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Hele Bay


Hele Bay is an ideal place to spend a good old fashioned family day out with something for everyone.
Why not start your day with a leisurely walk from Ilfracombe, through the harbour and past the swimming pool where the South West Coast Path will lead you on to Hillsborough, an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. Following the path, you will be rewarded with terrific views of Ilfracombe Harbour and Verity, out to sea and to the Welsh coast beyond. Or, for the less energetic, a five minute journey by car on the A399 towards Combe Martin will bring you to Hele and easy car parking is available in the Beach Road carpark. Buses also run from Ilfracombe and Combe Martin.

Hele Bay has been popular with bathers since Victorian times and the part sand, part shingle beach is great for families looking for a quiet seaside day out with facilities on hand. Explore the numerous rock pools with fishing nets and discover the secret smugglers' caves. Then, at very low tide, clamber around the rocks to 'Fishing Rock' or 'Blythes Cove'. The beach is also popular with canoeists and larger ships can be viewed out to sea, so bring your binoculars

After an active morning, why not visit Hele Corn Mill, a 16th century working watermill and tearooms just 300m from the beach. Described as 'a small oasis in the village of Hele', there is something for all the family; a tour of the mill and demonstration of the 1920's National Diesel Engine for Dad; a millstone hunt and photo quiz for the kids; and a leisurely mill-made cream tea (including traditional Devonshire splits) for Mum.

When it's time for home, an alternative route may include a visit to Chambercombe Manor, approx 20 minutes on foot, five by car. Dating back to 1162, this historic Manor House is connected to tales of smuggling and renown for paranormal activity!