Greenery and rocks in the foreground meet white water waves of the ocean, with sand and land leading away into the background on the left side. There is a headland of land in the distance and lots of people in the water.

What we love about North Devon and Exmoor

There's so much to adore in this beautiful area...

There’s so much to adore in this beautiful area…

The Calvert Exmoor centre is right in the heart of North Devon, surrounded by green fields, forests, and the best that nature has to offer.

But if you look around the area, there is so much more to enjoy alongside our activities and the views of Wistlandpound Reservoir.

Here’s why we love North Devon and Exmoor, showcasing how an accessible break at Calvert Exmoor could feature so much more than our onsite activities…

The beaches

The obvious place to start! North Devon beaches are known to be some of the best in the UK for families, sunbathers and surfers.

A long stretch of sand with sea and blue sky in the background and yellow tall grass in the foreground

Woolacombe Beach

Woolacombe Beach regularly sits in Trip Advisor’s list of top 10 UK beaches, whilst the golden sands at beautiful locations like Croyde Beach and Saunton Sands are popular for their long golden stretches of sand and cracking surf. These three beaches are each just a 30 to 40-minute drive from the Calvert centre.

There are many more hidden gems along the coastline too. The nearest beach to Calvert Trust Exmoor is at Combe Martin, 10 minutes away, and Lynmouth’s pebbled beach is 20 minutes away with spectacular views.

A rubber dinghy is speeding along to the right on clear dark blue water, in front of some land in the distance.

Combe Martin

Accessible Access

What makes the key beaches of North Devon so popular is the fact that many are fully accessible for wheelchair users. There are ramps to the sand rather than steps, and specialist beach wheelchairs are available to hire – ask at information points, Visitor Centres or shops and cafes at each location for details.

Exmoor National Park

Exmoor is a National Park that’s shared between North Devon and Somerset. Anyone who spends time here will understand why Exmoor is our namesake, it’s one of the main reasons why we love North Devon and it’s right on our doorstep!

Fields and trees extend into the distance meeting a clear blue sky

Exmoor National park


The Exmoor Ponies

Ponies, roaming free, what’s not to love?

A brown wild pony walks uphill, with woodlands and forests in the distance behind it.

A wild pony on Exmoor

The quiet, remote roads

If you enjoy driving through the countryside and don’t mind winding roads, we certainly recommend driving through Exmoor when travelling to and from the centre. And if you’re not afraid to go off the beaten track, there are many quiet spots to take in the views. Find a perfect place to stop, relax and enjoy the moment.

You might even spot the abundance of Exmoor wildlife such as deer and birds of prey.

An empty road through Exmoor National Park

The unique Exmoor locations

If you’d like to visit a specific place, there are a few key locations to mention.

The villages of Lynton and Lynmouth are a focal point of Exmoor, connected by a 130-year-old Cliff Railway – the world’s highest and steepest water-powered railway. Lynmouth, has a stone beach with a dramatic coastline and a seaside town feel.


A railway leading downhill with trees either side and the ocean in the background.

Lynmouth to Lynton Funicular Railway

Just outside Lynton is the Valley of Rocks, a dry valley that is a popular tourist destination, with feral goats and stunning views. The main path is easy to walk as it is flat and tarmacked, despite being narrow on the side of the cliff. It can be suitable for people with impaired mobility looking for a walk but is not recommended for wheelchairs due to a lack of passing places.


A paved path on the left winds round the coast towards a cliff with rocks on the top. To the right is a bright blue ocean and dark blue sky in the background.

Valley of Rocks

Porlock is a quaint village in Exmoor that is popular with visitors, whilst Porlock Weir is a small but beautiful place by the water’s edge.

Inland, Simonsbath sits high on the moors, ideally located for walks and sightseeing. The tiny village is remote but is only a 15-minute drive from Calvert Exmoor.

Meanwhile, the historic Tarr Steps are found 30 minutes from the centre. The walks around Tarr Steps are beautiful, walking alongside the river through the woods. Sadly the site is not that accommodating for wheelchair users due to its rugged location and natural paths, but a visit would suit those looking for fresh clean air and to lose themselves in nature.

A set of stones piled to make a bridge go across a river with autumn trees either side in the distance.

Tarr Steps


A wide range of attractions and days out

We’ve already spoken about Lynton and Lynmouth, but there are many towns and villages in North Devon to visit.

Barnstaple is the unofficial ‘capital’ of North Devon and is the place to shop popular high-street brands and independent retailers.

Ilfracombe and Combe Martin (which is 10 minutes down the road from us) are popular with our guests who want to explore rockpools, see striking coastal views, enjoy an ice-cream and pick up some souvenirs. Ilfracombe is also the home of Verity, by Damien Hurst – the second tallest statue in the UK.

An aerial view of Ilfracombe town, with pink flowers in the foreground and sea surrounding the land.

An aerial photograph of Ilfracombe

Looking for a day out for all the family? Not a problem in North Devon…

Exmoor Zoo – a small but complete zoo, just down the road from the Calvert Exmoor centre. Home of wolves, cheetahs, African wild dogs, and many varieties of big cats including the famous Exmoor Beast!

Combe Martin Wildlife and Dinosaur Park – another family-friendly zoo with the added twist of electronic dinosaurs around the park. There is also an indoor soft play area for younger children. Animals include lions, penguins, and sea lions who take part in a daily show.

Quince Honey Farm – a unique attraction where visitors can discover more about bees, honey, and beekeeping. A visit can include beekeeping experiences, talks and tours, honey tasting, family crafts, activities critter encounters, and indoor play.

Arlington Court – a historic house and gardens, also found around the corner from the Calvert Exmoor centre. Our guests choose to visit Arlington for walks through the grounds and to see the house and carriage museum. Trampers and shuttle buses are available for those who need them.

A large grey building on the left stands in front of yellow paved paths and a lawn.

Arlington Court, National Trust


Please speak to a member of the Calvert Exmoor team about visiting any of the places mentioned here, either over the phone or at reception, and we’ll do our best to provide more advice.

When visiting Calvert Exmoor for an adventure break, there are several opportunities to explore North Devon…

Check-in is from 4pm, giving you most of the day to see the views and attractions on the journey to us. Then on your final day, check-out is 10am, which frees up the rest of the day to do as you wish before heading home.

Many of our guests staying for a week-long break choose to take a day away from the centre to see more of North Devon and to have a wonderful day out.

For more information about how an accessible break in North Devon at Calvert Exmoor, call
01598 763221.