Great Ideas for Low Cost Holiday Activities in North Devon
With the benefit of a little local knowledge, we are providing a few tips for free, or nearly free, days out and ideas for your stay at any of our North Devon holiday parks. Whilst a day out at a theme park, shopping or the beach is often top of the list, there is always going to be that odd cloudy or even rainy day if you are unlucky, where you need to enjoy some quality time without breaking your holiday budget. Fortunately, our caravan parks in North Devon are ideally located for low cost family days out and provide excellent value for money self-catering holiday accommodation in North Devon.
The Tarka Trail
The Tarka Trail runs alongside the Rivers Taw and Torridge in North Devon, formerly part of the railway network, they are now walking and cycling routes that are free from traffic and allow you to enjoy an active day with the family set alongside the beautiful estuary. There are many places to access the Tarka Trail nearby including in the nearby town of Bideford on the East The Water side of the bridge, Barnstaple Railway Station and Braunton. The Tarka Trail runs from Braunton in the north to the Puffing Billy pub near Torrington in the south and is ideal for cycling and walking.
Two places on the Tarka Trail that we recommend as your base to start or rest are Braunton and Fremington Quay. Braunton is ideal as the main car park in Caen Street has plenty of space and provides low cost parking. There is also a bike hire centre easily accessible. Park your car in the car park and walk to the Police Station in the far east of the car park, cross over the road and walk along 100 yards with Otter Cycle Hire on your right and you will find the start of the Tarka Trail. Barnstaple is a 5 mile walk or cycle and the trail is pretty flat, approximately half way is the Braunton Inn where you can stop and enjoy refreshments and park your bike if you have one, a great place to enjoy a pit stop on a sunny day with great views over the estuary. The second great place as a base or as a stop off is Fremington Quay.
This former station is now a converted café that provides great value for money food and is very popular. There is also an interactive display area and you can see the old signal box. This is a fantastic base to head either towards Barnstaple or Bideford in the opposite direction to the Puffing Billy.
The South West Coastal Path
One of the best days out is a walk along the South West Coastal path North Devon section. The Tarka Trail forms part of the coastal path and there are some fantastic additional walks to enjoy. Amongst our favourites are from Hartland Quay to Spekes Mill along the coastal path and then back along the track inland where you can walk along stunning farm paths and roads that lead you back into the village of Hartland and then down to the Quay. This walk is often quiet, even on the busiest of days when the beaches are full so if you want to escape the crowds, this walk is ideal.
Other great walks include Morte Point to Bull Point and then on to Lee Bay, the car park in the centre of Mortehoe is an ideal base to start and finish. If you are really energetic, you can extend the walk all the way to Ilfracombe but this may be a bit much for young children. The walk to Lee Bay follows National Trust owned land, stunning scenery and spectacular views and you may even see one of the old ship wrecks at low tide between Bull Point and Rockham Bay.
It’s free and it is fantastic, visiting Exmoor is a must, all you have to pay for is the fuel to get there. The National Park has numerous parking places dotted around, fantastic walks and wildlife and stunning scenery. You can spend some money, there are some fantastic pubs in gorgeous locations such as the White Horse Inn at Exford where you can sit and watch the river and enjoy fantastic food. The Poltimore Inn at North Molton is often regarded as the gateway pub to the moor from the North Devon link road and provides quality food at good prices.
There is always something on and often free, the Exmoor National Park runs events throughout the year to allow visitors to come and enjoy events and areas of the park that may be closed off during parts of the year, click on this link http://www.exmoor-nationalpark.gov.uk/ to see what is happening during your stay with our holiday parks in North Devon. This is a great resource and offers good information on some fantastic walks, we particularly recommend Doone Valley and the walk by the river from Lynmouth to Watersmeet and Tarr Steps is a must!