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Beach Cove to Ilfracombe North Devon circular real ale trail

  • food and drink
  • holidays
November 2, 2021

So you are staying at the Beach Cove Coastal Retreat? We’ve put together the ultimate North Devon circular ale trail for you.

Beach Cove Coastal Retreat is located in Ilfracombe, North Devon and it is only a short bus trip to get into Ilfracombe town centre which is where you will find lots of choices for your circular ale trail. To keep things as easy as they can be we have given you a list below of how to get there and where to go when you’re there along with where to finish your ale trail when you get back to Beach Cove!

first things first

Start your North Devon circular ale trail by heading left out of Beach Cove and walking up to the top of Beach Road. There you will see the Hele Bay Hotel bus stop where you can catch the bus to Ilfracombe.

Catch the 301 (which comes every hour) to Ilfracombe (get off at the Scarlett Pimpernel Garage stop) duration: 3-5mins

here you’ll find plenty of choice, here are our favourites…

The Admiral Collingwood

Wilder Rd, Ilfracombe, EX34 9AP

This Wetherspoon pub used to be called the Collingwood Hotel and had been open for over 130 years accommodating visitors from all over. Named after Admiral, Lord Collingwood, The Admiral Collingwood is now a well-known pub right on the seafront of Ilfracombe. Here you can find plenty of well-kept ales like Exmoor Stag and other locally known ales all on draught. And when the weather is nice you can enjoy sitting outside in there amazing outdoor seating area.

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George and Dragon

Fore St, Ilfracombe, EX34 9ED

Dating back to 1360, George & Dragon is the oldest pub in Ilfracombe! Set in the harbor area, you will be able to enjoy everything that comes with a traditional English pub along with the views of the area. There are three real ales on offer inside the George & Dragon and you can enjoy being cosy inside with wooden beams and large fireplaces. As well as being good for real ales it also makes a great stop for some lunch.

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The Sandpiper Inn

The Quay, Ilfracombe, EX34 9EQ

Whether you are local to the area or not expect a warm welcome as you make your way inside of The Sandpiper Inn. Located just up the road from the Ilfracombe Harbour this B&B and pub has everything you could ever want as the bar is well-kept all year round. You will find local ales like Sharp’s Doom Bar. For the summer months you will find a spacious terrace where you can soak up the sun as well as karaoke for everyone to use.

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Prince of Wales

2 Fore St, Ilfracombe, EX34 9ED

At the Prince of Wales pub you can enjoy the perfect blend of old and new with the low beamed bar and modern continental style outdoor seating. It’s one of the only two pubs on Fore Street and dates back to over 700 years ago! The pub is pretty close to the Harbour like the rest and you can see the Damien Hirst’s Verity statue where you are sat outside. The bar always stocks Sharp’s Doom Bar and Timothy Taylor Landlord so you always have a choice of cask ales.

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The Pier Brewery Tap

The Quay, Ilfracombe, EX34 9EQ

The Pier Brewery Tap is in an amazing location, right next door to the harbour and the pier on the Quay. You will find it’s an extremely popular venue with a garden, traditional pub games, live music occasionally, a real fire, a restaurant and a bar area. The bar itself is always well stocked and you will always find a drink you are wanting there. It’s the perfect place to stop off at along your North Devon circular ale trail.

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once you are ready to head back

Make your way back to the Scarlett Pimpernel Garage stop which will take you back into Hele. Don’t get off at Hele Bay Hotel bus stop, instead get off a couple of stops earlier as you can continue the real ale circular trail from here.

Catch the 301 (last bus is around 6.30pm) back towards Hele (get off at the Old Thatched Inn stop) duration: 1-2mins

add these to your way home

Thatched Inn

Hillsborough Rd, Ilfracombe, EX34 9PG

The bus stop is just outside the pub so you don’t have far to go when you jump off the bus. This 17th Century family run pub will provide you with an inviting authentic pub atmosphere. And you will find that there is a great selection of real ales and fine wine depending on what you are wanting to drink. They also have a spacious garden where you can take in the views down the valley which is the perfect place to go during a summers day.

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Madrigal Brewery Shop & Tap Room

Witheridge Pl, Hele Bay, Ilfracombe, EX34 9RA

Madridal is a small-batch artisan brewery that is located inside of a former Edwardian gas works in Hele. They have a brewery shop and tap room on site where you can enjoy trying the beer that is made at the brewery. They make a range of beers, all vegan friendly and they go from vibrantly juicy pale ales through to liquorice porters and lemongrass saisons! All of these are available to buy which makes them a great addition to your ale trail as you can pick some up to take home with you.

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finally, finish off at

Hele Bay Pub

39 Beach Rd, Hele Bay, Ilfracombe, EX34 9QZ

After a long day of drinking we bet you will be ready for some delicious pub grub which is why we’ve added Hele Bay Pub to the end of your ale trail. You will receive the warmest of welcomes along with plenty more real ale if you are wanting to continue drinking. But the most important thing on offer here is the food. This award-winning pub has plenty of choice on the menu – we recommend trying their homemade pies! Once you are finished here you are only a few steps away from Beach Cove or wherever else you are staying in Hele.

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Our Beach Cove Coastal Retreat really is a unique and breath-taking escape where you can enjoy unbeatable views and relax and unwind together in one of our beach huts.

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