An amazing little town in North Devon, Barnstaple has a lot more on offer than originally meets the eye. Barnstaple lays claim to being the oldest borough in the United Kingdom, which is not hard to believe when you embark upon the Barnstaple heritage trail and discover the extensive ties the town has to the past.
Your history lesson continues with the Museum of Barnstaple, where you can explore the history of North Devon, as well as enjoying local art in the gallery space. If this all seems a bit drab you can enjoy the annual Barnstaple Fair, should you come in September, where you can experience rides, stalls and games into the evening.
Barnstaple also has excellent retail and shopping facilities and can easily be accessed by rail or bus, and the location near the M5 Motorway also allows for easy access by car. Barnstaple is a fantastic place to discover and is very accommodating towards tourists, with many eateries and hotels to enjoy and the night plays host to amazing plays at The Queen’s Theatre, definitely the critic’s choice.
Museum of Barnstaple & North Devon, The Square, Barnstaple, Devon EX32 8LN (01271) 346747
Exhibiting collections encompassing North Devon, its river ecology and undersea world; the Museum of Barnstaple and North Devon is the perfect way to find out more about this beautiful county.
Facilities include a small shop and reception.
Barnstaple Pannier Market, Butchers Row, Barnstaple, Devon EX31 1BW (01271) 379084
Constructed to ease congestion on the high street (where those with produce to sell would line it with panniers), the Pannier Market now operates undercover six days a week.
Regularly included in the top ten food markets in the country, Pannier Market continues its proud history and tradition.
Barnstaple Heritage Centre, Queen Anne’s Walk, The Strand, Barnstaple EX31 1EU (01271) 373003
Housed in a beautiful listed building on Barnstaple’s waterfront, the Barnstaple Heritage Centre contains collections of the town’s bygone era.
From the colourful dress of a Saxon merchant to the dark confines of a merchant cargo ship, the heritage centre aims to retain the look and feel of Barnstaple’s rich past.