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Which do you prefer - South Devon or North Devon?

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Which do you prefer - South Devon or North Devon?

SO, I know this will be somewhat subjective, and it does of course depends on the type of holiday you want, the size and ages of your party etc, but generally, I'm wondering what the general feeling is?

We are planning a holiday in late September this year with our 2 children (1 toddler and 1 baby). We are hoping for enough to visit to keep us amused during the day, and also some nature reserve/farms/animal places for our toddler (she's 2.5 years old). We're not bothered about restaurants or nightlife as having 2 small children we're asleep by 10pm! However, we do like a good pub for lunch or an afternoon drink.

I holidayed in South Devon mainly as a child with my parents, and as yet, haven't been to North Devon. We generally go to Cornwall when holidaying in the UK.

We have been considering Lynmouth area but we know we like South Devon so I'm wondering if we may be disappointed?

I'd love some advice

Thanks

United Kingdom
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1. Re: Which do you prefer - South Devon or North Devon?

Well, I live in North Devon so I am biased and if it is a straight "which do I prefer" I'd go for North Devon. But I think you won't be "disappointed" but you will probably find more of what you say you want in South Devon.

North Devon is, for me, about stunningly beautiful coastlines and countryside and is best for those who want to walk, surf or do outdoorsy type stuff. With small kids there is more commercial holiday stuff going on in South Devon (farm parks galore, etc) and there are more big roads to get you around easily. Lynmouth is lovely, but not massively children orientated and isolated.

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2. Re: Which do you prefer - South Devon or North Devon?

Thank you for replying. I have heard so many great things about North Devon that I am really tempted, but as you say, we do need to cater for the children (well the 2.5 year old anyway!)

Uk
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3. Re: Which do you prefer - South Devon or North Devon?

Ive just noticed you are very familiar with barnstable? The accommodation Iw as considering is in Barnstable. Its a detached farmhouse with a lovely garden and play area for children. How far would you say Barnstable is from Croyde, Ilfracombe (the coast)?

London, United...
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4. Re: Which do you prefer - South Devon or North Devon?

Before the expert replies I will just add that about 15 minutes away from Barnstaple is Croyde Bay, as nice a beach as you will find anywhere with lovely sand and rock pools at each end to explore. Perfect for families.

And Woolacombe a bit further on with miles of sandy beach.

Ilfracombe is more crazy golf and amusements

If you have never been to the area then it is definitely worth a go.

Berrynarbor, United...
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5. Re: Which do you prefer - South Devon or North Devon?

We now live in North Devon, but previously spent holidays here for 16 years staying in Croyde. When we first visited the children were a similar age to yours. They loved the area, particularly Putsborough beach (safer for children than Croyde we thought) and they loved trips to The Big Sheep (www.thebigsheep.co.uk) and Combe Martin Dinosaur & Wildlife Park (http://www.wildlifedinosaurpark.co.uk), they still visit them now they are at Uni! There is also The Milky Way, slightly further out though. Barnstaple is quite central to all of these.

Somerset
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6. Re: Which do you prefer - South Devon or North Devon?

I would say that in North Devon with small children that Combe Martin has a great beach for them. I used to adore it as a child for all the reasons Jamly gives. I still go to the Dinosaur & Wildlife Park even now I'm old and grey. Love it, though maybe they are a bit young yet.

For beach I've noticed that Puttsborough (which is between Croyde & Woolacombe) is very much a family beach. Beautiful soft sand, rocks and sea. there is something for all of you and maybe for the desperate adults a tirp to Woolacombe (stones throw) for a drink and meal outside overlooking the sea would be welcome.

It's not that far to Lynton & Lynmouth. A walk up the valley under the trees to a cafe (if you have papouses) would be shady and tranquil. This is certainly a great spot for when they are a little older, even now there are huge grassy areas to run around in and it is on the edge of the moors if you want to drive up and look at the views.

It's quite a while since I was in South Devon and it used to be a great place for children. I found it more comercialised and very busy the last time. But in both cases it largely depends on where you stay.

england
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7. Re: Which do you prefer - South Devon or North Devon?

The area around Exeter - either Exmouth (near Crealy, World of Country Life, Escot, Donkey sanctuary ) or Dawlish (still close to attractions, softer sand)

Exeter, UK
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8. Re: Which do you prefer - South Devon or North Devon?

How about East Devon? Not as well known but great for the demographic and interests you highlight. And the World Heritage Jurassic Coast thrown in for good measure!

Check out www.eastdevonexcellence.co.uk for inspiration (and possible places to stay).

But as you already stated (and the other answers confirmed), we're all pretty biased towards the bits we know. For the sake of balance, whereever you end up in Devon, you'll have a great time!

Enjoy.

United Kingdom
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9. Re: Which do you prefer - South Devon or North Devon?

Barnstaple is about 25 mins from Ilfracombe by car and slightly less to Croyde. You also have Woolacombe beach and Westward Ho! Within similar travel times.

Ilfracombe is more like a Northern seaside town in that it has some amusement arcades and lots of chip pies and pubs (said in a loving way as a Northern lass myself). I love Croyde beach but please be aware if is very prone to rip-tides and although there are lifeguards in summer I have always felt a little anxious with younger children swimming there. Woolacombe and Saunton Sands are both really popular with families.

It is a beautiful area, just quite spread out and less farms parks and the like. The Big Sheep nr Bideford is good for little people, mind, and Funderzone in Barnstaple.

London, United...
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10. Re: Which do you prefer - South Devon or North Devon?

Oh, reading through these posts has made me nostalgic for north Devon! We spent many a happy summer when the children were small in westward ho!- playing on the beach , taking beach horse rides in the evening and visiting places like 'the milky way' and 'the big sheep'.

I will return soon!

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