Welcome to Ilfracombe, a charming seaside town located in the heart of North Devon. With its picturesque harbour, stunning beaches and abundance of attractions, it’s no surprise that this destination is popular among tourists all year round. But what makes Ilfracombe even more special are its local pubs – each one with its unique charm and character. In this blog post, we’ll be exploring the top 10 best pubs in Ilfracombe that you simply can’t miss out on during your visit. Whether you’re looking for a traditional English pub or something trendy and modern, we’ve got you covered! So sit back, grab a pint (or two) and let’s dive into the vibrant world of Ilfracombe’s pub scene.
Best Pubs in Ilfracombe – Top 10 Places to Have Fun
1. Hip & Pistol
Hip & Pistol is a pub that truly stands out in Ilfracombe’s vibrant food and drink scene. One of the first things you’ll notice about this establishment is its dog-friendly policy – perfect for those who like to bring their furry friends along with them.
But it’s not just the pet-friendly atmosphere that makes Hip & Pistol so great. The menu boasts an impressive selection of dishes, including daily specials that are sure to tantalize your taste buds. Whether you’re in the mood for a juicy steak or something lighter like fish fingers (or cod bites, as they call them), there’s always something on offer here.
The outdoor eating area is also worth mentioning – it’s spacious, comfortable and offers great views of the surrounding area. And when it comes time to order, simply browse through the menu and place your order at the bar.
The staff at Hip & Pistol are friendly, attentive and always eager to help you have a memorable experience. They go out of their way to ensure that all guests feel welcome, which adds another layer of charm to this already delightful pub.
If you’re looking for a welcoming atmosphere with delicious food options (and drinks too!), then be sure not to miss out on Hip & Pistol during your visit to Ilfracombe!
2. George & Dragon
Looking for a traditional English pub experience in Ilfracombe? Look no further than George & Dragon. This charming establishment, located in the harbour area of town, offers classic pub fare and homemade dishes that are sure to satisfy.
But it’s not just the food that draws people to George & Dragon. The warm welcome from owners Jonathan and Linda, along with their friendly staff, make this place feel like home. Whether you’re a regular or a first-time visitor, you’ll be treated like family.
And let’s not forget about the atmosphere. With its cosy interior and inviting outdoor seating area, George & Dragon is the perfect spot to relax and enjoy a pint (or two) with friends.
So if you’re looking for an authentic British pub experience in Ilfracombe, be sure to check out George & Dragon. You won’t be disappointed!
3. Wellington Arms
If you’re looking for a laid-back and friendly pub in Ilfracombe, then look no further than The Wellington Arms. This local hotspot caters to sports fans with its many HD screens showcasing a variety of games and matches. Whether you’re into football, rugby, or something else entirely, you’ll find your fix at this cosy establishment.
But it’s not just about the sports here – The Wellington Arms also offers a great selection of drinks that are sure to please any palate. From classic beers and wines to creative cocktails and mocktails, there’s something for everyone on the menu.
And if you’re someone who likes to bring their furry friends along for the ride, then The Wellington Arms is the perfect choice – they’re pet-friendly! So don’t hesitate to bring your four-legged companion along for some good times and great drinks.
The Wellington Arms is an excellent option for anyone seeking a welcoming environment where they can catch up on their favourite teams while enjoying delicious beverages.
4. The Thatched Inn
The Thatched Inn is a must-visit spot for anyone looking to experience the charm and history of Ilfracombe. As a 17th-century family-run pub, this establishment has an authentic feel that can’t be replicated elsewhere.
One of the highlights of The Thatched Inn is its selection of real ales and fine wines. Whether you’re in the mood for something light or full-bodied, there’s sure to be an option on offer that will satisfy your taste buds.
When it comes to food, The Thatched Inn truly shines. Using only locally sourced ingredients and seasonal produce, their menu features classic dishes done right. And on Sundays, don’t miss out on their legendary ‘proper’ Sunday Roast – your choice of Exmoor beef, pork loin, chicken or vegetarian served with rosemary roasted potatoes and a selection of seasonal vegetables and gravy.
