About Ilfracombe & The Area
Avoncourt Lodge is situated on the West side of Ilfracombe, above the Tunnels Beaches and the Landmark Theatre. The picturesque and authentic fishing port of Ilfracombe is a stunning 10 minute walk down the hill and through the Museum gardens to reach the Esplanade and town centre
Interesting things to do include walking along the Capstone Parade, cut in 1843 to allow the Victorians to stroll along the cliff paths, and visiting St Nicholas Chapel, the oldest lighthouse in England. The Victorians also constructed the Tunnels Beaches, less than 5 minutes away. Carved through the rock in the 1820s to allow access to the tidal bathing pools, the Tunnels still offer protected tidal bathing today, as well as fascinating rock pools and historical details of their construction. The Tunnels are also one of the foremost wedding venues in England, with glorious photo-ops and excellent food and service
The harbour itself is still a working fishing port, and has a charm and authenticity that only working ports maintain. The Oldenburg still operates from here, taking visitors to the wildlife and nature reserves of Lundy Island – wise to book in advance if you are determined to make a visit, and truly a unique and fascinating experience. Sightseeing boats, kayaking and fishing tours are also available from the harbour – and a visit to Ilfracombe is incomplete without viewing Verity, the Damien Hirst masterpiece that has dominated the harbour entrance since 2012.
Walking and Cycling
Many visitors to Ilfracombe use it as a base for exploring the northern end of the South West Coastal Pathway. With well established trails from Lynton to Woolacombe, Ilfracombe is the perfect place from which to make trips both east and west along the stunning coastline. The Torrs Walk runs from Avoncourt Lodge to Lee (3 miles) and Woolacombe (9 miles) along the cliffs throughout, with outstanding views and challenging walking. The route to Combe Martin (6 miles) and on to Lynton (18 miles) runs through the town itself and then out onto the dramatic coastline the other side. Whichever way you choose, and whether you are a weekend stroller or an experienced trekkie, you cannot fail to appreciate the scenery and the wildlife of our walkways, and our Drying room and hot baths will give you a warm and relaxing welcome on your return
The cycle tracks are equally interesting and varied, with a network of trails running through Mortehoe and Woolacombe, Martinhoe and Patchoe and out to Barnstaple, Braunton and Barton Fleming. The Sustrans circuit and Tarka trails are both incorporated in local routes. For both the amateur and the serious cyclist, there are a wide variety of terrains and routes to suit every ability and distance. Avoncourt Lodge has a safe storage shed for cycles, as well as the Drying room for cleaning and drying smaller pieces of equipment
If you are walking or cycling as a group, contact Avoncourt directly to discuss packed lunch options and/or evening meals if you want an inclusive package