7 Unusual Things To Do In Ilfracombe UK – 2024 Ultimate Guide

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Ilfracombe, UK, is a charming coastal town known for its stunning landscapes and traditional seaside activities. However, beyond the typical tourist attractions, there are plenty of unusual things to do in Ilfracombe that offer a unique and memorable experience. From exploring mysterious tunnels to discovering quirky art installations, there is no shortage of offbeat adventures waiting to be had in this picturesque town. Whether you’re a history buff, an art enthusiast, or simply looking for something out of the ordinary, Ilfracombe has something special to offer. So, step off the beaten path and uncover the hidden gems that make this seaside town truly one-of-a-kind.

Visit the Damien Hirst statue “Verity”

Essential Information

– Address: The Quay, Ilfracombe, Devon, EX34 9EQ, UK
– Opening Hours: 24/7
– Fee: Free
– Visit Duration: 30 minutes to 1 hour
– Ideal for: Art enthusiasts, tourists seeking unique attractions

Why is it so unusual

The Damien Hirst statue “Verity” in Ilfracombe, UK, stands out as an unusual tourist attraction due to its controversial and thought-provoking nature. Towering at 66.4 feet, this striking sculpture depicts a pregnant woman holding a sword aloft while standing on a pile of law books. The juxtaposition of life and death, creation and destruction, makes “Verity” a captivating piece of art that sparks conversations and debates among visitors.

One of the most unusual aspects of “Verity” is its dual nature – the figure is split down the middle, revealing the inner anatomy of the woman. This anatomical cross-section challenges traditional notions of beauty and perfection, inviting viewers to contemplate the complexities of the human body and the cycle of life.

Visitors to “Verity” can also marvel at the statue’s positioning overlooking the picturesque Ilfracombe harbor, creating a striking contrast between the serene coastal setting and the provocative artwork. The play of light and shadow on the sculpture adds an extra layer of intrigue, especially during sunrise or sunset.

For those seeking a unique and thought-provoking experience, a visit to the Damien Hirst statue “Verity” is a must. Whether you’re an art enthusiast looking to explore unconventional works or a curious traveler eager to encounter something out of the ordinary, “Verity” offers a memorable and unconventional stop on your itinerary.

Explore the Tunnels Beaches

Essential Information

– Address: Bath Place, Ilfracombe EX34 8AN, UK
– Opening Hours: 10:00 AM – 5:00 PM daily
– Fee: Adults £2.50, Children £1.50
– Visit Duration: 1-2 hours
– Ideal for: Families, History Enthusiasts

Why is it so unusual

The Tunnels Beaches in Ilfracombe, UK, offer a unique experience for visitors seeking something out of the ordinary. What sets this attraction apart is the opportunity to explore a network of hand-carved tunnels that lead to secluded beaches along the rugged coastline of North Devon.

Visitors can venture through these historic tunnels, originally built in the 1820s, and emerge onto picturesque beaches that are only accessible through these passageways. The sense of adventure and discovery that comes with navigating these tunnels adds an element of excitement to the visit.

Once on the beaches, visitors can enjoy activities such as rock pooling, sunbathing, and even picnicking in these hidden coves. The natural beauty of the surroundings, with towering cliffs and crystal-clear waters, provides a stunning backdrop for relaxation and exploration.

For those interested in history, the Tunnels Beaches also offer insights into the Victorian era, showcasing the ingenuity and craftsmanship of the time. The preserved tunnels serve as a window into the past, allowing visitors to step back in time while enjoying the beauty of the present-day landscape.

Overall, the Tunnels Beaches in Ilfracombe offer a blend of adventure, history, and natural beauty that make it a truly unusual and captivating tourist attraction in the UK.

Take a boat trip to Lundy Island

Essential Information

– Address: Ilfracombe Harbour, Ilfracombe, UK
– Opening Hours: Varies depending on the boat schedule
– Fee: Boat trip prices start from £40 per person
– Visit Duration: Full day trip, approximately 6-8 hours
– Ideal for: Nature enthusiasts, bird watchers, adventure seekers

Why is it so unusual

Lundy Island, situated off the coast of Ilfracombe in the UK, offers a unique and unforgettable experience for those seeking a different kind of adventure. What sets this boat trip apart is the opportunity to witness the diverse marine life that inhabits the waters surrounding the island. From playful dolphins dancing in the waves to majestic seals basking on the rocks, the chance to encounter these creatures in their natural habitat is truly extraordinary.

