things to do in ilfracombe

Last Updated on: 5th March 2024, 11:19 am

Welcome to Ilfracombe, a charming seaside town located in North Devon, England. Whether you’re seeking historical landmarks, outdoor adventures, or simply relaxation on beautiful beaches, there are a plethora of things to do in Ilfracombe. With its vibrant tourism scene and unique attractions, there’s something for everyone to enjoy in this picturesque destination.

Dive into the enchanting world of Ilfracombe attractions and activities. Immerse yourself in the rich history and explore the fascinating landmarks that dot the town. Discover hidden gems and uncover the stories behind Ilfracombe’s iconic sites. Take a stroll along the promenade, soak in breathtaking views, and learn about the town’s maritime past.

With a variety of activities and adventures, Ilfracombe caters to all interests. Enjoy scenic walks along the South West Coast Path, paddle along the coastline, or venture out into the town’s natural wonders. Even on rainy days, there are plenty of indoor options, such as exploring museums or immersing yourself in the local art scene.

Ilfracombe is also a dog-friendly destination, making it a perfect getaway for furry friends. Take your canine companions for a run on the beach or embark on thrilling hikes together. This inclusive town truly welcomes all visitors, ensuring that every member of the family can have a fantastic time.

For those seeking unique experiences, Ilfracombe’s got you covered. Embark on a ghost tour, uncovering the haunted history of the town’s harbor. Marvel at Damien Hirst’s Verity statue, a monumental bronze sculpture that stands as a symbol of Ilfracombe’s artistic flair. These distinctive attractions add an extra touch of excitement to your visit.

When it comes to outdoor fun, Ilfracombe doesn’t disappoint. Indulge in glorious beach days, with golden sands and crystal-clear waters as your backdrop. Explore the rock pools, plunge into the sea for a refreshing swim, or simply bask in the sun. The Tunnels Beaches, with their intricate hand-carved passages, offer a unique beach experience that’s sure to impress.

Ilfracombe is a vibrant and diverse destination, offering something for everyone. With its array of attractions, stunning landscapes, and lively events, you’ll be spoiled for choice when exploring this coastal gem. So pack your bags, gather your loved ones, and get ready for an unforgettable adventure in Ilfracombe, England.

Top Things to Do in Ilfracombe

Ilfracombe, a charming seaside town in North Devon, England, offers a diverse range of attractions that cater to all interests. From historical landmarks to natural wonders, there are plenty of places to visit in Ilfracombe that highlight its unique charm and beauty.

Here are some of the top attractions in Ilfracombe:

  • Hele Corn Mill & Tea Room: Step back in time and explore this fully restored working watermill, dating back to the 16th century. Enjoy a cup of tea in the charming tea room and learn about traditional milling techniques.
  • Tunnels Beaches: Discover the hidden gem of Tunnels Beaches, a network of hand-carved tunnels leading to stunning secluded beaches. Perfect for sunbathing, swimming, and exploring the rock pools.
  • Watermouth Castle: Immerse yourself in the enchanting world of Watermouth Castle, a Victorian castle turned theme park. Enjoy the rides, explore the dungeons, and stroll through the beautiful gardens and grounds.
  • Ilfracombe Museum: Delve into Ilfracombe’s rich history at the town’s museum. Discover fascinating artifacts and exhibits that showcase the town’s maritime heritage and cultural significance.
  • Chambercombe Manor: Step into this beautifully preserved medieval manor house and explore its fascinating history. Take a guided tour and discover the ghostly legends surrounding the manor.
  • St Nicholas Chapel: Visit the charming St Nicholas Chapel, perched on the rugged cliffs overlooking the sea. Enjoy panoramic views of Ilfracombe and the surrounding coastline.
  • Ilfracombe Aquarium: Dive into the underwater world at the Ilfracombe Aquarium. Discover a variety of marine species, including sharks, rays, seahorses, and more.
  • Ilfracombe Harbour: Take a stroll along the picturesque Ilfracombe Harbour, lined with colorful buildings and fishing boats. Enjoy fresh seafood at one of the waterfront restaurants.

Ilfracombe attractions

“Ilfracombe’s top attractions offer a mix of history, natural beauty, and family-friendly activities, making it a must-visit destination in North Devon.”

Activities and Adventures in Ilfracombe

When visiting Ilfracombe, there is an abundance of activities and adventures to keep you entertained. Whether you enjoy exploring the great outdoors or prefer indoor experiences, there is something for everyone in this charming seaside town.

Outdoor Enthusiasts

  • Scenic Walks Along the South West Coast Path: Immerse yourself in the natural beauty of Ilfracombe with breathtaking walks along the iconic South West Coast Path. Take in the stunning coastal views and discover hidden gems along the way.
  • Stand-up Paddling Adventures: Embrace the opportunity to try stand-up paddling in the crystal-clear waters surrounding Ilfracombe. Enjoy the tranquility of gliding across the water while taking in the coastal scenery.

