Britain's Oldest Borough

Barnstaple is the main town of North Devon and located just 30-40 mins drive from Lynton & Lynmouth.

It is said that Barnstaple is one of the oldest boroughs in England with references to it in the Doomsday Book, written in 1086. Here you will find the traditional high street retailers, shopping centres, cinemas, and a collection of bars and restaurants. There are some great boutique shops dotted around the town; along Butchers Row and the High Street.

The town has a colourful history that can be found in the local museum. This prominent museum was built in 1872. See collections including everything from the area’s most ancient rocks, local paintings to 20th century artworks. Here you can explore the Story of North Devon, North Devon at War and the The Tarka Gallery.

The oldest surviving part of town is the Norman mound and remnants of the original Norman castle wall. There is also the ornate Queen Anne’s Walk and the 13th century sixteen-arch Long Bridge that crosses the River Taw.

Pannier Market

The Pannier Market, situated in the centre of Barnstaple was built in 1855. It’s one of Britain’s largest indoor markets. It offers a wide selection of stalls, with everything from local produce, flowers and crafts, to prints and pictures, fashion and much more.

The Tarka Trail

Following in the footsteps of the eponymous otter, The Tarka Trail is a series of footpaths and cycle routes which passes through the largely unspoilt countryside described in Henry Williamson’s highly influential novel. The route covers a wide variety of landscapes, including wooded river valleys, rugged moorland, coastal cliffs and sandy bays with many locations featured prominently in the book such as Braunton Burrows, Morte Point, Hoar Oak Water and the Chains on Exmoor. The path continues along stretches of the disused Barnstaple to Torrington railway line which now make up part of the National Cycle Network.

Find out more

Barnstaple Tourist Information Centre

The Square
EX32 8LN

Local Attractions & Activities