The best hotels in North Devon

Advice

All hotels have been independently reviewed and selected. We will earn a commission if you book via the links below, but this never affects our rating.

Wilder and less trammelled than the rest of Devon, the north of the county has a comfortingly old-fashioned, low-tech feel. Prices are, on the whole, cheaper than the more chi-chi resorts of south Devon, so it’s a great option for extended families, large groups and those on a tight budget. Hotels generally focus on honest service and value rather than the bells and whistles, although there are a few notable options that offer both, which have been included in the selection below.

There’s a wonderful variety of options available, including tranquil manor houses set in landscaped gardens, Victorian seaside hotels packed with facilities, homely thatched inns, sophisticated adults-only country homes and fishing lodges. We’ve covered all of North Devon’s main destinations, including Woolacombe, Clovelly and Exmoor National Park, plus a few off-the-beaten track venues that offer peace and solitude, even in the height of summer. Here are the best hotels in North Devon.


How we review

Every hotel in this curated list has been visited by one of our expert reviewers, who are usually hosted on a complimentary basis. They stay for a minimum of one night, test at least one meal and trial other experiences that the hotel might have to offer. 


At at glance, the best hotels in North Devon

 

Northcote Manor

Burrington, Devon, England

8
Telegraph expert rating

Northcote Manor makes for a quintessentially British escape to the countryside, with a tranquil position among 20 acres of well-kept lawns and natural woodlands overlooking the River Taw. Comfortable standard rooms are in keeping with the manor surroundings: the Kings Nympton room, for instance, has a four-poster bed. Other rooms come with their individual features: the Northcote Suite has a lounge, Dragonfly a private terrace and the spacious Orchard sleeps a family of four. Staff are very attentive and knowledgeable, particularly sommelier Mitchell.


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From


£
140

per night

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Booking.com

Woolacombe Bay Hotel

Woolacombe, Devon, England

8
Telegraph expert rating

On the edge of the seaside town of Woolacombe, the hotel is a five-minute stroll from glorious Woolacombe Beach, a three-mile stretch of sand backed by dunes. Purpose built as a hotel in mid-Victorian times, Woolacombe Bay Hotel is a rambling, gabled building, with attractive period features including an Edwardian lift, which is still in operation. Facilities include a large outdoor pool, a small indoor pool, gym, fitness classes, a nine-hole pitch-and-putt golf course, tennis and squash courts, a championship-sized snooker table and an Elemis spa.


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From


£
180

per night

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The Red Lion Hotel

Clovelly, Devon, England

8
Telegraph expert rating

A homely country inn on the harbourside at picturesque Clovelly, with some of the prettiest views in the country to be had from its bedroom windows. You can hear the lapping of the waves from each of the eleven daintily countrified rooms. The view in Room 5 through dual-aspect windows is one of the best in the UK: one side is of the ever-changing sea; the other is of pretty Clovelly harbour and north Devon’s majestic coastline unravelling into the distance. Food is served in the restaurant or convivial pub setting, with much of the seafood coming straight from the harbour’s fishing boats.


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From


£
167

per night

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Highcliffe House

Lynton, Exmoor National Park, England

8
Telegraph expert rating

Big views and big beds make this one of Devon’s most romantic bed and breakfasts. The six-bedroom house, perched on a lushly-wooded hillside overlooking the seaside towns of Lynmouth and Lynton in Exmoor, is a wonderful base for outdoor lovers. Each of the six large rooms have ‘feature beds’: Summerhouse has an enormous Rococo bedhead, Hollerday has a four-poster, and The Cleaves has a magnificent six-foot wide Jacobean. Each is dressed with opulent silk throws, soft linen and feather-filled cushions, and are positioned to take advantage of the views. Its strict no-children policy means guaranteed peace.


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From


£
140

per night

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The Rising Sun

Lynmouth, Devon, England

8
Telegraph expert rating

This 14th-century thatched inn is in one of Devon’s most picturesque locations, overlooking Lynmouth harbour, with dramatic views of Lynmouth Bay and Exmoor National Park. Inside, it’s wonderfully rickety and rambling, with a fire-lit bar, Exmoor cask ales, award-winning food and genial locals. The 14 rooms, off rambling corridors and up narrow, creaky staircases, have been individually decorated in a tasteful, traditional style. The restaurant serves traditional pub favourites, using local produce such as Lynmouth Bay Lobster landed at the door, Exmoor game and Porlock Bay oysters.


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£
133

per night

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Watersmeet Hotel

Woolacombe, Devon, England

8
Telegraph expert rating

This is a rare breed of hotel that manages to be both family-friendly and romantic at the same time, with an indoor and outdoor pool, huge lawn and sun terrace leaving plenty of room for everybody. What’s more, the beachfront location, looking out onto the North Devon coastline and Lundy Island, is simply sublime. At the quiet end of Woolacombe Bay, the hotel has private steps that lead onto Combesgate Beach, a small, sandy cove that’s fantastic for body-boarding and rock-pooling, but rarely gets busy, even in the height of summer.


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£
173

per night

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The Arundell Arms

Lifton, Devon, England

7
Telegraph expert rating

Budding anglers pitch up at this comfy country house hotel in Lifton to benefit from the expert tuition of instructors at one of the UK’s longest established fishing schools, or to simply set themselves up to enjoy the hotel’s 20 miles of private fishing rights on the Tamar, as well as six of its tributaries. Best of all, the food, courtesy of chef Steven Pidgeon, is the real deal: the best local produce cooked with care and flair such as Cornish scallops and wild black bream, tournedos of Devon beef and local country cheeses.


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From


£
180

per night

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The Old Rectory Hotel

Exmoor National Park, Devon, England

8
Telegraph expert rating

Cocooned in lush, well-tended gardens and carefully clipped lawns, The Old Rectory sits in stark contrast to its wild and wuthering surrounds of Exmoor National Park. Several lounges mean there are plenty of nooks where you can put your feet up and get stuck into your favourite book, although the best spot in the house is the Orangery, a large conservatory with large, squishy sofas, glossy magazines and views of the gardens. The 11 rooms are decorated individual styles, varying from country classic French – Toiles De Jouy wallpaper in pastel blues and pinks – to zanier black and gold colour schemes.


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From


£
181

per night

Rates provided by
Booking.com

Contributions by Anna Turns

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