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North Devon & Somerset

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20242025
6 days From £849 £799 per person
4.2 stars(28 reviews)
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A picturesque adventure in North Devon and Somerset, where scenic railways, charming towns, and natural beauty await.

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Save up to £150pp on selected 2024 Europe, British Isles and Cruise holidays, when you book by 10th May 2024.

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Mobility Rating 2

2024 Tour code: 24NSS

About the tour

Uncover the best of the West Country as you take in a delightful tapestry of scenic railways, idyllic harbour towns and sprawling National Parks. On a captivating holiday in North Devon and Somerset, journey through Dartmoor National Park, explore the bustling market town of Tavistock and visit the enchanting RHS Garden Rosemoor. You'll also discover Minehead's beauty spots before a scenic trip on the West Somerset Railway. Ending with a visit to Sheppy's Cider Farm is the perfect way to savour a fantastic adventure.

Unforgettable Experiences

North Devon by rail
North Devon by rail
Soak up the scenery of North Devon by rail, with journeys on the Dartmoor Line, the West Somerset Steam Railway and the Lynton & Barnstaple Railway.
Dartmoor National Park
Dartmoor National Park
Explore Dartmoor National Park, an area of striking natural beauty where sheep, horses and highland cows roam free.
Sheppy’s Cider Farm
Sheppy’s Cider Farm
Discover the best of Somerset with a visit to seaside Minehead and a cider tasting at Sheppy’s Cider Farm.
RHS Garden Rosemoor
RHS Garden Rosemoor
Step into a world of beautiful flora at RHS Garden Rosemoor, a stunning public garden surrounded by over 100 acres of woodland.

What’s included

Itinerary

Day 1 – Historic Barnstaple

Your adventure begins today in Barnstaple, North Devon's largest town and one of the oldest boroughs in the United Kingdom. Steeped in history but with a cosmopolitan air, this is the perfect starting point to take in the beauty of North Devon and Somerset, with Dartmoor and Exmoor National Parks on its doorstep. After meeting your Tour Manager at your hotel on the banks of the River Taw, you can explore the town at leisure until dinner with the rest of your group this evening.

Includes
  • Dinner
Day 2 – Vibrant Tavistock and a wild journey through Dartmoor National Park

After breakfast, you spend your first full day exploring West Devon. After travelling through rural scenery by coach and rail, your group is joined by an expert guide in Okehampton, at the edge of Dartmoor National Park. On a coach tour through the beautiful English countryside, hear about the local culture and heritage as the guide points out interesting landmarks. Admire castles, charming villages, and picturesque landscapes along the way. Arriving in Tavistock, the only town in Devon to hold world heritage status, you have time to explore. Wander through its thriving but friendly streets, discover a range of independent shops, and try local delicacies for lunch.

Back on the coach, your tour takes you into the heart of Dartmoor next. You see Two Bridges, a local beauty spot where, historically, two bridges crossed the West Dart and River Cowsic. Today it's a scenic area, nestled in an isolated place surrounded by moorland and greenery. You also visit the picturesque market town of Moretonhampstead before returning to the hotel.

Includes
  • Breakfast, Dinner
Day 3 – The Victorian Lynton and Barnstaple Railway, and colourful RHS Garden Rosemoor

This morning your coach takes you to Woody Bay, stopping along the way at the Valley of the Rocks. This dramatic section of coastline on the northern edge of Exmoor, is the perfect place for a photo with spectacular views of the seascape. Reaching Woody Bay, a serene bay surrounded by the scenery of Exmoor National Park, your group boards the Lynton and Barnstaple Railway.

From your genuine 1890s carriage, relax and take in the backdrop of wild moorland and picturesque coastline on a two-mile round trip. Next, your coach drives you to Lynton, a pretty coastal town. With time at leisure, over lunch, you could ride the Lynton & Lynmouth Cliff Railway. This award-winning funicular railway joins the historic towns of Lynton and Lynmouth, separated by a steep cliff, with incredible views across the coast and ocean.

This afternoon, your group visits the enchanting RHS Garden Rosemoor. After a guided tour of the beautiful gardens, there's time to explore at your own pace. Stroll through the kaleidoscopic displays, including an elegant rose garden with around 2,000 rose plants, the 'hot garden' - where plants are chosen for their warm hues, and a garden filled with a huge variety of fruit and vegetables.