If the weather doesn’t cooperate, there are still plenty of things to do in Ilfracombe. Rainy days provide the perfect opportunity to explore the town’s rich cultural offerings.

Indoor Activities Outdoor Activities
Visit Museums: Dive into Ilfracombe’s fascinating history by visiting the Ilfracombe Museum, where you can explore exhibitions showcasing the town’s heritage. Beach Adventures: Ilfracombe’s pet-friendly beaches are ideal for spending quality time with your furry friends. Enjoy a leisurely stroll along the sandy shores or play fetch in the waves.
Experience the Local Art Scene: Ilfracombe is home to numerous art galleries, showcasing the talents of local artists. Admire unique artworks and perhaps even find a special piece to take home. Picnic in the Park: Take advantage of the town’s green spaces and enjoy a picnic in one of Ilfracombe’s parks. Breathe in the fresh air and relax in a picturesque setting.

Additionally, Ilfracombe offers various free attractions and events to enjoy. No matter your interests, you can find entertainment and engagement without breaking the bank.

“Ilfracombe provides a diverse range of activities and adventures, ensuring that there is always something exciting to do during your visit.”

As night falls, Ilfracombe comes alive with an array of activities for those seeking entertainment after dark. From vibrant pubs and bars to live music venues, there are plenty of options to keep you entertained into the late hours.

things to do in Ilfracombe at night

Whether you crave outdoor adventures, appreciate cultural experiences, or simply want to relax with your four-legged companion, Ilfracombe offers a wide range of activities and attractions to suit your preferences. Make the most of your visit and create unforgettable memories in this beautiful coastal town.

Art and Culture in Ilfracombe

Ilfracombe has become an art destination, attracting visitors with its numerous art galleries and artisan craft studios. Whether you’re an art enthusiast or simply appreciate creativity, you’ll find inspiration and talent in abundance within the town’s vibrant artistic community.

Throughout the year, Ilfracombe hosts various events and festivals that celebrate the local talent and showcase the town’s rich cultural offerings. These events attract visitors from near and far, adding to the town’s buzz and creating a lively atmosphere.

For theater enthusiasts, a visit to the Landmark Theatre on the seafront is a must. This iconic venue hosts a diverse range of performances, including dramas, comedies, musicals, and concerts. Immerse yourself in the local performing arts scene and be entertained by the talent on display.

Ilfracombe’s thriving tourism industry ensures that there are ample opportunities for sightseeing and exploring the town’s history and heritage. Guided tours provide fascinating insights into the local landmarks and hidden gems, allowing you to discover Ilfracombe’s captivating stories from the past.

From strolling along historic walking areas to visiting significant monuments, Ilfracombe offers a wealth of sightseeing experiences. Immerse yourself in the town’s rich history, admire its architectural marvels, and uncover the secrets of this charming coastal destination.

Ilfracombe Art and Culture Highlights:

  • Explore the numerous art galleries showcasing a diverse range of artistic expressions.
  • Visit artisan craft studios to witness talented craftsmen at work.
  • Immerse yourself in the atmosphere of local events and festivals, celebrating art and culture.
  • Experience captivating performances at the Landmark Theatre.
  • Join guided tours to discover Ilfracombe’s fascinating history and hidden gems.
  • Enjoy sightseeing at historic landmarks and monuments that tell tales of the past.

Art and culture are integral to the identity of Ilfracombe, and immersing yourself in the town’s vibrant artistic scene and historical heritage is a must for any visitor. From the creativity on display to the captivating stories waiting to be discovered, Ilfracombe offers a truly enriching experience for art enthusiasts and history lovers alike.

Unique Experiences in Ilfracombe

Ilfracombe offers unusual things to do that set it apart from other destinations. One of the most intriguing experiences is taking a ghost tour around Ilfracombe Harbour, where you can delve into the town’s haunted history. Listen to spine-chilling tales and encounter the paranormal as you explore the shadowy streets and eerie corners of this historic seaport.

Another unforgettable experience in Ilfracombe is visiting Damien Hirst’s Verity statue. This imposing 66-foot-tall bronze sculpture stands guard at the entrance to the pier, gazing out across the town and the Bristol Channel. Verity represents the themes of life, death, and truth, with her partially dissected body revealing the complexities of the human condition.

unusual things to do in ilfracombe

“Ilfracombe is full of hidden surprises and curious encounters. From ghostly tales to thought-provoking art, visitors can expect a truly unique and memorable experience.”

These distinctive attractions and experiences add an extra dose of excitement to any visit to Ilfracombe. Whether you’re seeking a thrilling encounter with the supernatural or an opportunity to contemplate powerful works of art, Ilfracombe delivers on its promise to provide visitors with unforgettable and unusual experiences.

Beaches and Outdoor Fun in Ilfracombe

Ilfracombe, with its picturesque beaches and stunning coastline, offers a wealth of outdoor activities for visitors to enjoy. Whether you’re looking to relax on golden sands, swim in crystal-clear waters, or explore hidden coves and rock pools, Ilfracombe has something for everyone.

