like fuchsias which, although this is a north coast, are not cut down by frost.
Like most of the larger West Country resorts, Ilfracombebe came popular during the Napoleonic Wars. Before that it was a small fishing port and, from the 14th to the 16th century, quite an important trading port. Its harbour remains attractive, full of small boats. it is a departure-point for Lundy and for cruises along the coast and across to Wales. On a peninsular hill beside the harbour is the basically 14th-century St Nicholas Chapel, since the 18th century a lighthouse. The climb to it, and also to Hillsborough (447 ft) to the East, is worthwhile for the view. There is no main beach, rather a series of coves, both rocky and sandy, extra good for shell hunting.
The numerous public gardens are mostly above average both in their setting and in their quality. The parish church, Holy Trinity, though in general much restored, has ancient waggon-roof timbers.
About 1 ½ miles South East of the harbour, Chambercombe is a small, mainly 16th- and 17th-century manor house of considerable quaintness and charm round courtyards with fuchsias. It contains a fine Elizabethan tester-bed, and boasts, inevitably perhaps, a ghost.
At Lee, about 3 miles West, a lush valley leads down to an exciting rocky bay.
Some 2 ½ miles East of Ilfracombe is Watermouth Castle.
Nearby towns: Barnstaple, Combe Martin, Woolacombe
Nearby villages: Arlington, Ashford, Berrynarbor, Bickington, Bittadon, Bratton Fleming, Braunton, Chivenor, Croyde, East Down, Fremington, Georgeham, Goodleigh, Kentisbury, Knowle, Loxhore, Lynmouth, Lynton, Martinhoe, Mortehoe, Oare, Parracombe, Roborough, Shirwell, Sticklepath, Stoke Rivers, Trentishoe, West Down, Winsham, Woolacombe, Wrafton
Have you decided to visit Ilfracombe or the surrounding villages? Please look above for somewhere to stay in:
- a Ilfracombe bed and breakfast (a Ilfracombe B&B or Ilfracombe b and b)
- a Ilfracombe guesthouse
- a Ilfracombe hotel (or motel)
- a Ilfracombe self-catering establishment, or
- other Ilfracombe accommodation