Some must-visit places in Barnstaple
An ancient city and port on the River Taw, Barnstaple in North Devon is well worth a visit. It’s an easy place to visit as the roads are pedestrianised in the centre and the town is full of impressive landmarks like almshouses, a Norman castle and merchants hall, all on the Barnstaple Heritage Trail. Be sure to visit the following:
- Museum of Barnstaple and North Devon
Get in tune with the local area by visiting this museum right in the heart of Barnstaple. The brick and stone building, with a beautiful courtyard, dates to 1872 and has been a host of museums in different guises since 1888. You’ll discover military artifacts, as well as examples of pottery from the area, tin and 17th century furniture by Shapland & Petter, in business for more than a century and a half until 2016.
The head-turning exhibition is a full-sized recreation of the front half of the infamous Barnstaple Elephant. The straight-tusked elephant was found in the city in 1844 and belongs to a species that died in the UK some 115,000 years ago. Ivory and bone fragments from the original fossils are also on show.
When the sun sets, there’s still lots of do. For inspiration for Things to do in Barnstaple in the evening, visit a site like Devon Life, packed full of Things to do in Barnstaple in the evening.
- Arlington Court
Five miles from Barnstaple, this late-Georgian country house in Arlington Court is a journey that needs to be made. Built in the early 1820s, this neoclassical house has a hard granite facade that belies its ornate interior. Belonging to the National Trust, this grand house is almost entirely open for public viewing, meaning you can peruse the 16 rooms, of boudoirs with silk hangings to music rooms, formal dining rooms, living room and morning room.