Eight free ways to get active in North Devon

Croyde beach is one of many top-class stretches of sand and sea in North Devon

Croyde beach is one of many top-class stretches of sand and sea in North Devon - Credit: Archant

Our guide to the best free sport and leisure activities on your doorstep in North Devon

Exmoor is right on North Devon's doorstep

Exmoor is right on North Devon's doorstep - Credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto

1) Hit the waves

North Devon is blessed with some of the best beaches in the country – so why not get out and go for a swim?

There’s a big community of ‘wild swimmers’, who share their top spots on Facebook group ‘North Devon and Exmoor Wild Swimming’.

If that’s not your style, then grab your wetsuit and catch some world-class surf at Woolacombe or Croyde. Or, if you’re feeling adventurous, stand-up paddle board up the Torridge.

North Devon is a great place to go cycling

North Devon is a great place to go cycling - Credit: Getty Images/Ingram Publishing

2) Go for a run

With great parks including Rock Park in Barnstaple and Victoria Park in Bideford, there’s plenty of good reasons to strap on your trainers and go for a run. If you fancy taking on a 5k, you can even sign up with Parkrun and track your time for free online.


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With long, stretching beaches like Woolacombe and Croyde, not to mention the Tarka Trail, you really are spoilt for choice.

3) …or just a walk

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If you don’t fancy hurtling along at top speed, a nice walk will still do you plenty of good.

Again, you’re not short of options – and Exmoor’s right on our doorstep.

We’ve compiled a great list of coastal routes and autumn walks for you to get your teeth into.

4) Pedal power

Cycling is not only great exercise, but a great way to see plenty of the beautiful scenery that North Devon has to offer.

The Tarka Trail is the obvious choice – it stretches more than 180 miles and passes through Barnstaple, Bideford, Torrington, Hatherleigh, Okehampton, Lynmouth and Ilfracombe.

You can plan a route here

5) Kick off at the beach

Grab a ball and gather some mates for a game of football at the beach.

Croyde’s a personal favourite for this – they even have goals up during the summer – and there’s a volleyball net which is sure to bring out the competitive side in anyone.

6) Beach yoga

Focus on strength, flexibility and breathing and feel the physical and mental benefits of yoga. A quiet beach and lapping waves are the perfect backdrop.

7) What a racquet!

Tennis is a staple of the British summer – but there’s plenty of courts littered across North Devon which are open to the public throughout the year. You can play in Barnstaple’s Rock Park, Westward Ho! or Braunton.

8) Skate

There are some great skate parks through North Devon – in Appledore, Barnstaple, Bideford, Braunton, Ilfracombe, South Molton and Torrington. Just don’t forget your helmet and your knee and elbow pads!

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