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Barnstaple Attractions - Minehead

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Somerset's premier holiday resort of Minehead has a superb setting between the heather-clad hills of Exmoor National Park and the coast. The town is sheltered by North Hill (pictured above) which can be seen for miles around. Originally Minehead had 3 separate settlements, but over the years these have joined together. Much of the older parts with thatched cottages and narrow alleyways survive. The best known is Church Steps below St. Michael's Church on North Hill.

Since Victorian times holidaymakers have been coming to Minehead because of the attractiveness of the surroundings, the mild weather and the wide sandy beach. Many stayed on at the turn of the last century and some of them may still be here, since the local climate is a very healthy one! Today Minehead and district offers its visitors modern amenities and facilities, whilst conserving the best of the past: - the enourmously popular steam railway, the old town with its many spacious Edwardian era villas (some of which are today's guest houses) and the attractive harbour area and nearby medieval village Dunster with its superb castle.

Minehead, like all UK resorts is seasonal of course, but less so than most because of the growing number of people taking long weekend breaks throughout the year. The proximity of the Exmoor National Park, together with the mild climate keeps Minehead lively and we increasingly think of our town as an all-year-round destination. So excellent is Minehead as a base for walking and touring, that many guest houses find their guests returning year after year without exhausting the areas to be explored and enjoyed and on retirement quite a few decide, like their ancestors before them, that they would like to move here permanently.

Minehead is situated right on the Exmoor National Park boundary and has a wide choice of excellent walks starting in the town and leading out into the beautiful Exmoor countryside. The best known is the South West Coast Path which starts on the seafront (starting from the bronze "map and hands" and follows the coast to Lands end End and on to Poole Harbour in Dorset. And if you want to explore some of North Devon while you are here, then the Devon border is only 12 miles west of Minehead, along the coast road.

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Abbeyford Woods, Near Okehampton, Tel: 01409 221692
Big Sheep (The), Abbotsham, Bideford, EX39 5AP Tel: 01237 472366
Bradworthy Transport Msm, Higher Alsworthy Farm Tel: 01409 241597
Braunton & District Museum, Braunton, Tel: 01271 816688
Brocklands Adventure Park, West Street Bude, Tel: 01288 321225
Broomhill Art Hotel & Gardens, Muddiford Tel: 01271 850262
Burton Art Gallery & Msm, Kingsley Road, Tel: 01237 471455
Castle Hill, Filleigh, Barnstaple, EX32 0RQ Tel: 01598 760 336
Clovelly Court Garden, , Clovelly , EX39 5TA Tel: 01237 431
Clovelly Village Visitor Centre, Clovelly, Bideford, Tel: 01237 431781

Cobbaton Combat Collection, Chittlehampton, Tel: 01769 540740
Cheristow Lavender, C Lavender Farm, Hartland, Tel: 01237 440078
Combe Martin Wildlife & Dinosaur Park, C.Martin, Tel: 01271 882486
Dartington Crystal, Dartington Crystal, Torrington, Tel: 01805 626242
Docton Mill Gardens, Spekes Valley, Hartland, Tel: 01237 441369
Dovetails Gallery, 60 High Street, Ilfracombe, Tel: 01271 864769
Dragon Archery Centre, Westcott Cott, Holsworthy, Tel: 0800 0372466
Eggesford Forest, Eggesford, Tel: 01409 221 692
Eggesford Garden & Country Centre, Eggesford, Tel: 01769 580250
Exmoor Zoo Park, South Stowford B. Fleming, Tel: 01598 763352

Gnome Reserve, West Putford, Nr Bradworthy Tel: 01409 241435
Halsdon Wood, Great Torrington, Okehampton, Tel: 01392 279244
Hartland Abbey & Gardens, Hartland, Nr Bideford, Tel: 01237 441264
Hartland Peninsula, Hartland, North Devon, Tel: 01237 431504
Hartland Pottery, Hartland, Nr Bideford, EX39 6DE Tel: 01237 441693
Heddon Hall Gardens, Parracombe, EX31 4QL Tel: 01598 763541
Holsworthy Community Woods, Holsworthy, Tel: 01409 221692
Ilfracombe Aquarium, Ilfracombe Harbour, Tel: 01271 864533
Lundy Island, The Quay, Bideford, EX39 2LY Tel: 01271 863636
Marwood Hill Gardens, Marwood Hill, EX31 4EB Tel: 01271 342528

Milky Way Adventure Park, Clovelly, Bideford, Tel: 01237 431255
Plough Arts Centre (The), 9-11 Fore St, Torrington, Tel: 01805 624624
Queens Theatre, Boutport Street, Barnstaple, Tel: 01271 324242
Quince Honey Farm, North Road, South Molton, Tel: 01769 572401
RHS Garden Rosemoor, Rosemoor, Torrington, Tel: 01805 624067
Tarka Cruises, 20 Market Street, Appledore, Tel: 01237 476 191
Tarka Garden Tours, Barleycott Blakewell, Barns, Tel: 01271 375002
Tarka Line (The), D & C Rail Pnership, Plymouth, Tel: 01752 233094
Torrington 1646, Castle Hill South St, Torrington, Tel: 01805 626146
Tropiquaria, Washford Cross, Watchet, TA23 0QB Tel: 01984 640 688

Tunnels Beaches, Bath Place, Ilfracombe, Tel: 01271 879123
Watermouth Castle, Ilfracombe, EX34 9SL Tel: 01271 867474
Westcountry Nurseries, Donkey Meadow, Bideford, Tel: 01237 431111

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Serious Shopping: Dartington Crystal, Green Lanes and of course Atlantic Village.

And finally for the active ones: Loads of Golf, Cascades, North Devon Karting and Skern Lodge.

Clovelly - Just out on the A39, 9 miles beyond Bideford, is the quaint and unique town of Clovelly. The village is traffic free and the main street, known very simply as 'up-a-long' and 'down-a-long', tumbles its cobbled way down 400ft of solid rock to the tiny harbour and lifeboat station, both protected by an ancient stone breakwater. It is a descent through flower-strewn cottages broken only by tempting little passageways and tiny winding lanes that lead off to the left and right and offer the prospect of discovering more peaceful, picturesque treasures of Clovelly.

Lynton & Lynmouth – on the North coast, Lynton & Lynmouth are two small villages link by the Cliff Railway. The facilities in the villages include its comfortable accommodation, shops, restaurants, bowling green and tennis courts. Lynton is the perfect centre for a walking holiday. There are plenty of short walks, medium length walks and Lynton is on the South West Coast Path for the most adventurous. In this unique area can be found not only fine game fishing for salmon and sea trout but good coarse fishing and, on the coast, excellent sea fishing. To fish on the rivers of Exmoor, National Rod Licences must be obtained from the Environment Agency as well as permits from the owners of fishing rights.

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Going out tonight? Then why not make an evening into a party... Visit Exult for all your fancy dress and costume hire....

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