Hidden gems of North Devon

North Devon is a holiday hotspot in the UK and for good reason. Especially when the weather is good, North Devon with its vast number of golden beaches, picturesque little villages, and patchworks of farmland is a joy to explore. However, because of this it can be very popular and certain places have become tourist hotspots. But that doesn’t mean there aren’t hidden gems, where you can avoid the crowds and enjoy some of the best things Devon has to offer. Whether you are staying for a short family break over a weekend, or spending the majority of your summer there; here is our list of some hidden gems you can explore whilst on your North Devon holiday.


Clovelly is the definition of a hidden gem. Isolated from the hustle and bustle of the most touristy areas in North Devon, this picturesque fishing village feels like a throwback to a different era. Formerly owned by the Royal Family, it has been preserved by private ownership to maintain its unique character. 

Nestled on the side of a cliff, and completely restricted from traffic, Clovelly feels like you have walked out of a time machine. In what can feel rather odd, the only type of transport you will see within the village are donkeys and sledges. At the bottom of the hill, there is an ancient fishing harbor, which is surrounded by a large quay. It’s a great place to sit and relax as you look out on the small ships that go out to sea. Moving up from the harbour, there are cottages with lovely floral gardens dotted across the cliffs which you can have a nosy at, and hidden passageways known only to locals which you can explore.

Keypitts Offroad Adventures

If visiting a little fishing village doesn’t appeal to you, or won’t be enjoyed by your adrenaline addicted kids; then Keypitts Offroad Adventures is probably a more suitable place for you to visit. Located just outside of Ilfracombe, Keypitts is a place where you can have a day of exhilarating fun by doing activities such as off-road quad biking, archery and their 4×4 Land Rover Experience.

Whilst they specialize in riproarding adventures, Keypitts has been run by a local family since 1998, and have a long history of providing fun for everyone in the family within a safe environment; so no need to have concerns about that.

When it comes to the activities themselves, you can fulfill your dreams of being Robin Hood at the archery, or feel like you are living through an episode of Top Gear by negotiating the 200 acres of challenging terrain in their Land Rover experience; whatever activity you want to do, you and the rest of your family will have a great time.

The Lynton and Lynmouth Cliff Railway

Lynton and Lynmouth is a glorious seaside location that you have to visit if you are in north Devon. Nicknamed ‘little Switzerland’ by some famous poets in the 19th century, the area became known for its iconic railway and brilliant views.

The Lynton and Lynmouth Cliff Railway is the UK’s only fully water powered railway and a marvel of British engineering. The 500ft climb from the ground, whether you are taking a ride on the railway for the first time or for the hundredth time, will never get old.

Aside from the wonderful location and the railway, Lynton and Lynmouth is also famous for its seaside cafe. The very popular cafe is less of a hidden gem, but its wide selection of brilliant food and drink is to die for and should definitely be experienced whilst you are there.

Krissy Georgiadis

Written by Krissy Georgiadis

Law graduate and wanderlust sufferer. I like rum and beaches.