If you are thinking about buying a property in North Devon, the mortgage brokers here at Barr Financial wanted to share some of their local secret spots and top tips to check out! So if there was ever a reason to make the move, we think we might just have them for you! And for those locals who already live down here, this might be a little reminder of how great North Devon is.
Great Beaches in North Devon
I know this is an obvious one, but North Devon truly has some of the best beaches in the UK if not the world! Yes I know it’s not always sunny and warm, but when it is, it’s truly incredible. Last summer (2018) I would finish off any mortgage work, pick the kids up from school and head straight down to the beach to have a barbeque for dinner. It reminded me so much of my time while travelling in Australia and that great outdoor lifestyle.
Of course, it’s not always sunny and warm as you know! But that doesn’t mean the beaches are not any less spectacularly. Sling on a coat, get some wellies and get out and explore.
Our favourite beaches: We love Westward Ho! Instow, Saunton, Croyde and Woolacombe. But there are also some incredible hidden beaches and coves which are off the beaten track, such as Abbotsham cliffs where you can clamber down from the cliff onto the pebble beach and be the only one there in the height of summer! Or the incredible fisherman’s coves such as Bucks Mills and Peppercombe where you walk down the treelined valleys to discover beautiful hidden coves and villages.
Great walks and places to explore
Living and working in North Devon as a mortgage broker we are fortunate to have Exmoor on our doorstep and Dartmoor not too far away. We also have an abundance of coastal walks to choose from.
Whether you are a walker, a mountain biker, horserider, or offroad warrior! There is so much to explore and enjoy.
One hidden gem we love: Crow Point / Braunton Burrows:
To enjoy a great escape for the day, why not explore the spectacular Braunton burrows near Barnstaple. When you are in the huge sand dunes it can feel like being on a set of a star wars movie, where you can enjoy exploring and running down the steep dunes! Then after covering yourself in the sand, why not head over to crow point and explore the shipwreck and see the estuary where you can see Instow, Appledore and Westward Ho!
There are, of course, lots more hidden gems, but I’m not going to give all our secrets away just yet
North Devon is definitely a little cut off from the outside world. Which for some is a blessing and others, it can be frustrating! As independent mortgage brokers in North Devon, we are fortunate to work with lots of great local clients, but we also work with a huge number from far away too…that’s the power of the internet!
For most young people with any get-up and go, they will tend to move away for work, opportunities and excitement, as I did! But for most people who are looking to move into North Devon, they are looking for something completely different. Possibly a change in lifestyle, a slower pace of life, cheaper properties, great beaches, amazing countryside, or maybe that isolation that they crave! Either way, North Devon has a lot to offer!
It can be a culture shock for some as there can be a mañana (Spanish word for tomorrow) approach to getting things done! Particularly if you are coming from a faster way of life!
If you are looking to escape from the world, a lifestyle change, great beaches and countryside, or maybe you want a safer environment for your young family, North Devon is perfect. But let’s not forget, we still have Exeter and Bristol not a million miles away and when you go digging, there are lots of cultural activities and things to enjoy at the local theatres.
North Devon is scattered with some beautiful villages. So whether you want to live in the middle of nowhere, by the sea or live in a village close to a town, there is something for everyone. Just be prepared that villages closer to the sea tend to command a much higher price tag! Yet equally nice villages only a 5-minute drive away can be a lot better value.
If you want to know where is good to buy or some other local knowledge, feel free to ask us. We might be mortgage advisers, but fundamentally we are dealing with property and helping people buy or remortgage. In other words, we have a finger on the pulse of the local property market from a home buyers perspective and investors! And don’t forget to check out my view of the local property market (March 2019) here.
Great independent pubs and great food.
The food scene didn’t use to be that great in North Devon and we only had the odd decent place to enjoy! But now we are starting to see some great independent eateries popping up. Here are some of the places we love:
Block on Butchers row in Barnstaple: This is a great place for day time and early evening eating, enjoying a coffee, cake or something a little different. You will often find it is busy, so best to book ahead!
Masons Arms near South Molton: A Michelin star gastro pub which is still an integral part of the local community. So whether you just want a pint or a pie, they have something for you!
Sylvester’s Fish and Chips in Appledore: If you like your fish and chips (like I do!), this has to be one of the best hidden gems in North Devon with incredible fish and chips and a charismatic host. If you enjoy a joke, a little banter, and great fish and chips while sitting on Appledore quay and watching the world go by, this is a must.
The Coach House by Michael Caines: Located at the Kentisbury Grange Hotel, this is a fine dining experience where you can enjoy both lunch or dinner. The service and food are second to none. Lunches are very reasonable and we highly recommend you try one of their great cocktails!
The George in Appledore: Another Appledore venue with amazing food and amazing views. The George is a gastropub which has recently been renovated. Everything from the drinks, the coffee, the food and the produce is all sourced and cooked to the highest standards.
The Torridge Inn in Torrington: This is off most peoples radars, however, if you love Thai food and don’t mind going to a pub, then the food is truly incredible. All the produce is shipped over from Thailand so the food is truly authentic! It might not be the fanciest of venues, but if it’s good value and delicious authentic Thai food you want! Then this is definitely worth visiting.
The Italian kitchen in Bideford: We love the Italian kitchen, not only is the food brilliant, but we love the style and decor of the venue. One of the great things about this place is that they are very child-friendly and open for dinner from 5 pm, perfect if you have younger kids who you still want to get into bed at a reasonable time!
Fullam in Barnstaple: This is a long-standing Chinese restaurant which has always had a great reputation for food and service. Yes, you can have your traditional chicken chow mein, but they also have some incredible options you might not have heard off! We once suggested, “bring whatever you suggest”! We ended up with some incredible dishes we never would have dreamt off ordering and it was all delicious. If you like Chinese, the Fullam is on another level!
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So that’s it, what more of a reason do you need to move to North Devon? We look forward to you joining us in this little corner of England and when you do move, don’t forget to say hello.