Woolacombe, Mortehoe, Lee Bay and Ilfracombe – if you want to keep it local during your holiday at Lower Campscott there’s a surprising amount for you to do and plenty to keep you entertained right on the doorstep. Great walks from the farm through our lovely valley will lead you to Lee village and its pretty bay then further afield to the village of Mortehoe or the vibrant Victorian town of Ilfracombe.
Borough Farm, home of Channels 5’s Mist the Sheepdog and the Kennard family is a few minutes away and hosts some spectacular demonstrations of working sheepdogs and falconry as well as a comical animal pantomime.
Take the signed path across the farm which joins the road to Lee village and Lee Bay or its a five minute drive by car.
In the village you’ll find:
The Old Schoolroom Craft Gallery: adjacent to the pretty church of St Matthews. The Old Schoolroom sells local crafts, jewellery, paintings and pottery.
The Grampus Inn: a traditional village pub serving delicious wholesome food (including gluten and dairy free), organic wine and good beer. It has its own micro-brewery so be sure to try some of several ales brewed on the premises too – with names like Hoppy Dog & Grampus Kraken they’re not to be missed!
Lee Bay and Sandy Cove
The sheltered bay with its small sandy beach and imposing rock formations at either side is particularly picturesque at low tide and ideal for rock-pooling. Head down to the water’s edge and you’ll find a smugglers’ path to the secret beach, Sandy Cove. There are steps leading up the cliff on the opposite side of Sandy Cove so if you want to visit at high water or do a circular walk round and back to the village you can.
Walks from Lee Bay
It’s a bracing walk along the South West coast path from Lee to the picturesque village of Mortehoe via Bull Point lighthouse with wonderful views across the sea to Lundy. Stopping at one of Mortehoe’s traditional village pubs or tea room for light refreshment and not forgetting the heritage centre from where you can take a guided tractor and trailer ride, organised by the National Trust, out to Morte Point.
There’s also a great fish and chip shop which sells amazing local seafood platters to take home. You can then return inland through Damage Barton.
Or why not walk from Lee Bay to Ilfracombe along the coast path and return via the old railway?
With its Victorian heritage, Ilfracombe has a number of interesting attractions to visit including the award-winning Ilfracombe Aquarium, unique Tunnels Beaches with its historic bathing pools, fascinating Ilfracombe Museum, Larkstone Leisure Park, Hele Cornmill and Chambercombe Manor, one of Britain’s most haunted houses.
The influence of artist Damien Hirst is obvious when you see the imposing statue of Verity dominating the harbour and his art gallery is definitely worth a visit. Fore Street has become the foodie centre for Ilfracombe with its many restaurants and cafés or you could eat freshly caught and cooked lobster down by the working harbour as you watch the fishing boats return.
There are numerous events and festivals throughout the year, many based on the quayside at the historic harbour and at the prestigious Landmark Theatre on the seafront so there’s always plenty happening in this bustling seaside town.
A few minutes up the road from Lower Campscott is our neighbour David Kennard at Borough Farm. The Borough Farm sheepdogs are the stars of channel Five’s ‘Mist-Sheepdog Tales’ and throughout the summer David and his canine friends put on an amazing display every Wednesday. He’s joined by George Pile an Exmoor falconer flying his birds of prey and demonstrating their breath-taking hunting skills. All in all a fantastic evening out guaranteed to entertain whatever the weather. On Tuesday mornings there’s the hilarious Farmyard Show – guaranteed to raise a laugh, with Jemima the Duck, Felicity the sheep and the Fairy pig mother. You can meet the dogs after the show and stay for a barbeque served from Borough Farm Shepherd’s Hut.
Four miles from Lower Campscott Farm, Woolacombe is a lively village and visitors of all ages will find plenty to do away from the beach. There’s a friendly, relaxed atmosphere which you’re sure to enjoy with a range of shops selling groceries, gifts and clothing plus a chemist, Post Office, newsagent and surf schools and surf hire.
The wide choice of good pubs and restaurants makes Woolacombe a great destination for meals out or a relaxing sundowner – the vibrant Red Barn overlooks the sea and is popular with surfers and locals, the Bar Electric offers relaxed dining again with stunning sea views, Roxy’s American Diner is fun and stylish and the Woolacombe Fryer is great for a traditional fish and chip supper. Check out Tripadvisor for more great restaurants in Woolacombe.
There’s fun for the youngsters too at Funder Island with a 15 hole pirate themed adventure golf, bumper boats, formula racing cars, remote pirate boats, Krazy quads and Water walkerz.