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Ilfracombe's streets slope gently to a historic harbour, revealing just the kind of seaside town the Victorians would have been expecting: mini-golf greens, coloured lights blinking along the promenade and some excellent bathing pools, with many of the best places to stay in Ilfracombe enjoying views of it all.
But surrounding this peaceful haven are some seriously jagged cliff tops and some seriously sheer drops. The coastline around here is dramatic, alternating calm, sandy coves and narrow, wave-buffeted walkways at the base of incredible cliffs. This feels like Famous Five country.
But it's not all classic seaside charm in Ilfracombe, their new star attraction is 'Verity', by Damien Hirst. Pregnant, naked - on the seaward side her skin is peeling back to reveal muscles and foetus, among other things - Verity is 20metres tall and holding a spear.
As well as Verity, Damien Hirst has contributed a restaurant, 10 The Quay, to the growing number of new foodie favourites the town is acquiring.
Ilfracombe also has an aquarium, a museum and a ferry, in the Summer. And you're close enough to take a day trip to Lundy Island to see the Puffins.
Don't forget to plan early if you want to book one of the best places to stay in Ilfracombe during the peak summer months - it's a very popular spot!
- The Hamptons Hotel is a stylish, six room boutique hotel converted from an idiosyncratic Victorian villa. Each room has a theme and views of a beautiful swathe of coast. You're also near to the Coast Path.
Still not sure which to book? Browse through our list of all the best places to stay in Ilfracombe, or contact one of our friendly Gurus for advice. Alternatively you can widen your search by checking out all our Devon recommendations.
Best Hotels in Ilfracombe
The Hamptons 5 rooms from $378Ilfracombe, Devon
Luxurious self-catered apartments in a Victorian Villa a short walk from the beach. Chic interiors with elegant chandeliers, large windows and soft hues. The shared garden features a large hot tub. Plenty of activities nearby. An excellent base for families or groups.Families - Private accommodation with a garden with plenty of activities in the surrounding area make this the perfect base for families.Country Escape - Set amidst lovely surroundings, overlooking the coastline and with plenty of country pursuits to suit every taste.Surfing - Croyde, Saunton and Woolacombe beaches are nearby and lessons can be easily arranged.Sights nearby - Ilfracombe, and Lundy Island are both within easy reach of the property.