For the more adventurous souls, Lundy Island also provides the perfect setting for snorkeling and diving expeditions. Explore the underwater world teeming with colorful fish, vibrant seaweed forests, and hidden caves waiting to be discovered. The crystal-clear waters offer a glimpse into a mesmerizing realm that few have the chance to witness up close.

Nature enthusiasts will be delighted by the birdwatching opportunities on Lundy Island. With over 300 species of birds recorded on the island, including puffins, razorbills, and guillemots, it’s a paradise for ornithologists and bird lovers alike. Capture stunning photographs of these feathered friends as they soar through the skies or perch on the rugged cliffs overlooking the sea.

As you step foot on Lundy Island, be prepared to embark on scenic hikes along the rugged coastline, where breathtaking views of the Atlantic Ocean await at every turn. Explore the historic buildings scattered across the island, including the iconic Lundy lighthouse, which stands as a beacon of maritime history and a testament to the island’s rich heritage.

In conclusion, a boat trip to Lundy Island offers a truly unique experience that combines adventure, nature, and history in one unforgettable journey. Whether you’re seeking a close encounter with marine life, a birdwatching extravaganza, or a scenic hike along dramatic cliffs, Lundy Island has something special to offer every visitor.

Discover the Ilfracombe Aquarium

Essential Information

– Address: The Quay, Ilfracombe, Devon, EX34 9EQ, UK
– Opening Hours: 10:00 AM – 5:00 PM daily
– Fee: Adults £9.95, Children (3-15) £7.95, Under 3s free
– Visit Duration: Approximately 1-2 hours
– Ideal for: Families, marine life enthusiasts

Why is it so unusual

The Ilfracombe Aquarium stands out as a unique tourist attraction due to its focus on showcasing the fascinating marine life found along the North Devon coast. Unlike traditional aquariums, this establishment offers visitors the chance to participate in hands-on experiences that are both educational and entertaining.

One of the standout features of the Ilfracombe Aquarium is the opportunity to engage in interactive feeding sessions with various sea creatures. From feeding the playful seals to watching the mesmerizing octopuses enjoy their meals, visitors get a firsthand look at the feeding habits of these marine animals.

For those seeking a more immersive experience, the aquarium also offers guided snorkeling tours in the nearby waters, allowing guests to observe marine life in their natural habitat. This unique activity provides a deeper understanding of the ecosystem and the importance of conservation efforts in preserving these underwater wonders.

Moreover, the Ilfracombe Aquarium hosts regular marine conservation workshops and educational programs, making it an ideal destination for families looking to learn more about the ocean environment. Visitors can participate in interactive sessions that focus on topics such as marine biodiversity, sustainable fishing practices, and the impact of pollution on marine ecosystems.

Overall, the Ilfracombe Aquarium offers a distinctive blend of entertainment and education, making it a must-visit attraction for anyone interested in exploring the wonders of the sea in a hands-on and engaging way.

Walk along the South West Coast Path

Essential Information

– Address: South West Coast Path, Ilfracombe, UK
– Opening Hours: Open all day
– Fee: Free
– Visit Duration: Varies depending on the chosen route
– Ideal for: Nature lovers, hikers, outdoor enthusiasts

Why is it so unusual

The South West Coast Path in Ilfracombe, UK, offers a unique experience for visitors seeking more than just a leisurely stroll. While many come to admire the stunning coastal views and breathe in the fresh sea air, there are several unusual activities that set this path apart from others.

One of the standout features of this coastal walk is the opportunity to spot a variety of seabirds in their natural habitat. Birdwatching enthusiasts will be delighted by the chance to see species such as puffins, razorbills, and guillemots along the cliffs and rocky outcrops.

For those with a taste for adventure, the South West Coast Path also provides access to hidden coves and secluded beaches that can only be reached by foot. Explore these lesser-known spots and enjoy a peaceful picnic or a refreshing swim away from the crowds.

