Ilfracombe Rapparee Cove (Beach), Combe Martin, Exmoor National Park

Ilfracombe Rapparee Cove (Beach), Combe Martin, Exmoor National Park

Sand and rock beach by the mouth of Ilfracombe Harbour

Ilfracombe Rapparee Cove (Beach) is a sand and rock beach by the mouth of Ilfracombe Harbour. There are great views across the water to Damien Hirst's 'Verity' sculpture. Access to the beach via steps or a path. There are car parking areas above the beach.


Location of Ilfracombe Rapparee Cove (Beach)

Hillsborough is the huge hill dominating the eastern side of Ilfracombe. Ilfracombe Rapparee Cove (Beach) sits below that.

We’ve positioned Ilfracombe Rapparee Cove (Beach) on Google maps. Zoom in on the ‘Satellite’ setting to see its location.


Directions to, and parking at, Ilfracombe Rapparee Cove (Beach)

If you’re coming by car, drive the A399 to the eatern side of Ilfracombe. There’s lots of parking in the area behind the beach including Larkstone/Marine Drive car parks and Hillsborough car park.

If you’re walking in, follow the South West Coast Path that runs behind the beach.


Ilfracombe Rapparee Cove (Beach)

Ilfracombe Rapparee Cove (Beach) is a sand, stone and rock beach typical of this section of the North Devon coastline. These beaches are very different from the vast low tide sand beaches of the Atlantic facing North Devon coast or the beaches located below towering cliffs on the Exmoor coast.

'In 1796 a transport ship named the London was wrecked at Rapparee with great loss of life, including many locals who had tried to help. It was carrying French prisoners of war from the West Indies as well as gold and silver.

During Victorian times it was a ladies bathing beach and in 1876 it was the scene of a famous 'battle' between local boy Alfred Price and the Crown Prince of Germany (the future Kaiser Wilhelm II) who was staying at the Ilfracombe Hotel.' (Source: information board on site)

There’s good access via the South West Coast Path to the western side of the beach. You can also follow a path that drops down from Hillsborough to the eastern side of the beach. This is clearly visible on Google’s satellite imagery.


A note on Hillsborough by Ilfracombe Rapparee Cove (Beach)

Hillsborough is the huge hill that rises above Ilfracombe Rapparee Cove (Beach).

'There is evidence that Hillsborough was used in pre-historic [sic] times. The name Hillsborough is a derivation of the name Heles Barrow. By local tradition it was a burial site for local chiefs and a small Bronze Age burial chamber was uncovered in the 1930s.

Hillsborough is the site of an Iron Age promontory hill-fort [sic], which was in use between 300 BC and 50 AD. The remains of the impressive double earthworks which surround the summit can still be seen today. The site is designated as a Scheduled Monument.

In Victorian times, the site was used for army practice and on the east can be seen the remains of a Volunteer Gun Battery which was removed in 1914.' (Source: information board on site)

We'd recommend following one of the many paths that climb to the top of Hillsborough. The view down to Ilfracombe on the west side of the hill is stunning. There are plenty of local information boards here as well. You'll see Ilfracombe Harbour and Damien Hirst's ‘Verity’ sculpture on the end of the pier at the mouth of the harbour.


Beaches near Ilfracombe Rapparee Cove (Beach)

Beaches on the coastline east of Ilfracombe Rapparee Cove (Beach):

Hele Beach

Watermouth Cove (Beach)

Broadsands Beach

Combe Martin Newbury Beach

Combe Martin Beach

Wild Pear Beach

Woody Bay Beach

Lee Abbey Bay Beach

Wringcliff Bay Beach

Lynmouth Western Beach

Lynmouth Eastern Beach

Sillery Sands (Beach)

Porlock Beach

Bossington Beach

Minehead Beach

Dunster Beach

Blue Anchor Beach

Kilve Beach


Beaches on the coastline west of Ilfracombe Rapparee Cove (Beach):

Ilfracombe Wildersmouth Beach

Ilfracombe Tunnels Beaches

Lee Bay Beach

Sandy Cove (Beach)


North Devon Atlantic facing beaches:

Rockham Beach

Grunta Beach

Barricane Beach

Woolacombe Sand (Beach)

Putsborough Sand (Beach)

Croyde Sand (Beach)

Saunton Sands (Beach)

Northam Burrows Beach

Westward Ho! Beach

Instow Sands (Beach)


Things to do near Ilfracombe Rapparee Cove (Beach)

Ilfracombe boat trips including Lundy Island

South West Coat Path

Watermouth Cove Holiday Park Watersports/Jet Ski Safari

Watermouth Castle

Combe Martin watersports

Combe Martin Wildlife and Dinosaur Park

Exmoor Zoo

Exmoor International Dark Sky Reserve

Exmoor horse riding

Woolacombe surfing and watersports

Croyde surfing and watersports

Saunton Sands surfing and watersports


Villages and towns near Ilfracombe Rapparee Cove (Beach)





Combe Martin