Abigail's Cottage is located in the heart of the pretty North Devon village of Northam that lies to the north of Bideford. This quaint village has a lovely character feel with narrow lanes and terraced houses.
There are several shops in Northam, including a mini-supermarket within walking distance of the cottage. Also, close by are several places to eat or grab a take-out, including the fish and chip shop and Chinese restaurant. For a meal to remember book a table at Memories, one of the finest bistros in the local area. Memories serve a selection of dishes and is extremely popular, so it is well worth booking a table in advance.
At the western edge of the Taw and Torridge Estuary lies the Northam Burrows Country Park. Covering approximately 253 hectares, the site lies within an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, and has also been designated a Site of Special Scientific Interest. Made up of coastal grassland, sand dunes and salt marshes the area has become a haven for local wildlife and vegetation, which share the Burrows with walkers, horse riders and golfers.
Protected by the Westward Ho! pebble ridge, the Burrows are the ideal place to enjoy a walk, no matter what the season. As you stroll through the sand dunes and marshland look out for the local wildlife, including birds, butterflies, lizards, horses and sheep, as well as the large variety of plants that call the Burrows home.
Part of the Burrows is used for The Royal North Devon golf course, which is the oldest links course in the country, and a local riding stables has sole use of another area, otherwise it is free to wander.
During the summer the Visitors Centre is open to the public. Here you can gain advice and maps of the area, see a number of exhibitions explaining the history and geology of the Burrows, as well as picking up souvenirs from the gift shop.
Other things worth looking out for are the salt marshes that are a vivid green and give the impression of a giant jigsaw puzzle, and at Grey Sand Hill enjoy the peace and quiet with views of the Braunton Burrows visible on the other side of the estuary.
From the Burrows you can access the beach at Westward Ho! which is great for a number of water based activities, coastal walks and family fun. Just a short stroll from the village, the beach is ideally located with shops and cafés all within easy reach. The sandy beach is backed on one side by the pebble ridge and on the other by cliffs. It is one of the best beaches in the North Devon area for sand, rock pools and nature, and this makes it very popular with families.
The beach at Westward Ho! attracts plenty of windsurfers, surfers and swimmers and many local shops sell equipment for these sports. The surf is also home to wild sea bass and therefore fishermen from far and wide are drawn to the area.
Westward Ho! beach has been awarded the blue flag status and from May to September it is patrolled by RNLI lifeguards. There is also plenty of car parking in the village and nearby.
Northam is in a wonderful location for exploring North Devon and beyond with the Atlantic Highway easily accessed for day trips to Cornwall and the A361 Link Road also within easy reach. There is a good bus service in the village, and a train station is located in Barnstaple that links to the main line running between London and Exeter.