A pretty town with real character, Ilfracombe has enjoyed a resurgence of success as a seaside resort led by artist Damien Hirst, who lent Verity, his striking 66ft tall bronze sculpture of a pregnant woman (with half the statue showing her inner anatomy) to the town for 20 years in 2012. She sits on the harbour, where Hirst also opened a café and restaurant (now sadly closed). Also along the harbour is a small Aquarium, an unusually good range of ice cream vendors, and great fish and chips; boat trips set off from the quay. Take the coastal path in either direction for hilly walks with glorious views – to the east, over nature reserve Hillsborough, to the west over the Ilfracombe Torrs, where you can have a 1-2 mile circular walk or carry on towards Mortenhoe.
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