has with more than 25 years’ experience in the holdiay cottage rental agency business. It offers a choice of more than 10,000 holiday homes across the UK and Ireland, including nearly 1,000 properties in Devon – from cosy cottages for two to larger properties that sleep 20 or more. Prices for (which has lift and stair access) are from £459 in low season and from £919 in high season. Fuel, power, bed linen and towels are included and there is allocated, off-road parking. See much to Hirst’s pleasure, I’m sure.
While admiring the statue, I discovered there’s a finite amount of time you can spend talking about modern art to children.
Inevitably, the question ‘‘can we go to the beach now?’’ rears its head and that, indeed, is where we spent the majority of our week.
There’s a small, sandy stretch at Ilfracombe’s harbour, where you can paddle when the tide is in.
But if you really want to let your kids off the leash, the three-mile long beach at Woolacombe is only a ten-minute drive away.
The equally attractive beaches at Croyde and Saunton are also within easy reach.
Back in Ilfracombe, the pebbly Tunnels Beaches are the town’s top visitor attraction. Victorian entrepreneurs employed Welsh miners to carve out the tunnels through a hillside to enable access to the rugged coastline.
Tidal swimming pools were created (one for gents, one for ladies) and Ilfracombe grew from a tiny village to a bustling resort.
The Ladies’ Pool is still there, visible for three hours before and after every low tide.
There are fascinating information boards throughout the tunnels, including some guides to Victorian era bathing etiquette. A newspaper report from 1859 remarks that two men who intruded into the Ladies Pool would be ‘‘outed from civilised society’.’
I wonder what the paper would have written about the nude swimmer we spotted from our balcony.
How times have changed!