Should you wish to explore the locality, then step back in time as you walk up the main street of Pilton and on under the arches of the Alms Houses and into the cobbled yard of the Priory Church of St Mary the Virgin. North Devon’s Golden Beaches are only a short ride away, or if the countryside is your preference, then Exmoor and Dartmoor are within easy driving distance too.
Barnstaple is a market town, with a pannier (farm/dairy produce) market held every Tuesday and Friday. On other days, during the summer, Craft and Antique Fairs are held in the beautiful covered Pannier Market, next to the Guild Hall, just off the High Street, which is pedestrianised 10.30am to 4.00pm. Barnstaple now has a modern shopping centre with many of the well known High Street names and many smaller shops selling a wide variety of goods.
Not far from the Guild Hall one can drink coffee in the classroom of a school established in 1659 and imagine the “poor maids of the Parish”, for whom it was founded, hard at work. For those of a more active nature, one only has to cross the River Taw by way of the ancient Long Bridge to enjoy the pleasures of the North Devon Leisure Centre, with it’s Olympic size swimming pool, Squash courts and indoor bowls. further on you will find the world class Tarka Tennis Centre which is open to the public.
Barnstaple claims to be the oldest borough in England, while Pilton proudly boasts – “Pilton was a Borough Town when Barum (Barnstaple) was a marsh!”.
There are leaflets available at Dairy Cottage with details of local attractions such as the world renowned Dartington Crystal Glass Factory, Atlantic Village or “The Big Sheep” which is a working farm open to the public.