Having just visited Lynton & Lynmouth, I could have left Devon fully satisfied. Little did I know how much more Devon (and Pat and Adrian) had in store for us!
The next day, we hung around Bideford for the morning and Pat and Adrian suggested the seaside town of Ilfracombe as our afternoon destination. My friend Emma had been to a wedding there not long ago, and I’d heard nothing but good things. I was eager to check it out.
Adrian dropped me, Pat, Andy and Loki off about an hour’s walk from Ilfracombe so we could explore another stretch of old railroad that had been turned into a walking track. After a nice trek through the forest, we rendezvoused with Adrian in town and were greeted with this view.
Ilfracombe is surrounded by hills that make for great vantage points, so we climbed the nearest one.
From the top of this seaside hill, we had fabulous views in all directions. From on high, the village of Ilfracombe looked like something out of a storybook. I love the perfectly ordered houses as far as the eye can see.
The view looking toward Ilfracombe Harbour were enticing, and we decided to head that way next.
As we got back to sea level, the path was lined with flowers. They added a nice burst of color on an otherwise grey day.
You can also see St Nicholas Chapel, which doubles as a lighthouse, in the distance.
The cliffs surrounding the harbor were reminiscent of Ireland and parts of New Zealand. It’s funny how the more you travel, the more new places seem to remind you of familiar places. I guess it’s a human tendency to find similarities, especially when it comes to spots you love. I’d happily settle for views like this any day!
Ilfracombe Harbour has its very own presiding statue named Verity. She’s like a badass female Colossus of Rhodes, although she’s slightly younger, dating back only four years to 2012.
While the others hung out by the port, I decided to climb up to the lighthouse/chapel. St Nicholas Chapel dates all the way back to the 14th century. It’s still a working lighthouse today and is said to be the oldest in the country, which is certainly an achievement in a country as old as England.
The views on the way up were, you guessed it, gorgeous!
Although you can’t climb up inside the lighthouse itself, the chapel was a wonderful vantage point.
On my way back down, I bid farewell to Verity and the charming town she protects.
Up next, the incomparable Dartmoor National Park! To tide you over, here are a couple stunning sunset pictures from our bedroom window in Bideford.