History buffs will appreciate the ancient ruins and archaeological sites that dot the landscape along the path. From Iron Age hillforts to abandoned quarries, there are plenty of opportunities to step back in time and imagine what life was like for the people who once inhabited these rugged shores.

In addition to the natural and historical attractions, the South West Coast Path offers a chance to witness local wildlife in action. Keep an eye out for seals basking on the rocks, dolphins playing in the surf, and even the occasional glimpse of a basking shark cruising offshore.

Whether you’re seeking a challenging hike, a peaceful retreat, or a glimpse into the past, the South West Coast Path in Ilfracombe has something unusual to offer every visitor. So lace up your walking shoes, pack a camera and a sense of adventure, and set out to explore this captivating stretch of coastline.

Visit the Chambercombe Manor

Essential Information

– Address: Chambercombe Manor, Ilfracombe, Devon, EX34 9RJ, UK
– Opening Hours: 10:00 AM – 4:00 PM (Monday to Saturday)
– Fee: £5 for adults, £3 for children
– Visit Duration: Approximately 1-2 hours
– Ideal for: History enthusiasts, families with older children

Why is it so unusual

The Chambercombe Manor in Ilfracombe, UK, stands out as an unusual tourist attraction due to its intriguing history and unique features. Unlike typical manor houses, Chambercombe Manor offers visitors a glimpse into the past with its well-preserved haunted reputation. One of the most unusual activities at Chambercombe Manor is the opportunity to participate in ghost tours, where visitors can explore the allegedly haunted rooms and hear chilling tales of paranormal encounters.

Another unusual aspect of Chambercombe Manor is the hidden priest hole, a secret chamber used during the times of religious persecution. Visitors can crawl through the narrow passage and experience firsthand the fear and secrecy that characterized this historical period. Additionally, the manor boasts a collection of antique artifacts and furniture, providing a fascinating insight into the lives of the former residents.

For those seeking a more interactive experience, Chambercombe Manor offers themed events such as murder mystery evenings and historical reenactments. These activities allow visitors to immerse themselves in the past and unravel the mysteries surrounding the manor. Whether you are a history buff or simply intrigued by the supernatural, Chambercombe Manor promises a truly unusual and unforgettable experience.

Explore the Ilfracombe Museum

Essential Information

– Address: Wilder Rd, Ilfracombe EX34 9AU, United Kingdom
– Opening Hours: Monday-Saturday 10am-5pm, Sunday 2pm-5pm
– Fee: Adults £2.50, Children £1.00
– Visit Duration: 1-2 hours
– Ideal for: History enthusiasts, families

Why is it so unusual

When visiting Ilfracombe in the UK, one might not expect to stumble upon a museum that holds such a diverse and intriguing collection. The Ilfracombe Museum stands out as an unusual tourist attraction due to its unique exhibits and fascinating artifacts that offer a glimpse into the town’s rich history.

One of the most unusual aspects of the museum is its collection of curiosities, including a pickled two-headed kitten and a preserved giant squid beak. These oddities are sure to pique the interest of visitors looking for something out of the ordinary.

For those intrigued by the macabre, the museum also houses a collection of Victorian mourning items, such as hair art and mourning jewelry. This glimpse into the mourning practices of the past provides a somber yet captivating look at how death was commemorated in bygone eras.

In addition to its quirky artifacts, the Ilfracombe Museum boasts an impressive display of local maritime history, with exhibits on shipwrecks, smuggling, and the town’s fishing heritage. Visitors can explore models of historic ships and learn about the daring exploits of local sailors.

For a truly unusual experience, don’t miss the museum’s collection of taxidermy specimens, including exotic birds and local wildlife. These lifelike displays offer a glimpse into the natural world and showcase the beauty of the animal kingdom.

Overall, the Ilfracombe Museum is a hidden gem that offers a one-of-a-kind experience for those seeking to delve into the strange and fascinating history of this charming seaside town. Whether you’re a history buff, a lover of the unusual, or simply curious to explore something different, this museum is sure to leave a lasting impression.

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