Barnstaple Picture 1

Barnstaple is situated in the valley of the river Taw, and is surrounded by stunning countryside. The beaches of Saunton, Croyde, Putsborough, Woolacombe, and Westward Ho! are within easy reach, as are the wide-open spaces of Exmoor. This historic town has much to interest the visitor. The Parish Church of St Peter and St Mary Magdalene, with its twisted spire, stands in the centre of the town. Next-door is St Anne's Arts and Community Centre one of the oldest buildings in Barnstaple, where the poet and playwright John Gay, author of the Beggar's Opera, attended school. Barnstaple Heritage Centre, on the riverside at Queen Anne's Walk, tells the story of over a thousand years of the town's history, where the past comes to life in a fascinating hands-on exhibition. It is said to be one of the oldest Boroughs in England and is the commercial heart of North Devon.  Shopping centres and national stores sit easily beside family businesses and traditional markets.The Pannier Market in Barnstaple recently celebrated its 150th Anniversary. The general market is held throughout the year on Tuesdays, Fridays and Saturdays, while seasonal markets on Mondays and Thursdays specialise in Local Crafts. The popular Antiques Market takes place every Wednesday.

One of the most famous single-handed sailors in recent history is Barnstaple-born Sir Francis Chichester. He circumnavigated the globe in 266 days from Plymouth in his ketch known as Gypsy Moth IV.

The world's first Parsons' Jack Russell was born and bred in nearby Swimbridge by a local parson called John (Jack) Russell and the local pub is named after him (thank you to the Little Book of Devon by Emma Mansfield - to order, please click here)

Barnstaple has much to offer all year round. With its unique character it remains largely unspoiled and is a delightful town..