Includes
  • Breakfast, Dinner
Day 4 -Discover Barnstaple at leisure

Enjoy a day at leisure to discover more of the area at your own pace. Barnstaple is bursting with things to see and do, from tempting independent cafés to historic markets. The Pannier Market has remained mostly unchanged for over 150 years, and offers fresh local produce, crafts and flowers. In nearby Bideford, discover a pretty town filled with great pubs, friendly locals and scenic river views.

Please Note - For departure 12/05/24 Days 4 and 5 have swapped around.

Includes
  • Breakfast
Day 5 – Quintessential Minehead, the heritage West Somerset Railway, and the renowned Sheppy's Cider Farm

This morning your group travels by coach to Minehead, a town known as 'the gateway to Exmoor'. With time at leisure, you can discover beaches, the fishing quarter and the historic harbour. On the hill, there's a set of distinctive stone steps which lead to a lovely 14th-century church creating a scene perfect for a postcard. You could also enjoy a stroll down the tree-lined avenue, where you'll find delightful tea rooms, inviting pubs, and unique independent shops in the town centre. After time to explore, your group joins the West Somerset Railway for a heritage, afternoon journey through beautiful countryside. Passing through delightful stations like Blue Anchor and Watchet, showcasing their unique architectural charm, the train makes its way towards Bishops Lydeard.

From here, you join your coach and head to Sheppy's Cider Farm, where the Sheppy family has been making award-winning craft cider for over 200 years. You have a chance to try the classic Somerset cider, one of the oldest cider brands in the world, made from a traditional recipe passed down through six generations. Returning to your hotel later this afternoon, there's time to relax before the final dinner with your group this evening.

Includes
  • Breakfast, Dinner
Day 6 – Homeward bound

Your time in Devon ends after breakfast this morning. Once you've checked out, it's time to make your way home, or you could continue your exploring further on your own.

Includes
  • Breakfast

Additional information

Departure times

On many of our UK & Ireland tours, you may check in at the first hotel on your itinerary anytime after 14:00; your Tour Manager will be available between 16:00 and 18:00. However, if you are arriving later, you can meet your Tour Manager before dinner from 19:00.

Mobility information

Due to the nature of our tours they are generally unsuitable for those with restricted mobility. If you’d like to discuss any particular holiday with us in this respect, then please don’t hesitate to call us.

Hotel

Imperial Hotel, Barnstaple

Imperial Hotel, Barnstaple

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Trains

West Somerset Railway
Dartmoor Line
Lynton & Barnstaple Railway

Enhance your holiday

Upgrades

UK rail connections

Reviews

4.2 stars4.2 / 5 · 28 reviews

  1. 5 stars
    (11)
  2. 4 stars
    (12)
  3. 3 stars
    (4)
  4. 2 stars
    (1)
  5. 1 star
    (0)

Sharon

5 stars

Submitted 15 Sep 2023

Great holiday made even better by the fantastic weather. The itinerary is just right, packing plenty in with 1 free day to do as you please. Our tour manager Colin was knowledgeable about the area which is an added bonus of course. As regular customers with the company we're very aware that this is not always the case, they are after all tour managers not tour guides. The 3 star Barnstaple hotel is only let down by it's location, a half hour walk from town with an industrial estate behind it. This made it a bit noisy at times as they worked through the nights. If it wasn't for that I suspect this would be a 4 star hotel as everything else was excellent and the food outstanding, best choice and menu we've ever had on a Rail Discoveries or Great Rail Journeys holiday. I believe that next year they're using a hotel closer to the town centre by the same hotel chain, so hopefully that will help make a great holiday into a perfect holiday.

Collected by Trustpilot

Frances

4 stars

Submitted 14 Sep 2023

Lovely picturesque visiting a variety of places in North Devon. Excellent, welcoming tour guide who went the extra mile. Hotel a little outside of Barnstaple but provided great accommodation with large rooms, great food and very friendly staff.

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AMBC

5 stars

Submitted 20 Jun 2023

Well thought out day trips. Lovely hotel with great food and service. Very friendly, helpful and informative tour director and coach driver. Rail Discoveries can’t take credit for the glorious weather and the friendliness of my fellow guests but it all added up to a very good experience as a newly single (widowed) traveller.

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G Cunningham

5 stars

Submitted 16 Jun 2023

Scenery was brilliant and the hotel very friendly with good food

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John Vickers

4 stars

Submitted 15 Jun 2023

Hotel great and tour very good although one or two ports of call were not of great interest.

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Poppy's Mum

5 stars

Submitted 26 May 2023

Excellent hotel and staff at The Park. Tour manager Colin and driver Paul went the second mile to ensure we got the best out of the holiday

Collected by Trustpilot

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