Why we love North Devon
The Calvert Trust 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 north of Devon, there is so much more to enjoy alongside our activities and the views of Wistlandpound Reservoir.
Here’s why we love North Devon, showcasing how an accessible break at Calvert Trust Exmoor could feature so much more…
The obvious place to start, North Devon beaches are known to be some of the best in the UK for families, sunbathers and surfers.
Woolacombe beach regularly sits in Trip Advisor’s list of top 10 UK beaches, Croyde beach is well known to surfers, and Saunton Sands is popular for its long golden stretch of sand. These three beaches are each just a 30 to 40-minute drive from the 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.
What makes the beaches in 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: Tips for Hiring a Beach Wheelchair in North Devon.
In 2019, Calvert Trust Exmoor guests enjoyed surfing as an activity for the first time! Thanks to specialist surf instructors from Surf South West and The Wave Project, our disabled guests had fun catching some waves at Croyde.
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!
The Exmoor Ponies
Ponies, roaming free, what’s not to love?
The quiet, remote roads
If you love 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.
The unique Exmoor locations
If you’d like to visit a specific place, there are a few places 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, as mentioned, has a stone beach with a dramatic coastline and seaside town feel.
Valley of Rocks
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 lack of passing places.
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 Trust 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 location and natural paths, but a visit would suit those looking for fresh clean air and to lose themselves in nature.
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.
The seaside town of Ilfracombe is popular with guests who want to explore rockpools, see striking coastal views, enjoy an ice-cream and pick up some souvenirs. It’s also home of Verity, by Damien Hurst – the second tallest statue in the UK.
Both Barnstaple and Ilfracombe are a 20-minute drive from the centre.
Woolacombe and Croyde, aside from having their beaches, are also quaint little seaside towns. Plus, Saunton Sands is not far from Braunton, home of award-winning fish and chips.
Looking for an accessible 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 Trust Exmoor centre. Home of wolves, cheetahs, African wild dogs, and many varieties of big cats including the famous Exmoor Beast – black leopards!
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 Trust 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.
Please speak to a member of the Calvert Trust 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 Trust Exmoor for an adventure break, there are several opportunities to explore North Devon…
Check-in is from 4pm, giving 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, in between activities, 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 Trust Exmoor, call 01598 763221.
Do you love North Devon as much as we do? Leave a comment on our social channels telling us what you love about the area…