Pilton retains its charm and interest.  The ancient priory church of St. Mary’s dominates the top of the street of fine buildings which contains a flower shop and a hairdresser as well as places within walking distance for a meal or a pint. The Green Man pub in the middle of the street gets its title from the annual community festival in July (‘Green Man’ day); it serves food as well as drink and is opposite our fish and chip shop.  The Reform Inn (the Barum  Brewery ) at the foot of the  street provides drink,  on the same side of the street near the Reform is a take-away, serving Indian continent food.  The Windsor Arms in Bradiford  (10 or 15 minutes’ walk) also serves food.   There are also restaurants in Barnstaple and Broomhill Art Hotel, Muddiford, is only a few minutes’ drive away.

Out and About


Always beautiful, North Devon is very varied with dramatic coastline ranging from Hartland’s folding ridged cliffs to the wreckers’ coast between Ilfracombe and Baggy Point.  There are activities for all on the door-step, and of all kinds, sport, culture or sight-seeing.


 You will find beaches for all tastes, surfing at Saunton or Croyde (life-guards at both), family beaches, such as at Putsborough, a cowrie beach, Barricane, Ilfracombe, also places for wild swimming.  Water sports of all sorts can be tried; there are several surf schools around the area and places like Skern Lodge (Bideford) run half or whole day or longer courses in kayaking etc.  Training weeks at the local yacht clubs need to be applied for in advance.

You can fish in the local fish farm (Muddiford) or in the sea, from land or by boat.  There is paint-ball shooting near Torrington and on Exmoor safari style days can be booked. If you wish to climb there are several climbing walls (South Molton is nearest) and experienced climbers will know of places in the locality.  The variety of adventure parks cater for several ages with a range of facilities/activities on offer as do the theme and wild life parks. Cycles can be hired from several venues:  the tarmac Tarka Trail (26 miles in total) is adjacent.  For walking see below.


Most towns are quite small, yet a village, such as Braunton, can be almost as big. Barnstaple, Bideford, South Molton and Holsworthy still have market days.  You can find some small shops selling locally made or grown produce/food stuffs as well as alternative health or beauty products, clothes and accessories, also second-hand shops of all sorts, including antique dealers. Our excellent flower shop in Pilton street has some ‘shabby chic’ artefacts.  You will of course be able to eat a cream tea almost anywhere.

Many N. Devon towns have interesting buildings;  Torrington and Tiverton had castles.  Their churches are often large and many in this area have retained their distinctive and unique wooden carvings and furnishings.

The agricultural backbone of the area is still evident in the many small farms as well as the large estates (some now owned  by the National Trust) and the numerous plant nurseries and gardens open to visitors.  Several gardens can be seen near Barnstaple (Arlington Court, walled and kitchen garden), Marwood Hill Gardens); Killerton, near Tiverton, like Arlington belongs to the National Trust. All sell plants or you can visit one of the many garden centres or the markets to pick up that special one.

There are still areas of unspoilt countryside to enjoy and the National Park on Exmoor or the National Trust coastal path offer miles of available walking.  Arlington Court near Barnstaple has many trails to suit all ages and abilities, small children or wheel-chair users. You can walk by the sea, along the cliffs, or just inland, as in the Valley of the Rocks, near Lynton, or in woodland or countryside.  The wildlife and wild flowers are still quite diverse and plentiful, especially in the spring and early summer.