Things to do

Rock Cottage is located with easy access to Barnstaple and is centrally located for a wide variety of attractions, days out, the beaches and exploring the moors. There are endless possibilities for days out on Exmoor, the North Devon Coast and in and around Barnstaple and Bideford.

Younger Children

Younger children, for example, will be fascinated by the inner workings of Quince Honey Farm at South Molton, the collection of lemurs, red pandas and ducks, among many other species, at Exmoor Zoo near Combe Martin, the attractions and rides at Watermouth Castle and, of course, the abundance of beaches and coves along the North and West Devon coastline.


Families may spend a stimulating day out at National Trust and other venues such as Arlington Court, the ancestral home of the “Chichesters” with its excellent restaurant, collection of maritime memorabilia and its working collection of Victorian coaches, which offer frequent tours of its grounds in spring and summer. Slightly further afield are the delights of Knighthayes Court, Tarr Steps, RHS Rosemoor and Hestercombe Gardens which are all excellent places to spend a day out with the family.

All ages will enjoy the swimming and surfing opportunities on offer all around the coast, with lessons at Sarah Whiteley’s Surf School a good investment for first-timers!


With or without family, there is a warm inviting pub a short walk away, The New Inn, with good food and local hospitality, with further gastronomic locales such as The Muddiford Inn, and Le Gendarmerie in Ilfracombe, within a short drive of Goodleigh. The Sculpture Garden offers the perfect Sunday lunch venue, with its Mediterranean-inspired cuisine augmented by local specialities such as Lundy Crab, nestling in its own woodland setting with outdoor sculptures providing an enchanting opportunity for a leisurely, afternoon walk.

For everyone with a love of outdoor pursuits

There is an abundance of walks and cycle-paths, including the Tarka Trail, within easy reach of Rock Cottage. Goodleigh, itself, has several of its own local walks for those in need of a “brisk constitutional” couple of miles before or after lunch, or those who prefer a leisurely exploration of the newly-planted wood with spectacular views over the Estuary, on a clear day.

Bikes may be hired from a variety of outlets in the town centre, for trips northward or westward along the Tarka Trail (see "Stuff to try"); seasoned cyclists may relish the challenge of the hills back to Goodleigh, and on to Exmoor, while families may prefer to use the car! Good quality tennis facilities (indoor and outdoor) are available for hire at the Tarka Tennis Centre, with gym, squash courts, badminton courts, dance/ exercise classes and swimming pool in the nearby North Devon Leisure Centre.

For those with a love of Wildlife

We recommend either a trip to Lundy, sailing from Ilfracombe or Bideford, or a shorter 2 hour cruise along the coast.

Guides and Suggestions

We provide details of our favourite coastal, river and moor walks in the cottage and have created some laminated sheets for you to borrow during your stay. There is a very welcoming Information Centre in Barnstaple, next to the museum, should you want more ideas.