- Bryan Cath
Enjoying Barnstaple town
Distance from Combe Martin: 12 miles
Barnstaple is the municipal centre for North Devon, on the River Taw. It is home to all the major shopping outlets. Here are some things you can do in the town:
This theatre and the Landmark in Ilfracombe are the two main theatres in North Devon. The Queen’s is a traditional 655 seat theatre in the centre of the town. It puts on a wide variety of shows, including pantomimes, musicals, plays, concerts, comedy and dance performances.
To find out what is showing now, please visit their website at https://www.queenstheatre-barnstaple.com/.
This historic marketplace dates back some 150 years. It is a large indoor market which offers a wide range of different stalls, such as fresh local produce, local crafts and flowers, fashion and much more. It is in the centre of town next to the Queen’s Theatre and alongside Butcher’s Row, a collection of artisan food shops and cafes. These were once a row of thirty-three small butchers’ shops.
Green Lanes (https://www.greenlanes.co.uk/) is an indoor shopping arcade with a wide selection of shops, in the centre of town. These include cafes, fashion shops, jewellers, health and beauty shops, charity shops, and more.
The Tarka Trail (https://tarkatrail.org.uk/) is a 180-mile figure-of-eight walk and cycle trail, centred on Barnstaple. It includes a section of the Tarka Railway line from Barnstaple Station to Eggesford Station. It also includes a 30-mile section of cycleway from Braunton to Meeth. Barnstaple is on this cycleway section, and you can hire bikes at Barnstaple Station to cycle a section of the old railway line. You could cycle to Bideford or on to Great Torrington stations, or in the other direction to Braunton. Fremington Station is the first stop when going towards Bideford, which has a café and toilets. Continuing on you reach Instow with its sandy beach before getting to Bideford Station beside the River Torridge. If you carry on further you pass through a tunnel before reaching Great Torrington Station where the relatively new Tarka Valley Railway (https://www.tarkavalleyrailway.org/) is now based, with the Puffing Billy café.
Barnstaple Museum (https://barnstaplemuseum.org.uk/) offers a wide range of exhibitions, which change regularly. They also have an eclectic range of collections from local Brannams Pottery to the local arts and crafts furniture by Shapland and Petter, that the town is famous for. They have a café called Bromleys and a shop for gifts. You will find the museum on The Square next to the old Barnstaple Long Bridge.