• North Devon is fairly well served by buses but the nearest bus stop to Swallow Barton is a couple of miles away!
• The Tarka Line railway runs from Barnstaple to Exeter with trains about every two hours. Chapelton Station is about 20 minutes drive from us.
• The nearest airport is Exeter. Bristol airport is a little further – less than two hours drive.
The River Taw
• Swallow Barton was built in 2003 on the site of an old barn which was once part of a working farm
• It was named Swallow Barton because of the swallows which are with us between April and October and which nest in our two garages
Click here to look at the devon coast website.
There are three main areas of beaches in North Devon. Most of the beaches are within an hour's drive from Yarnscombe. Westward Ho! is the closest being only 45 minutes away. The Barnstaple bypass which opened in Spring 2007 means that beaches beyond Saunton can now be reached from Yarnscombe without driving through Barnstaple (follow signs to Ilfracombe). Note that this road is not shown on older maps.
A few of the main beaches are described here. Follow the links for details of smaller beaches.
Bideford area beaches
A seaside resort with all the usual seaside town features: amusement arcade, putting green, playground, beach shops, snack bars and seaside pubs. The beach with pebbles at the top but plenty of sand when the tide is out, is easily accessible from the car park and is ideal for swimming and surfing.
The beach is wheelchair accessible. Although sandy the beach is not suitable for surfing as it is along the edge of the estuary. It is however great to play on, fly kites etc. It is an attractive area and has always been popular with artists. When the tide is out it is very pleasant walking along the beach by the edge of the river Torridge with picturesque Appledore on the opposite side. The children find this fun too as there are lots of pools in the soft sand, many of which contain attractive seashells. There is car parking in the village and also behind the dunes.
Woolacombe area beaches
3 miles of flat sand backed by massive sand dunes. This is an excellent surfing beach and is ideal for all water sports. It is manned with lifeguards and wheelchair accessible. The shop, toilet etc. are at the car park end of beach. However you can get away from the crowds just by walking further along the beach.
This award winning sandy beach is just around the corner from Saunton Sands, but because it is smaller it can get crowded. It is easily accessible, there is plenty of car parking and it is excellent for swimming, surfing, windsurfing etc. The beach is manned with lifeguards. At one end of the beach there is an equipment hire, a shop, refreshments and toilets. From here the beach is wheelchair accessible.
(At the southern end of Woolacombe Sands) Another award winning sandy beach manned with lifeguards. Again ideal for surfing, swimming and water sports. There is a beach car park but access for wheelchairs is difficult. There are toilets and a snack bar.
This is one of the finest beaches in the West Country with three miles of golden sand having won numerous awards. It is very clean and tidy, has good toilet facilities, first aid, life saving equipment and even a lost children service. There is a large car park near the beach which is easily accessible to wheelchairs. There are plenty of shops. Woolacombe is ideal for all water sports and there are lifeguards on the beach. However attention should be paid to warnings not to bathe at low tide.
Ilfracombe area beaches
At high tide the beach looks uninteresting but as the tide goes out there are large rock pools to explore and stretch of level sand appears outside a ridge of stones known as the breakwater. The sea is free of currents and therefore popular for bathing. There is a large beach car park which provides easy access for wheelchairs and a variety of shops and cafes on what is said to be longest main street in the country.
This is just a very small selection of places which are close to Swallow Barton. There are many more!
With all local pubs it is a good idea to book ahead for meals at busy times.
|The Rising Sun, Umberleigh||01769 560447|
|The Cranford Inn, St Giles in the Wood||01805 623309
( On the B3227 between High Bullen and Cranford Cross. A traditional country inn with Real Ale straight from the barrel and excellent meals website )
|The Hunters Inn, Newton Tracey|| 01271 858339
(On the B3232. More a restaurant than a pub but serving excellent food.)
|The Cyder Presse, Weare Giffard||01237 425517|
|Chichester Arms, Bishops Tawton||01271 343945
(Good food and real ale in a pleasant village)
|The Black Horse, High Street, Torrington||01805 622121
(A very old town centre pub with a separate restaurant. The food is basic but reasonable)
|The Cavalier, Well Street, Torrington|| 01805 623832
( A down-to-earth town pub with a small garden. They serve a good carvery on Sundays.)
|Monday||Local Crafts, Collectables & General Goods||April to Xmas|
|Tuesday||Local Produce and General Goods||All year|
|Wednesday||Antiques, Collectables and Book Market||All year|
|Thursday||Local Craft and General Goods||April to Xmas|
|Friday||Local Produce and General Goods||All year|
|Saturday||Local Produce and General Goods||All year|
Bideford Farmers Market on the Quay
|2nd & 4th Saturday of the month||Summer only|
Bideford Pannier Market
|Tuesday & Saturday||All year|
Here is a guide to where you can walk, ride and cycle in Devon :
There are a few good walks from Yarnscombe and in Swallow Barton you will find leaflets with maps of these walks. The most popular walk locally is The Tarka Trail which can be picked up in Great Torrington. A pleasant, level walk of 5½ miles takes you to Bideford. There are regular buses between Bideford and Great Torrington.
|Bideford Bicycle Hire, Torrington Street, East-The-Water, Bideford||01237 424123|
|Bike Trail Cycle Hire, Stone Barn, Fremington||01271 372586|
|Tarka Trail Cycle Hire, Barnstaple Junction Station, Barnstaple||01271 324202|
|Torrington Cycle Hire, Station Yard, Torrington||01805 622633|
|Otter Cycle Hire, The Old Pottery, Station Road, Braunton||01271 813339|
During the summer months it is a good idea to telephone beforehand if you wish to hire bicycles because some of these places run out very quickly when the sun shines!
Nearby Golf Clubs and Courses
|Libberton Golf Club, High Bickington, Umberleigh||01769 560269|
|Portmore Golf Park, Lankey Road, Barnstaple||01271 378378|
|Royal North Devon Golf Club, Golf Links Road, Westward Ho!||01237 473817|
|Saunton Golf Club, Saunton, Braunton||01271 812436|
|Torrington Golf Club, Weare Trees, Torrington||01805 622229|
|Chulmleigh Golf Course, Leigh Road, Chulmleigh||01769 580519|
Torrington Tourist Information Centre
Castle Hill, South Street, Torrington
Telephone : 01805 626140
Open 10am - 4pm Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday
10am - 1pm Wednesday and Saturday
Email : firstname.lastname@example.org
Website : www.torridge.gov.uk
Some other useful websites:
Great Torrington - things to see and do
Woolacombe & Mortehoe
• Although Swallow Barton is tucked away in the small, quiet, rural village of Yarnscombe near Great Torrington it makes and ideal centre for touring the whole of Devon and even North Cornwall.
• The beautiful countryside of Exmoor National Park is not too far away and even Dartmoor can be reached from here.
• In our cottage you will find many leaflets telling you about local tourist attractions, some local maps and detailed maps and directions to Great Torrington, Bideford and Barnstaple.
• The nearest town is Great Torrington – about 6 miles (15 minutes) drive away.
• Here there are a number of shops and pubs as well as several mini supermarkets. The supermarkets are mostly open seven days a week until about 8pm. The shops keep shorter hours. Some close at lunchtime on Wednesdays and Saturdays. Most are not open on Sundays.
• Bideford is about 9 miles (20 minutes) drive from Swallow Barton.
• Barnstaple – the largest town in North Devon is just 8 miles (20 minutes) drive from Yarnscombe.