One of the unique attractions in Ilfracombe is the Tunnels Beaches. These beaches are accessed through hand-carved tunnels that lead to secluded areas, providing a sense of adventure and tranquility.

Outdoor enthusiasts will find plenty of activities to indulge in. The coastline is perfect for surfing, with waves that cater to all skill levels. Fishing enthusiasts can try their hand at sea fishing, while walkers can explore the South West Coast Path, which offers breathtaking views of the surrounding landscapes.

Beachgoers can enjoy:

Beach Name Activities Amenities
Ilfracombe Harbour Sunbathing, swimming, rock pooling Toilet facilities, nearby cafes and restaurants
Wildersmouth Beach Rock pooling, exploring caves Seating areas, nearby shops
Raparee Beach Swimming, snorkeling Public toilets, beachside kiosk

“Ilfracombe’s beaches offer a serene escape, where visitors can unwind, soak up the sun, and immerse themselves in the natural beauty of the coastline.”

No matter what outdoor activity you choose, the beaches of Ilfracombe provide a beautiful backdrop for enjoying the fresh sea air, stunning views, and the peaceful ambiance of this charming seaside town.


Ilfracombe is a vibrant and diverse destination that caters to every type of traveler. Whether you’re a history enthusiast, an art lover, an adventure seeker, or simply looking for a relaxing beach getaway, Ilfracombe has something to offer. With its unique attractions, events, and stunning natural beauty, it’s no wonder that Ilfracombe is a must-visit destination in North Devon.

Begin your journey by exploring the town’s historical landmarks, such as Hele Corn Mill & Tea Room, Chambercombe Manor, and St Nicholas Chapel. Immerse yourself in the vibrant art scene with visits to art galleries and artisan craft studios that showcase the town’s creative talent.

For outdoor enthusiasts, Ilfracombe offers a wealth of activities and adventures. Take a leisurely stroll along the South West Coast Path, indulge in water sports like stand-up paddling, or enjoy a day by the beach, with Tunnels Beaches providing a unique and secluded experience. Even if it’s raining, there’s still plenty to do, from museum visits to exploring the local art and culture scene.

Make sure to plan your trip around Ilfracombe’s events and festivals, which highlight the town’s vibrant tourism scene. From guided tours to sightseeing spots, there’s something for everyone to experience and enjoy in Ilfracombe.


What are some of the top attractions in Ilfracombe?

Some of the top attractions in Ilfracombe include Hele Corn Mill & Tea Room, Tunnels Beaches, Watermouth Castle, Ilfracombe Museum, Chambercombe Manor, St Nicholas Chapel, Ilfracombe Aquarium, and Ilfracombe Harbour.

What activities and adventures can be enjoyed in Ilfracombe?

In Ilfracombe, visitors can enjoy scenic walks along the South West Coast Path, stand-up paddleboarding adventures, and exploring the local art scene. Even in the rain, there are museums to visit and local art to discover. Ilfracombe is also a pet-friendly town, so you can bring your dogs along for a beach day or a hike. Additionally, there are free attractions and events in Ilfracombe that offer entertainment for everyone, including nighttime activities.

What is the art and culture scene like in Ilfracombe?

Ilfracombe has become an art destination with numerous art galleries and artisan craft studios. The town hosts various events and festivals throughout the year, showcasing local talent and attracting visitors from near and far. The Landmark Theatre on the seafront is a must-visit for theater enthusiasts. Additionally, Ilfracombe’s tourism scene is thriving, with guided tours, historic walking areas, and sightseeing spots that highlight the town’s rich culture and history.

What are some unique experiences in Ilfracombe?

In Ilfracombe, visitors can take a ghost tour around Ilfracombe Harbour and learn about its haunted history. Another unforgettable experience is visiting Damien Hirst’s Verity statue, a 66-foot-tall bronze sculpture guarding the entrance to the pier. These distinctive attractions and experiences add an extra dose of excitement to any visit to Ilfracombe.

What are the beaches and outdoor activities like in Ilfracombe?

Ilfracombe is blessed with beautiful beaches, from secluded coves to expansive stretches of golden sand. Visitors can enjoy swimming, sunbathing, and exploring rock pools. The Tunnels Beaches is a particularly unique attraction, offering hand-carved tunnels leading to secluded areas for beachgoers. Outdoor enthusiasts can also indulge in activities like surfing, fishing, and walking along the stunning coastline.

What makes Ilfracombe a must-visit destination?

Ilfracombe is a vibrant and diverse destination with something to offer every type of traveler. From historical landmarks and art galleries to outdoor adventures and stunning beaches, Ilfracombe has it all. The town’s unique attractions and events make it a must-visit destination in North Devon. Take the time to explore and experience all that Ilfracombe has to offer for an unforgettable trip.