Out and About

Weare Giffard

This lovely North Devon village stretches out alongside the banks of the River Torridge, made famous by Henry Williamson’s novel Tarka the Otter. It is positioned mid-way between the port of Bideford and the historic market town of Torrington.

A couple of minutes walk takes you down to our friendly local pub which serves great food plus a wide selection of of local ales and ciders (the Cyder Presse). Just beyond lies the village park with play equipment, a basketball hoop and an active community orchard. There are plenty of circular walks from the doorstep to while away an afternoon, both through the local woods and alongside the meandering river. At the entrance to the village is one of many access points to the Tarka Trail, a traffic free cycling and walking route traversing North Devon, allowing you to cycle along to the coastal cafes for lunch.

A little further afield:

Glorious beaches | our closest beach is Westward Ho! (15 minute drive with plenty of parking). This is a long, open sandy beach loved by families and surfers alike, with RNLI lifeguards on duty in the summer months. It sits within the North Devon Biosphere AONB and is also great for birdwatching. Instow beach (15 minutes away) sits near the mouth of the estuary and is perfect for sandcastles or playing hide and seek in the dunes, followed by lunch/dinner at one of the beachside bar/restaurants. Head further north to find lots more sandy surfing beaches (Saunton Sands, Croyde, Putsborough, and Woolacombe) or head south to experience the dramatic coastline dotted with rocky inlets and coves just perfect for rockpooling (Bucks Mills, Welcome, Sandymouth and Bude).

Walking | there are numerous coastal walks which make up sections of the South West Coast Path from Combe Martin to Hartland. These provide some dramatic scenery along rocky cliffs with tiny beaches below where you really feel off the beaten track.

Watersports | Surf lessons are available at North Devon Surf School and Westward Waves Surf School. Surfing and Standup Paddleboarding (SUP) lessons and trips are also available at Surf SUP Academy, SUP and kayak tours as well as coasteering are also available  through OSKC watersports in Combe Martin. Kite buggying and kitesurfing lessons are available at Westward Ho with Elemental 514.

Wakeboarding Park | if you are feeling adventurous, lessons are available at this cable park and they also have inflatable rides, SUP and an aquapark. Great for all ages

GolfRoyal North Devon Golf Club– is the oldest course in England and one of the ‘Top 100 Courses in the World,’ it is situated in Westward Ho! next to the beach. Saunton Golf Club -36 holes overlooking Saunton Sands beach is around 30 mins away and our nearest 9 hole course, Torrington golf course is just 5 mins up the hill.

Cycling | We are very close to the Tarka Trail cycle route. Cycle hire is available in both Bideford and Torrington.

Fishing | Fly fishing is available at Blakewell Fisheries. Fishing tackle and friendly local advice including fishing trips are available at Summerlands in Westward Ho! Sea fishing trips are also available from Ilfracombe or Clovelly -both places are interesting and worth a look.

Themed Attractions |The Big Sheep is a sheep centred day out with soft play and animal displays. The Milky Way has a small rollercoaster and lots of activities for all ages.

RHS Rosemoor | Very impressive and well worth a visit at all times of year.

Local towns and villages |

Torrington and Bideford are our closet towns. Both are old market towns with numerous pubs, supermarkets and some great restaurants. Bideford is an old port with an interesting waterfront and pedestrianised shopping streets full of small independent shops. From here you can catch the ferry to Lundy Island, home to puffins and seals. Torrington is famous as the Civil War site of the Battle of Torrington in 1646 and home to a great little cinema and arts centre, The Plough.

Appledore and Instow are both very pretty coastal villages which face each other across the Torridge Estuary and are connected in the summer months by a small passenger ferry. Both have nice deli’s, cafes, pubs and restaurants. Appledore hosts an annual Book Festival in September attracting authors from around the world. Close by is Skern which is great for walks and bird watching.

Clovelly is picturesque and car free fishing village, steeped in maritime atmosphere, it has a working port, a nice pub and breathtaking views. It is quite unique.

Ilfracombe has an attractive working harbour and is famous for ‘Verity’, a 20m tall statue standing at the entrance to the harbour, created by artist Damien Hirst. The Tunnels Beaches, a Victorian bathing beach, also makes for a great day out.

For any further information please just ask!

wendy@wearecottage.co.uk