North Devon Accommodation 
The best places to stay in North Devon
Whether you’re heading to one of the North Devon towns like Barnstaple or Bideford, or you want to stay close to the coastline, there are plenty of North Devon accommodation options. It’s an area we visit often, having family in the county. We also love the surf beaches of Croyde and Woolacombe in particular, and often meet friends there in summer. Having stayed in the area many times, we’ve sampled a range of accommodation in North Devon.
This guide lists only the best accommodation in North Devon options – from North Devon hotels by the sea to more affordable bed and breakfast accommodation for family holidays. Read on to discover the best Woolacombe accommodation, hotels in Barnstaple, places to stay in Ilfracombe and more.
North Devon hotel options
The top picks listed here include North Devon hotels with sea view as well as one by the the river in the heart of Barnstaple.
Imperial Hotel, central Barnstaple
This is the pick of places to stay in Barnstaple if you want hotel-style accommodation. It attracts consistent 5 star reviews and is rated highly for cleanliness and service. The location is unbeatable – at the centre of town overlooking the River Taw. Guests love this excellent hotel – and its staff. There is a range of comfortable, classic rooms and an outstanding restaurant with riverside views.
See the best rates for the Imperial Hotel, Barnstaple HERE
Watersmeet Hotel, Woolacombe
If you want to stay within a stone’s throw of the Britain’s best beach, look no further than this lovely property on the edge of Woolacombe. It is located just above peaceful Combegate beach, and the vast majority of rooms offer magnificent sea views. Some also still have original wooden balconies. For those seeking charming North Devon luxury hotels in a breathtaking location, this 4-star place cannot be bettered. Don’t miss a visit to the Red Barn when in town, too.
Read more about Watersmeet Hotel, Woolacombe HERE
Commodore Hotel, Instow, Bideford
Instow is a gorgeous little place just outside Bideford. The area offers some great North Devon holiday accommodation. (I speak from experience.) The Commodore is the best of the hotels here. A family-run property, it overlooks the estuary, Appledore and the local beach. Rooms are fresh and contemporary in style, with the sea-facing suites being the pick of the bunch. Another highlight is the on site grill, serving up delicious dishes made from locally sourced ingredients.
Discover room rates and reviews for the Commodore Hotel, Bideford HERE
Sandy Cove Hotel, Berrynarbour, Ilfracombe
Why look elsewhere when you could stay at a sublime spot like this? I attended a wedding at the Sandy Cove last summer and was blown away. The position is simply breathtaking. Which perhaps explains why its as popular with honeymooners as those actually tying the knot there. Fine dining and crisp contemporary rooms cap it all. Its official rating may be 3 star, but this gem among North Devon hotels has 5 star service. Plus an indoor swimming pool, sauna and steam room.
Compare rates for the Sandy Cove Hotel, Ilfracombe HERE
Saunton Sands Hotel, Braunton
The closest large, four star hotel to Croyde, the Saunton Sands Hotel is located not far from the former. It’s nearer Croyde than it is to Braunton, located on the road that runs between the two. This one rivals the Sandy Cove when it comes to location, overlooking three miles of golden, sandy beach and the dunes of Braunton Burrows. Those seeking North Devon hotels with indoor pools should be happy here or at the Sandy Cove. Like the latter, Saunton Sands also has a two AA rosette restaurant and elegant, comfortable rooms.
Read more about the Saunton Sands Hotel, North Devon HERE
North Devon bed and breakfast accommodation
North Devon B&B accommodation options offer hotel-style rooms alongside personal service. They can provide group accommodation in North Devon, too, as sometimes there are several rooms that can be booked together.
Rocky Cove B&B, central Ilfracombe
If the Sandy Cove is fully booked or you fancy being more centrally located, then the Rocky Cove B&B offers similar accommodation in Ilfracombe. Cosy, modern rooms, superb, personal service and an unbeatable position make the Rocky Cove a very attractive proposition indeed. My father-in-law used to own a house on nearby Ropery Road, so trust me when I say that the St James Place location is spot-on. Guests often mention how quiet they found it, too.
