Short Break in Barnstaple

Best Value Hotel Stay for 2

British Inn Stay with Breakfast For Two

  • One or Two Night Stay in a Traditional British Hotel
  • Stay in a traditional British Inn
  • Over 20 locations across the UK
  • One night stays are available Sunday - Friday


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About Barnstaple

Barnstaple in North Devon serves as a splendid gateway to the region's vast landscapes, coastal scenes, and historical treasures. A weekend break in this ancient market town, reputed to be the oldest borough in the United Kingdom, offers a rich tapestry of experiences that seamlessly blend the past with the present, nature with culture.

At the core of Barnstaple's charm is its vibrant history, palpable in the architecture and landmarks scattered throughout the town. The Pannier Market, a centrepiece of local life since the Saxon times, continues to thrive, providing a bustling atmosphere where local artisans, farmers, and traders showcase their goods. The market's Victorian architecture, with its grand arches and historic ambiance, offers more than just a shopping experience; it's a journey into the town's communal spirit and past.

Adjacent to the market, the Butchers' Row, a series of quaint, shop-filled arches, further exemplifies Barnstaple's historical richness. Here, one can find a variety of local delicacies, crafts, and artisanal products, making it an ideal spot for those looking to discover the essence of North Devon's culinary and creative talents.

Barnstaple's history is not confined to its markets. The town is home to St Anne's Chapel, a beautifully restored medieval building that now serves as a community centre and museum, offering insights into the town's spiritual and communal heritage. The nearby Barnstaple Castle, though now largely in ruins, whispers tales of the town's medieval importance and offers a panoramic view of the surrounding landscape, illustrating the strategic significance of its location.

For those drawn to the natural beauty of North Devon, Barnstaple acts as a perfect starting point. The town is situated near the confluence of the rivers Taw and Yeo, with the Tarka Trail running alongside. This 180-mile footpath and cycleway, inspired by Henry Williamson's novel "Tarka the Otter," provides an immersive experience of the area's diverse ecosystems. Following the trail, visitors can explore wooded valleys, serene riversides, and lush countryside, possibly encountering the local wildlife that inspired Williamson's work.

Barnstaple's proximity to the spectacular North Devon coastline is another of its draws. A short journey from the town centre lies a stretch of coastline renowned for its breath taking beauty, surf-friendly waves, and sandy beaches. From the rugged cliffs at Hartland Point to the golden sands of Woolacombe and Croyde, the coast offers a paradise for surfers, walkers, and nature lovers alike.

Culturally, Barnstaple does not disappoint. The town boasts a lively arts scene, with the Queen's Theatre offering a diverse programme of performances, from drama and comedy to music and dance. The nearby Museum of Barnstaple and North Devon provides a deeper understanding of the area's history, culture, and natural environment, with exhibits that span from the prehistoric to the present day.

Dining in Barnstaple is an experience in itself, with a range of eateries that reflect the region's agricultural heritage and coastal bounty. From cosy pubs serving traditional Devonshire fare to contemporary restaurants highlighting local seafood, the town offers culinary delights that cater to all tastes.

A weekend break in Barnstaple is an opportunity to immerse oneself in the rich tapestry of North Devon's history, culture, and natural beauty. The town serves as a portal to both the past and the present, where ancient streets lead to breath taking landscapes and where every corner tells a story. Whether one is drawn to the calmness of the countryside, the thrill of the coast, or the warmth of local culture, Barnstaple offers a captivating and enriching escape.

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