One foggy morning on our recent holiday to North Devon, I decided we’d go to Arlington Court, but with it not opening until 11, we decided to detour to Ilfracombe first.
What can I say about Ilfracombe? Not a lot because there’s not that much there. An aquarium, the Anthony Gormley pregnant warrior sculpture, a lifeboat station and a land train. Other than that, not much.
We parked for an hour before having a look in the lifeboat station and checking out the lifeboat tractors which winch them out onto the water. First of all N wasn’t interested, but he loved the tractors, and being able to view the lifeboat from above. And not forgetting putting a donation in the money pot! Why do children enjoy that so much?!
The harbour is quite sweet, although small. There’s a little beach but N wasn’t keen to stop which worked for me. He bought an expanding ball with some of his holiday money (I’m sure the OH will call it tat), before we wandered along the pier.
I hadn’t realised the Damien Hirst sculpture was there but it’s really quite magnificent. I’m not sure I really feel at one with it, but it certainly makes a statement and I’m sure is a conversation starter. I was surprised N didn’t take more notice of it given he usually makes comments about people or statues who’re half naked (or in this case with a pregnant belly on show). He was more focused on the land train.
N isn’t really that much of a train obsessive, but given the chance to ride on one, he’s there. Thankfully this one wasn’t expensive. After waiting a while to check if it would set off and have time to get us back before our car parking ticket expired, we joined the train.
N loved it, although there aren’t exciting sights to see. The train takes you round the town, past the harbour and the town’s walls. You’re able to get off or join at other stops. For little children, it’s just the journey on a train that’s the exciting thing.
We did enjoy spotting the ice cream shops, the souvenir places and checking out the fish on offer in the fish and chip shops. N was intrigued to see lobsters. That’s not a food you see on offer at our local chippy.
It really was a fleeting visit, but just enough to experience another Devon town.
Have you ever visited Ilfracombe? Do you have train fans?
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