Read more about the Rocky Cove, Ilfracombe HERE
Old Keeper’s Cottage, Bideford
This B&B is tucked away, just 2 miles from central Bideford, along a quiet lane. There are scenic views over the River Torridge as well as the surrounding countryside. Great North Devon hotel deals for families are available here, as the owners offer some half price accommodation for under 12s. Two interconnecting rooms may also be booked. Guests love the complimentary cream tea on arrival, extensive breakfast menu and comfortable lounge.
View recent reviews and room rates for Old Keeper’s Cottage, Bideford HERE
Marine House, Woolacombe
This is a cosy, intimate B&B in Woolacombe, with just two rooms. This really is in a central location, too – right by Woolacombe’s shops, pubs, cafes, restaurants and of course that vast, clean sweep of golden, surf-battered sand. Both rooms are bright and sparkling, and a cooked or continental style breakfast is offered by the helpful, welcoming hosts.
Tarka B&B, Barnstaple & Bideford
Ideal for those following the Tarka Trail in North Devon, Tarka bed and breakfast is a highly rated property in a great location. This accommodation is near Barnstaple in North Devon as well as Bideford – about halfway between the two, in fact. Tucked away in a peaceful residential area, there is path running between the property and the Tarka Trail. The bed and breakfast is family friendly and has bike storage facilities on site. Guests love the spotless accommodation, delicious breakfast and quiet setting with woods and fields behind.
Check out availability and rates for Tarka B and B, The Tarka Trail HERE
What to do during North Devon holidays
We usually head for North Devon every summer at some point. Sometimes during other seasons too. We love the whole surfy lifestyle thing going on around those parts. Not least, we like to stock up on our surf-branded clothing, if and when we can. Woolacombe is the best for that, with more surf shops than anywhere else I know in the UK. Croyde has a few too.
Why surf shops? Those in this area have a good selection, stocking different makes and types of item. I’ve a bit of a thing for bags, and I have picked up a couple in Croyde and Woolacombe that I haven’t seen anywhere else. The stores also sell lots of flip flops, some swimwear, plenty of t-shirts, shorts and hoodies and even the odd dress or jacket. Hats, belts… oh yes, and there are one or two wetsuits and boards to hire, too. And to buy, of course. One of our non-fashion purchases in recent years was a bodyboard storage bag.
Catching a wave
Croyde is one of the UK’s top surf beaches and rightly so. Woolacombe isn’t far behind, and very popular with bodyboarding families. All day long, a procession of surfers wind their way from Croyde village, up the road towards the beach, slickly wetsuited (and booted, and if it’s winter, hooded, too), their surfboards cradled under their arms. Every child (who’s old enough) holidaying in Woolacombe has a bodyboard – if not when they arrive, then they certainly will by the time they leave. Oh yes.
Retail therapy and comfort food
If you do tire of the surf, or the weather is inclement, Croyde village and Woolacombe both have pubs, cafes and ice cream shops as well as those surf stores. More such amenities can be found in the larger resort of Ilfracombe and the towns of Barnstaple and Bideford. There are also smaller resorts dotted along the coastline – such as Combe Martin near the Sandy Cove hotel and Instow near Bideford.
You’re certainly not far from Mother Nature, wherever you stay in North Devon. From our accommodation in various locations we’ve heard sheep baa-ing and cows mooing. Then there’s the ever-present sound, and breathtaking sight, of the sea. We had a nightly visit from a hare during one of our Devon breaks; at the same time each evening it lolloped down the hill and scuttled past our window, in search of goodness-knows-what. Its long, droopy ears left us in no doubt over whether it really was just a very big rabbit.
Horse-riding is also available in various North Devon villages and resorts, including Woolacombe and Croyde. Braunton, between Barnstaple and Croyde, has more surf shops and places to eat and drink. They even boast the superb Museum of British Surfing, which is well worth a visit. It is, I’m told, very much a local collaboration.
North Devon awaits
It won’t be too long before we’re back in North Devon. We never get bored there, you see. We do love to be, so very much, beside the sea. If that also describes you, then get booked in and on your way. Stunning surf beaches, glorious countryside, gourmet treats and a warm welcome await. Just remember that when in Devon, the cream goes on the scone first…
- Devon gastropubs with rooms
- Best Bournemouth hotels
- Pubs with rooms in Dorset
- Top New Forest hotels
- Family hotels in London
Note – This post may contain affiliate links. If you buy via these, I may earn a small fee. This has absolutely no effect on the price you pay. As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases.