Top 5 Reasons to Visit North Devon With Your Family This Year

England is home to 48 ceremonial counties and as a nation we have strong opinions about them. There are those we prefer, put it that way.

It’s all personal preference, sure. But some are undeniably prettier, greener, more dramatic, more everything than others. It’s just the way the geological cookie has crumbled over the last few million years. No changing it.

YouGov conducted a survey with over 40,000 people, asking them which counties they liked and disliked, then ranked the data. Below is map showing each county and the percentage who liked it.

Dorset, Devon, and Cornwall are the top three. Basically, as Brits, our favourite place is the South West. At Hele Valley we’re not surprised. It’s utterly stunning where we live in North Devon, and we don’t take it for granted. We’re very lucky to be here and want you to experience it too.

Beyond public opinion here are the top reasons you should book a family holiday in North Devon this year—

Leaves drifting in the background

Our rugged, photo perfect Coastline 

Coast is not just coast you know. Not only does Devon have two coasts, but its hilly landscape creates impressive cliffs. Here in the North we have the highest sea cliff in the UK, Great Hangman. The coast here is one of jagged rocks, smugglers, and boiling ocean.

The entire north coast of Devon has been designated by the Government as an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and protected for its biodiversity. Alongside towering cliffs, it has waterfalls, wooded combes, and mysterious hidden coves—a diverse and photogenic part of the country.

To complement the above North Devon has amazing beaches too, including one voted as the best in the country. Simply, the North Devon coast is what coast should be like; visually inspiring, teeming with wildlife, and with a fair share of golden sand.

Exmoor Ponies

Exmoor & Its Wild Ponies

Finding real solitude and the peace that comes with it isn’t easy in our busy lives. Exmoor is one of those rare places where you can escape the modern world and wander out into open plains of heather and down into quiet woodland valleys. There’s a sense of remoteness to be found that’s refreshing. It’s getting back to the wild.

Where Exmoor meets the sea, you’ll find some special views, the open landscape giving way to the blue limits of the Bristol channel as it flows into the vast Atlantic Ocean.

There are wild ponies too, running free with the wind blowing in their manes. Seeing them like this is a wonderful experience for the whole family. Plus, there are Exmoor horned sheep to spot, and of course stags—which are an iconic part of Exmoor. Imagine seeing a regal stag emerge at the summit of distant bluff, with its half-moon antlers held high. A magical moment. 


Our holiday friendly oceanic climate

On the South West Peninsula, we are surrounded by water. Unlike landlocked counties which have a continental climate, we have an oceanic (or maritime one). What’s that? Well, the ocean around us stores heat and helps moderate our climate—keeping it temperate. It also contributes to a moister environment (yes, a touch of rain).

Devon rarely gets too cold or unpleasantly hot. It’s this, coupled with (yes, a touch of rain) which gives us our luscious green rolling hills and the best dairy produce to be found anywhere in the world.

Did you know cream teas were invented in Devon?

Devon’s mild climate is one of its shining attributes. It’s a mellow, comfortable place to be, and perfect for your holiday.


(Thanks to the climate) our lush gardens 

Our climate isn’t just for growing grass either (despite what cows think). Devon is a wonderful place to be a gardener, botanist, or general plant enthusiast. In North Devon we have some of the finest gardens you could possibly visit.

There are many types of garden to be found in North Devon, not just those with sprawling rhododendrons and bluebell woods. As lovely as these are.

There are tropical triffids to hunt out, fertile bogs to skirt around, and mini jungles to lose yourself in for an afternoon of wonder.

Read this Devon Live article for an extensive list of Devon Gardens. One of our favourites is RHS Rosemoor, not too far from Hele Valley. As its name suggests, it’s famous for roses—of which it has only 2000 of them. When in full bloom they are something to behold.

Did you know, Devon’s climate is so forgiving it is the first place in modern Britain to host a commercial olive grove?

Family Fun Tree Top

Our array of family attractions 

When you’re heading off on holiday with your kids, it doesn’t matter how pretty, mild, creamy, grassy, or beachy a county is you’ll want to know there will be some attractions. After all, kids may not appreciate the calm of Exmoor as much as the thrill of a fairground.

At Hele Valley we understand. North Devon is a great place to be for all ages and come rain or shine you’ll find something genuinely fun to do. Whether it’s visiting an aquarium, a dinosaur park, a zoo, an atmospheric old castle or educational museum—there’s a variety of family attractions to suit varied interests.

Why not check out our family attractions page and see our favourites.

Family walk on beach

Family Holidays in Ilfracombe, North Devon 

Lazy beach days, sand between your toes, the taste of fish n’ chips, exploring neverland bays and coves, probing mysterious rock pools, and being immersed in nature. Holidays at Hele Valley are what the Great British seaside is all about.

It’s this timeless appeal that brings happy families back year after year to our beautiful strip of the North Devon coast.

Thanks for reading and hopefully we can look forward to welcoming you soon.

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