The hardest thing about a holiday at Copperfield is finding reason to leave.
There are a plethora of attractions to enjoy within easy walking, cycling or driving distance from Copperfield. The North Devon coastline is blessed with several beautiful beaches perfect for surfing or body boarding, along with dramatic rolling scenery forming a perfect backdrop for longer walks and exploration. Further afield, the National Parks of Dartmoor and Exmoor are easily accessible by car and provide some of the UK's best territory for walking and cycling.
For more adrenaline-fuelled guests, activity centres nearby provide the opportunity to enjoy the challenge of High Ropes as well as take part in mountain boarding, sea kayaking or coasteering. Avid golfers will not be disappointed with the options available to play, including the renowned Royal North Devon and beautiful Saunton courses both within a short drive.
There are also a variety of day excursions to fit any interest, including the adventure parks The Big Sheep and The Milky Way for families with children, as well as the heritage sites of Tapeley Park and Hartland Abbey for those wanting to explore North Devon's cultural highlights.
Instow is only 2 miles away, and has dunes and gentle sloping sandy beaches with only gentle waves, great for small children. It’s a popular place to walk dogs in the mornings and evenings.
Westward Ho! is approximately 3 miles away (10 minutes’ drive) and is a long sandy beach great for surfing and body boarding, as well as dog-walking.
A little further away on the other side of the estuary, but with excellent conditions for surfing and backed by beautiful rolling burrows.
Croyde is world-renowned for its surfing, making it one of North Devon's most popular beaches. It is set in a small cove between Woolacombe and Saunton, providing excellent surf conditions for beginners and experts alike.
A several mile-long sandy beach, popular for surfing and adjoined by the bustling seaside town of Woolacombe.
We are very lucky being so close to the Tarka Trail. This is a 180-mile figure-of-eight walking route in the northern part of Devon, which follows the route taken by Tarka the Otter in the book.
The particular section nearest to Copperfield has a tarmac surface and makes use of the old Barnstaple to Torrington railway line, taking you 9 miles northwards to Barnstaple and 16 miles southwards to Great Torrington and Meeth. It is great for dog-walking, cycling, running or just taking a stroll beside the river.
North Devon Coast
The North Devon coast is spectacular for walking.
One Copperfield favourite is a spectacular walk starting at St Nectan’s church in Stoke, near Hartland Point. Wander down a green valley to a quiet beach with a spectacular waterfall (“Speke’s Mouth”), before carrying on along the cliffs northward again to Hartland Quay. After a drink at the pub or a cream tea at the cafe, you come round full circle back to Stoke along the road from Hartland Quay.
This is an enchanting 65-acre garden just outside Great Torrington, with a licensed restaurant, tea room, plant centre and shop.
Hartland Abbey was built in 1157, and was a monastery for 400 years – it was the last to be dissolved by Henry VIII. It remains the family home of the Stucley family. The Abbey has wonderful gardens, with a nature-themed children’s quiz and donkeys, peacocks and black welsh mountain sheep.
A woodland walk leads to some of the most spectacular cliff scenery in Britain with stunning views of the Atlantic.
The Dartington Crystal factory is only 5 miles away from Copperfield in the village of Great Torrington. There is a visitors’ centre where (on Monday to Friday) you can see the glass blowers live at work producing their beautiful glassware. They can also make a cast of your hand.
As well as the factory itself, there is also a Dartington Crystal factory outlet shop with bargain prices for “seconds” (items with miniature flaws) and some other clothing and gift shops including the Edinburgh Woollen Mills.
Lundy lies 12 miles off the coast of North Devon Coast. Just 3 miles long and 3⁄4m wide, it has a wealth of history involving pirates, sieges and shipwrecks, but is now a Marine Nature Reserve, home to puffins, kittiwakes, razorbills and guillemots.
During the summer months, you can take a day trip to Lundy on the MS Oldenburg, which sails from Bideford Quay and is easily visible from the house when berthed.
Saunton has two Championship courses, the East and the West, both of which are listed in Golf World and Golf Monthly magazines’ 100 Best Courses in the UK.
Royal North Devon is the oldest golf course in England, founded in 1864. Only 10 minutes’ drive from the house, it’s a challenging links course just inland of Westward Ho! Beach and beside the Northam Burrows nature reserve.
This is a great activity centre offering climbing walls, 2 connected High Ropes courses (one more challenging than the other), mountain boarding lessons, coasteering and kayaking. The High Ropes course looks alarming but participants are very safe as you are harnessed to a safety rope which follows you all the way around and reassuringly (according to the staff) is strong enough to hold a single-decker bus.
This adventure park is another “all weather” centre to occupy the children even on a wet day. There are large and small roller-coasters and indoor play areas, dodgems, slides and assault courses.
A lovely farm park that’s fantastic for little ones and only 15 minutes’ drive from the house. It has a big indoor play barn “Ewetopia” as well as lots of animal-related outdoor activities and demonstrations, not least the excitement of the daily Sheep Race!
Restaurants and Cafés
Copperfield is lucky to have many excellent options for eating out in the local area. Some of our favourites include:
NEW FOR 2018 Number Eight Famed to be "the best restaurant in North Devon", this new fine dining restaurant is located just down the hill near Bideford Quay. It gets rave reviews on TripAdvisor with a 99% five-star rating.
Café Collective A bright and airy café in Bideford, with lovely coffee and cake along with excellent brunch options.
The Brew A stylish new café on Bideford High Street, with finely-crafted coffee and specialty hot chocolate, fast Wi-Fi and a very friendly owner, and it's dog-friendly too.
Velvet and Vanilla Another little gem in Bideford, this is a dog-friendly café with vegetarian, vegan and gluten-free options.
Mariners Bar & Restaurant A highly-rated local restaurant specialising in seafood dishes, and the ability to cater for large groups in a private setting.
The Italian Kitchen Another recommended local pick, this is a very friendly Italian place just across the river, about 7 minutes walk away. They do excellent pasta and Pizzas and other Italian staples.
The Westleigh Inn A family-friendly pub just down the road at Westleigh, just off the road between Bideford and Instow. There is a fantastic garden with a climbing frame for the children and lovely views over the estuary. They provide food both at lunchtime and in the evenings, including a children’s menu.
The Boathouse A good seafood restaurant in Instow with lovely views – if you book early enough to get a seat near the window at the front. Well worth booking in advance of your stay for a special meal.
The Rock A little further away, in a pretty village just North of Croyde, this “Traditional 17th Century Free House” is well worth a visit - a pub/restaurant with very nice food. In high season, book in advance to avoid disappointment.
Belluno Another Italian restaurant just down the hill in Bideford. We think it's great – probably our favourite regular in Bideford. It has very good reviews on Trip Advisor.
There are also several takeaway options nearby which can deliver to Copperfield, including Indian, Chinese and Italian – please see the house book for further info.