Ilfracombe in Devon is a big on superlatives. All of the tourist information I read before my weekend visit was full of the kind of language that would make Roy Castle and the rest of the Record Breakers team hot-foot it down to North Devon.
In homage to the marketers of Ilfracombe, this post highlights the best things the town has to offer. But incase you think that’s a bit boring, I’ve made some of them up. Can you spot which ones?
1. The town has the 6th highest concentration of tea rooms in the UK.
2. In 2008, Ilfracombe Aquarium won the North Devon + Visitor Attractions award. It is also home to 75 species of marine life.
3. Ilfracombe Museum has the South West’s largest publicly displayed collection of pickled bats. Other curiosities include:
- a picked kitten with 2 heads
- a collection of wood samples
- drawers of beetles and snails
- a wheelchair from 1918
4. The Tunnels Beaches were voted the UK’s third best beach with rock pools. This is despite the fact that the only wildlife are some sad sticklebacks and a very confused jellyfish.
5. Fore St is the oldest street in Ilfracombe. It is very old.
6. An Ilfracombe butcher was runner-up in the national shop pun championships 2010 with the sign “Always pleased to meet you. Always meat to please you”. He narrowly missed out on first place which was awarded to a barbers in Brighton called Ba Ba Black Sheep.
7. If chocolate floats your boat, check out Devon’s largest handmade chocolate lollipop at Walker’s Chocolate Emporium (High St). Chocolate of this calibre is taken very seriously and there are signs asking visitor not to ‘touch, bite or fondle’ the lollipop. There is also a life-size chocolate man. Unlike the lollipop, women are encouraged to fondle him.
8. Dating back to the 1300s, the George and Dragon is the oldest pub in Ilfracombe. Despite being properly ancient, it lacks character. The Prince of Wales next door is much nicer. And it has a wishing well inside.
9. Ilfracombe pier was voted best pier in Ilfracombe in 2011. It has not won the accolade since Damien Hirst’s Verity statue was installed in 2012.
10. Capstone hill is the most romantic place to watch a sunset in Devon.
The answers: 2, 4, 5, 7, 8 are true. 1,3,6,9,10 are lies with twisted facts thrown in.