A national newspaper article has described Barnstaple as a town with potential but lacking in va-va-voom. The Guardian article published in the same week business leaders met to discuss opportunities for the town praised Barnstaples pretty streets and potentially beautiful waterfront. But writer Tom Dyckhoff said the High Street was humdrum. He said: Were its light not quite so hidden under its bushel, Barnstaple could be quite the place again. The centre has messed-about spots (ring roads, banal 80s offices) and the High Street is humdrum. Without the car parks and big roads, its riverside could be amazing. There were shout-outs for Broomhill Art Hotel, Fremington Quay Cafe and the Muddiford Inn as places to enjoy. The article also cited Pilton and Newport as desirable areas to live.