Why Ilfracombe is the Perfect Base for a North Devon Adventure Holiday!

Whether you’re a hiker, biker or surfer, we all have different ideas of what makes the ‘perfect’ adventure holiday, and it’s hard to find somewhere that offers it all in one stunning location…that’s where Ilfracombe comes in! No matter whether you’re travelling solo, with friends, or with family, you’ll find the perfect base for your adventure holiday in Ilfracombe.

Adventure is never far away!

Whether you’re a seasoned adventurer or a beginner, there are plenty of exciting activities to try in Ilfracombe and the surrounding areas. Take a look at some of our favourites below!


Coasteering - Visit Ilfracombe

Coasteering is a great activity that offers a unique and exhilarating way to explore our rugged coastline, and it’s really taken off over the past few years! As you make your way along the coastline, you’ll have the chance to discover hidden coves, plunge into the sea, and marvel at the stunning views. Coasteering adventures in the area are led by experienced guides who can help you navigate the challenging terrain safely while also providing local knowledge of where to go and what to see! With several local companies offering coasteering adventures, you can choose one that suits your abilities and preferences, whether you’re a beginner or a seasoned “coasteerer”. So if you’re looking for an adrenaline-fueled activity that lets you experience the beauty of North Devon’s coastline in a unique way, coasteering is definitely worth considering.

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Open Water Swimming

Open-water swimming is another great way to experience the beauty of North Devon’s coastline from a different perspective. If you’re new to open-water swimming, it’s recommended that you join some local swimming clubs or experienced guides, there are several around Ilfracombe, including guided tours and swimming clubs that cater to all levels of experience. For those who prefer to swim independently, several beaches around Ilfracombe are popular with locals and tourists all year round! Tunnels Beach and Hele Bay are two examples offering sheltered coves and calm waters for swimming. With the proper preparation and precautions, open-water swimming can be a rewarding experience that lets you discover the natural beauty of North Devon’s coastline.

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Scuba Diving

Scuba Diving - Visit Ilfracombe

For those who love the water and want to explore it more deeply, then Scuba diving is another exciting adventure activity that offers a unique and immersive way to explore the coast. Several scuba diving schools and tour operators in Ilfracombe offer guided dives and courses for all levels, providing the necessary equipment, instruction, and area knowledge to ensure an enjoyable and safe experience. Scuba diving in Ilfracombe is a great activity for anybody looking for something different to do, offering a unique and unforgettable adventure for those who are willing to take the plunge!

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Sea Kayaking

Hele Bay Adventures on Visitilfracombe

With a kayak, you can explore the stunning sea cliffs, hidden coves, and sheltered bays, getting up close and personal with the rugged terrain and marine wildlife. For those who prefer a guided experience, several local tour operators offer guided sea kayaking tours, taking you to some of the most scenic spots in the area. Whether you choose to explore on your own or with a guide, sea kayaking in North Devon is another great choice for anyone looking for adventure in North Devon!

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Paddle Boarding

Active Escape Adventure on Visit Ilfracombe

For a more relaxing ocean-based activity, stand-up paddleboarding (SUP) is a fun way to explore the calmer waters around Ilfracombe and North Devon. It’s an excellent activity for all ages and abilities, and it’s a great way to get out on the water and enjoy the sun. With various rental services in Ilfracombe, you can easily rent a board and explore the scenic coastline at your own pace. Alternatively, local tour operators offer guided SUP tours, taking you to some of the most picturesque spots in the area.

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Mountain Biking on Exmoor

Mountain Biking - Visit Ilfracombe

If you prefer to explore on dry land, Exmoor National Park is a popular destination for mountain bikers, with miles and miles of trails winding through stunning landscapes and offering a variety of challenges for riders of all levels. If you’re ready for a long day out, you can cycle to Exmoor from Ilfracombe and get straight onto the trails, if you’re pushed for time, you can easily drive there too! Mountain biking in North Devon is a fantastic way to get outdoors, challenge yourself, and experience the area’s stunning scenery from a different perspective. The local trails closer to Ilfracombe offer a range of options too, from family-friendly routes to more challenging terrain for experienced riders.

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Horse Riding


Explore the beautiful North Devon countryside on horseback. With stunning coastal views and idyllic countryside, horse riding is an excellent way to get outdoors and enjoy the fresh air while taking in the beautiful scenery. There are plenty of riding stables around Ilfracombe and Exmoor that offer guided rides for riders of all levels.

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Off Road Adventures

Keypitts Quad Biking on Visit Ilfracombe

Perhaps you’re you looking for faster off-road adventure? Look no further than Keypitts! Embark on Quad biking, Axe Throwing, Mini Land Rovers, and the 4×4 Land Rover Experience, all designed to get your adrenaline pumping. Keypitts is a great destination for individuals, families, and groups of friends seeking a challenge. Come rain or shine, Keypitts is open year-round, ensuring that no matter when you visit, adventure awaits. In fact, they embrace the rain as it adds an extra layer of excitement to your experience. Remember, the wetter, the better!

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Surfing - Visit Ilfracombe

And of course, no trip to North Devon is complete without trying surfing! Ilfracombe is situated in the heart of North Devon’s surfing coast, which boasts some of the best surfing beaches in the UK, including Woolacombe, Croyde, & Saunton to name a few! There are several surf schools in the area that cater to all skill levels, providing expert instruction and equipment hire for anyone looking to give surfing a go or improve their skills. These schools offer a range of lesson types, including group and private lessons, ensuring that everyone can learn at their own pace. Surfing in North Devon is about more than just catching waves, though. It’s also a chance to experience the stunning coastal scenery and the unique culture of the area. With excellent accommodation options and plenty of other adventure activities to enjoy, Ilfracombe is an ideal base for a surfing holiday.

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Adventure Awaits!

Already convinced? Take a look at the range of accommodation options in the area, from cosy cottages, coastal hotels, and cliff-side campsites. – there’s something for everyone!

What’s your favourite adventure activity? Let us know on social media with #visitilfracombe 

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