The Slightly Shabby Bus Station
This is now totally out-of-date but I'll leave it here, having demoted it, just for my own reference.
As with most of North Devon Ilfracombe is well-served by local bus services. First Devon is the main service provider and the Ilfracombe based company Filers provides town and village services as well as seasonal buses to Lynton and other nearby destinations.
During the day the number 3 First bus runs roughly every half hour to and from Barnstaple with a journey time of about 45 minutes. This is very scenic journey as the route takes you through the undulating farmlands and wooded hills of the B3230.
I don't know what the single fare is from Barnstaple but the First North Devon Day Ticket at £3.90 (Summer 2010) can be used on all the First services.
UPDATE 2013 - At the time of writing (July) the bus station is being redeveloped - watch this space. UPDATE 2014 The bus station is now a car park and the main bus services are now run by Stagecoach South West. The bus stop is now next to the car park.
Not only is Ilfracombe connected via Barnstaple to the rest of the County but also has twice daily National Express coaches direct from London Victoria via Heathrow Airport - www.nationalexpress.com service NX502 with a journey time of just over 6 hours.
- Road Trip
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Ilfracombe Bus Services Update
Following the closure of the shabby bus station it seems that First have given up this route and it is now operated by Stagecoach South West. Service #21 and #21A, "The North Devon Wave" runs at 20 minute intervals during the day connecting Ilfracombe to Barnstaple town centre (journey time about 40 minutes) with a handy stop at Barnstaple railway station. It then continues on to respectively Westward Ho! and Appledore.
The last time I used it, June 2014, the one-way fare from Barnstaple to Ilfracombe was £2.20 and a North Devon Dayrider £3.60.
The new bus stop is where the old bus station used to be and is also used by the Filers #300 service.
- Budget Travel
Catching The Boat To Lundy
Lundy's supply ship, the MS Oldenburg, is also licensed to carry up to 267 passengers and from the end of March until the end of October makes at least three weekly crossings from North Devon - on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays. The route is shared between Bideford and Ilfracombe and because Ilfracombe's deep water harbour isn't dependent on tides the boats from Ilfracombe usually sail at 10 am and arrive at Lundy about two hours later.
As well as transporting staying guests the boat also provides day-trip opportunities and the Oldenburg usually aims to return at 6 pm.
The dock is at the far end of the Quay, where Damien Hirst's controversial statue, "Verity" is located. For ticket sales, or for check-in as a staying guest, you'll find the Lundy Shore Office on your left just before you reach the deep-water part of the harbour. This is open on sailing days from 8 am.
- Sailing and Boating
- Beer Tasting
HOW TO TRAVEL TO ILFRACOMBE?
First of all, departing from London, Paddington Station, to Exeter St David's with the Western lines, fast and safe. After arrival to St David's take the local train to Barnstaple, this connection works well, not a large delay between both trains (three minutes in our case!). Of course that this local train is slower, stopping by several small towns. But don't worry, you'll enjoy a lot the Devon countryside with all those villages and farms, a bucolic landscape indeed. Once in Barsntaple just cross the street to the bus stop. See the next transportation "BUS" tip. Thank you for your attention.
- Budget Travel
Once arrived to Barnstaple by train, cross the street from the Railway Station to the Bus Stop, buy a ticket on board to Ilfracombe, 1,75 pounds, and in more or less 40 minutes you will arrive, the bus has a stop at 60 meters of the Royal Britannia hotel (ask the driver for the nearest stop to the Ilfracombe pier)
- Budget Travel
No Surf and Cycle Bus Service For Ilfracombe
Following an initiative by various North Devon local government bodies and other interested parties the Stagecoach bus company trialled a "Surf and Cycle" bus service during the summer of 2011.
Two normal double decker buses were specially refitted with the lower decks adapted for carrying surf boards and bicycles whilst their upper decks remained as they were for passengers - it seems there is a Health and Safety requirement which disallows passengers and sports equipment to ride on public transport in the same space.
This was the first service of its kind in the UK and after the 15 week trial period, during which the buses carried over 6000 passengers and just under 1000 boards and bikes, the pilot scheme was deemed a success. After a little route and timetable tweaking 2012 saw the introduction of a full-scale service beginning in April and running through until October.
The two buses, route B1, now provide four services a day, seven days a week, between Barnstaple and Woolacombe with an average journey time of about an hour and a half. These stop at other popular resorts including Croyde and Saunton Sands as well as stopping at several holiday parks and Braunton town centre. The first bus leaves Barnstaple just after 0800 going to Croyde whilst the last bus returns from Woolacombe about 1820 and the other services are spaced between these times.
Ilfracombe was included in the original trial service but it was decided that the town was already well catered for by public transport and didn't require the surf or cycle capability.
Website below has up-to-date timetables and routes as well as a journey planner.
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