Anyone who works in travel will tell you that the best part of the job is getting out there in the world. We’re always adding new inventory to our portfolio, and we’re very proud to announce some wonderful new additions to the Stays family in the charming town of Ilfracombe in Devon. Naturally a little scouting mission was on the cards, and we were so enamoured of the place that we’re proud to announce that Ilfracombe is our destination of the week!
This picturesque little seaside town is one of the South-West’s premier coastal getaways. Ilfracombe has been a centre of tourism since the 1950s, and with a thriving town centre full of independent stores, some fantastic beaches and world class local attractions, it’s easy to see why.
Ilfracombe’s famous Tunnels Beaches are one of the town’s biggest draws, and are the result of a fascinating and unique history. The tunnels themselves were hand-carved in the 1820s and made the beach a popular destination in the Victorian era. There are a number of onsite story boards detailing the construction of the tunnels and the history of the beach itself.
The beach itself offers some spectacular views, as well as a number of rock pools and a cafe with a soft play area.
Or if it’s a sandy beach you’re looking for then look no further than Wilders Beach. Popular with dog walkers, this sand and shingle beach doesn’t attract quite the same number of visitors as some of its neighbours further along the coast, which means there’s plenty of room to spread out.
Another of Ilfracombe’s most famous attractions, this 20 metre tall steel and bronze sculpture was loaned to the town for 20 years by artist Damien Hirst.
A modern allegory of British truth and justice, the pregnant figure stands atop a number of legal books, in a stance reminiscent of Edgar Degas’ ‘Little Dancer of Fourteen Years’ – a piece which also served as an inspiration for Hirst’s 2005 work ‘Virgin Mother’.
Like many of its coastal neighbours, Ilfracombe’s town centre offers something a little bit different, with local, independent retailers outweighing the ubiquitous chain stores.
The town centre boasts a cinema and a nightclub, as well as a number of great pubs and restaurants.
Milky Way Adventure Park
Named Devon’s Large Attraction of the Year 2016, this 110, 000 square foot theme park is one of the South West’s most popular family days out.
The park features two main roller coasters (the Cosmic Typhoon and the Cosmic Caterpillar) as well as a number of smaller rides. The park also features several slides and a small railway.
There’s no need to leave for lunch either, as the park offers a number of dining options, including the 120 seat Star Light Restaurant and the fast food delights of the Galactic Cafe.
From Devon’s best large attraction to the county’s best small one, Exmoor Zoo was last year not only awarded that honour, but was also named the best small attraction in the whole South West.
The zoo is home to a number of exotic species, including alpacas, cheetahs, monkeys, wallabies, cranes and parrots.