Combe Martin (Combe meaning steep valley or hollow on the side of a hill from the ancient Anglo-Saxon ‘Cumb’) sits on the Exmoor Heritage Coast, on the eastern boundary of the North Devon Coast Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. This delightful seaside village contains a choice of character inns, restaurants, cafes and shops, and is an ideal gateway into the AONB and Exmoor. The dramatic coastal landscape around Combe Martin features the highest cliffs in England alongside large areas of exposed sand at low tide and a mixed shoreline of sand, pebbles and spectacular rocks, all of which make for great rockpooling and beachcombing.
Combe Martin’s little beach bay is a mix of sand and pebbles, with large expanses of sand at low tide. Several other secluded beach bays are within walking distance of the village. Popular events include Combe Martin’s famous music festival across September and a variety of watersports and activities are available in the area including walking, surfing, golf, cycling, fishing and horse riding.
Things to Do & See
With its award-winning sandy beach bay, Combe Martin offers hours and hours of beach fun and water based activities. Children will adore the rock pooling around Combe Martin, and activities available on the beach include kayaking, fishing or walking along the South West Coast Path. Adventure sports like coasteering and rock climbing are also widely available along this dramatic coastline on the edge of Exmoor. Visit the Combe Martin Wildlife and Dinosaur Park for a fun family day out. Set within 28 acres of beautiful North Devon Gardens and featuring life sized dinosaurs, the park is home to a range of animals from sea lions to birds of prey and penguins.
Discover the history of Combe Martin and the surrounding area in the seaside museum on Cross Street almost right on the beach. Exhibits are across three floors and explore the social, maritime, natural and trade history of the village. The museum also runs regular craft workshops for children and popular seashore safaris. Outdoor activity centres feature in the area and riding schools are nearby in Exmoor. Visit the National Trust’s Regency jewel, Arlington Court and Carriage Museum just to the south of Combe Martin set within beautiful gardens and grounds with footpaths and carriage rides in authentic carriages. Attractions in Ilfracombe including boat trips to Lundy Island and Tunnels Beaches are just a few miles to the west of the village.
South West Coast Path at Combe Martin
Combe Martin has a Heritage Coast, a National Park and one of Britain’s longest trail – the 630 mile long South West Coast Path on its doorstep. The coastal town is the perfect year round base for a walking holiday or short break. Spectacular cliff-top walking is on the menu along the coast path here on England’s highest coastline featuring great hogs-back cliffs at their most dramatic in the Combe Martin area. Choose from gentle strolls through Old Combe Martin with packhorse bridges and quaint narrow lanes or walk the spectacular sandy dune beaches or wide choice of high level walks in the area including the popular Great Hangman walk taking in the highest and some of the most spectacular cliffs in Britain.
Michelle is an experienced travel writer with iknow and has travelled extensively across the UK, Spain, Portugal and the USA. When she’s not busy writing for iknow she enjoys spending time touring museums and art galleries and seeking out the best independent shops in Manchester and Leeds.