holiday and travel guide to the UK

Ilfracombe is an Victorian resort with a real seaside flavour.

Once a thriving port, Ilfracombe still has a small fishing fleet but it was tourism that made Ilfracombe grow. Holidaymakers originally came across on passenger ferries from ports on the Bristol Channel and the arrival of the railway, which closed in 1970, made it a fashionable Devon resort.

The main historical event in the town was the 'Great Fire' in 1896 which destroyed many buildings. An event that was repeated with fires in 1980's and in 2006, although these were more confined and controlled.

Ilfracombe is very much a family holiday destination and there are good beaches at Tunnels Beaches, so-called as in the Victorian era Welsh miners were employed to dig four tunnels to allow easy access to the beaches.

Things to do in Ilfracombe include taking a boat trip. There are seasonal sea cruises on the historic paddle steamers MV Balmoral or the PS Waverley. The Waverley has been operating in Ilfracombe since 1887. For a day out you can visit by Lundy Island by taking the MS Oldenburg, which is the supply vessel for this lovely island.

Today, Ilfracombe has a wide range of shops in the High Street and in the summer a 'land train' operates to take visitors down to the harbour and the sea front. There are some steep hills away from the town centre and harbour areas.

Annual events at Ilfracombe include a Victorian pageant in June and the Ilfracombe Carnival in August.

There is plenty of accommodation both in the town and in holiday parks out towards towards Combe Martin and Barnstaple.

Ilfracombe has a cinema and there are shows and events all year round at the modern Landmark theatre on the sea front.

For walkers, the South West Coast path runs through the town and you can have pleasant walks up to Capstone Hill from the seafront and further along the coast. You might like to walk up Lantern Hill by the harbour which has St Nicholas's Chapel that is used as a lighthouse. It may be the oldest working lighthouse in the country.

One recent addition to Ilfracombe is Damien Hirst's controversial statute 'Verity', erected in 2012, that stands by the harbourside.

Devon holiday cottages

Tourist Attractions in and near Ilfracombe to Visit



Ilfracombe Golf Course The local cliff top golf course.

Historic Houses

Historic Houses

Arlington Court 6.9 miles A lovely house with a collection of carriages.



Ilfracombe Museum Ilfracombe's local museum to explore.


Out & About

Visit Lundy Island Take a trip across to Lundy on the islands supply vessel.

Coastal walks Lots to see, take your pick of which direction to go in.

Hele Corn Mill A charming watermill to visit.

The beach at Croyde 7.7 miles A lovely and popular beach.


Theatres, Cinemas and Venues

The Embassy Cinema Take in a film during your stay.

Landmark Theatre Enjoy a night out at the theatre.

Theme Parks

Adventure & Theme Parks

Watermouth Castle 2.2 miles Have a good day out at this family theme park.


Zoos and Wildlife Parks

Combe Martin Wildlife and Dinosaur Park 5.4 miles See the dinosaurs come alive ! and enjoy the animals.

Days Out around Ilfracombe.

Berrynarbour, a pretty village to visit with a good pub, between Combe Martin and Ilfracombe.

Towns Near Ilfracombe To Visit - straight line distance:

Combe Martin (3.98 miles) Mortehoe (4.29 miles) Woolacombe (4.72 miles) Croyde (7.34 miles)
How to get to Ilfracombe

Ilfracombe Tourist Information Centre

  • Landmark Theatre
    The Seafront
    EX34 9BZ
    Tel: 01271 863001
New Property
Berrynarbor Ilfracombe EX34 9SR

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Imperial Hotel
Wilder Rd Ilfracombe EX34 9AL

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Guest Houses, Bed and Breakfasts, Inns and other Hotels
Holiday Cottages
Ilfracombe EX34 8BT
Sleeps 5
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Lincombe near Ilfracombe EX34 8LL
Sleeps 4
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New Property
Ilfracombe EX34 9DW
Sleeps 6
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Ilfracombe Weather
Friday 22nd May
Day :Cloudy skies17°C Cloudy skies
Night :Overcast skies12°C Overcast skies
Saturday 23rd May
Day :Sunny skies17°C Sunny skies
Night :Clear skies11°C Clear skies
Where to Stay in Ilfracombe
Area Telephone Code
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