Besides great sights, an interesting history and many exciting destinations, Barnstaple has a lot more to offer. Here you will find many helpful tips to enjoy your vacation in Barnstaple.
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Sights in Barnstaple
Barnstaple is a bustling town in the heart of North Devon, England. Although it’s the largest town in the region, Barnstaple still has a small town feel with its historic streets and buildings. The River Taw flows through the town and there are plenty of green spaces to explore.
The Pannier Market is the centerpiece of Barnstaple. The market dates back to the 13th century and has been a thriving part of the town ever since. The market is open every day except Sunday and is the perfect place to find fresh produce, handmade crafts, and local specialties.
Just outside of Barnstaple is the picturesque village of Braunton. Braunton is home to the largest sand dune system in England, which makes for great walking and exploring. The village also has a number of quaint shops and cafes.
A short drive from Barnstaple is the town of Instow. Instow is a small seaside town with a beautiful beach. The town is also home to a number of art galleries, making it the perfect place to spend a lazy afternoon.
Whether you’re looking to explore history, enjoy the outdoors, or just relax by the sea, Barnstaple and the surrounding area has something for everyone.
History of Barnstaple
The town of Barnstaple in England has a long and varied history, dating back to the Saxon era. The town was originally called Beornwulfestaple, meaning “Beornwulf’s market town”, and was one of four royal boroughs in Devon. It grew in importance during the Norman Conquest, when it was made a shire town, and served as a key base for the Norman invasion of Ireland.
During the medieval period, Barnstaple was an important wooltrading town, and was also known for its production of leather and candles. It was a member of the Hanseatic League, and later became a Lyme Regis town, meaning that it was responsible for the administration of that port.
The town’s fortunes changed in the 16th century, when it was invaded by the Scots and then occupied by the Parliamentarians during the Civil War. It was fortified during the Napoleonic Wars, but declined in importance thereafter.
Today, Barnstaple is a thriving market town, with a rich history and a variety of attractions for visitors.
Vacation in Barnstaple
The bustling market town of Barnstaple in Devon, England, is situated on the estuary of the River Taw, some 10 miles (16 km) upstream from its mouth at Appledore. The town itself is compact and easy to get around on foot, and is a gateway to the nearby stunning coastline and lovely countryside of North Devon. Attractions in and around Barnstaple include museums, art galleries, golf courses, gardens, and a medieval castle.
Just a short drive from Barnstaple is the pretty seaside village of Instow, with its sandy beach and good selection of cafes, pubs, and restaurants. Another popular seaside resort nearby is Woolacombe, with its wide, sandy beach that stretches for 3 miles (5 km). For something different, why not try surfboarding or kitesurfing at Croyde Bay, or enjoy a scenic walk or cycle along the Tarka Trail?
If you’re feeling energetic, you could even walk the South West Coast Path, which starts (or ends) in Barnstaple. This longdistance National Trail runs for 630 miles (1,014 km) in total, so you can take your time and enjoy the dramatic views as you go. Or if you prefer, there are plenty of shorter walks to enjoy in the area.
If you’re visiting Barnstaple with children, they’ll be sure to enjoy a day out at Milky Way Adventure Park, with its rides, mazes, and animal petting farm. And for a taste of something truly unique, how about taking a ride on the Devonshire Steam Railway, which runs for 4 miles (6.4 km) through glorious countryside between Barnstaple and Bideford?
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