But beyond the food and drink offerings, what really sets The Thatched Inn apart is its cosy atmosphere. With friendly staff members who make you feel like part of the family from the moment you step through the door, it’s no wonder why locals keep coming back time after time.
So whether you’re in search of great food or simply want to soak up some historic ambience while enjoying a pint with friends, The Thatched Inn is definitely worth checking out during your next visit to Ilfracombe.
5. Second Stage Pub
Nestled in the heart of Ilfracombe’s seaside attractions is the Second Stage Pub, a Victorian building that boasts a strong commitment to real ale and good food. The pub’s film-oriented theme adds an extra layer of ambience that makes it a popular spot among locals and tourists alike.
One of the main draws of this pub is its impressive selection of real ale, with regular Exmoor Stag beer always on tap, accompanied by one from the GT Ales range. If you’re looking for quality drinks and exceptional service, then look no further than Second Stage Pub.
Another thing that sets this establishment apart from others in town is its raised-level pool room featuring high-quality tables. Whether you’re an experienced player or just starting out, this room has everything you need to enjoy your game while soaking up all the charm and character that comes with being in such an old Victorian building.
If you happen to be visiting during summer months when Ilfracombe truly comes alive – particularly around noon – then don’t hesitate to stop by Second Stage Pub for some refreshments before heading back out into all the action.
6. The Prince Of Wales
The Prince of Wales pub is a traditional and friendly establishment that serves up some great food. On our recent visit, we both ordered the sirloin steak and chips and were pleasantly surprised by how perfectly it was cooked to our liking (medium rare). The prices are also very reasonable, making it an excellent option for those on a budget.
Despite being a locals’ pub, The Prince of Wales welcomes visitors with open arms and makes sure everyone feels at home. We didn’t feel like outsiders at all; in fact, we enjoyed chatting with some of the regulars who gave us some tips about other places to check out in Ilfracombe.
One thing that sets this pub apart from others in the area is its dog-friendly policy. It’s always lovely to see furry friends enjoying themselves just as much as their owners while dining or having drinks outside.
If you’re looking for good food in a welcoming environment with excellent service – then look no further than The Prince of Wales!
7. The St. George
The St. George is a historic Victorian pub located in the heart of Ilfracombe, North Devon. The pub is well-known among locals for having an excellent selection of real ale on tap at reasonable prices.
Aside from its impressive drinks menu, St. George also boasts a thriving local pub games scene. With three pool tables and even a skittle alley, there’s always something fun to do here.
If you’re looking for some friendly competition with friends or family over drinks, this old town pub is definitely worth checking out.
And if darts are your game then look no further than The St. George! They feature regular dart competitions that draw crowds from all around the area.
Whether you’re stopping by for a refreshing pint after work or looking to challenge your friends to some classic pub games, St. George has something for everyone to enjoy.
8. The Hele Bay Pub
The Hele Bay Pub is a must-visit for anyone looking for an exceptional dining and drinking experience. With a warm welcome from their friendly team, you’ll instantly feel at home upon entering this award-winning pub.
Their commitment to locally sourced ingredients is evident in every dish they prepare. From classic British pub fare to more contemporary options, there’s something on the menu for everyone. And with such attention to detail, you can be sure that every meal is prepared to the highest standard.
But it’s not just about the food; The Hele Bay Pub also boasts an impressive selection of real ales, beers and wines from around the world. Whether you’re after something familiar or want to try something new, their knowledgeable staff will help guide you through their extensive collection.
And let’s not forget about the stunning views overlooking the sea – it truly adds another layer of charm and character to this already delightful establishment. So why not pay them a visit? You won’t regret it!
9. The Grampus
The Grampus is more than just a pub, it’s an experience. Nestled in one of the UK’s most picturesque villages, this historic building dates back to the 14th century and was once a working farm until the 1970s. Now under new ownership as a free house, The Grampus has become a favourite among locals and tourists alike.
Families are welcome at The Grampus with plenty of space for kids to play while parents enjoy their meals. Walkers and dogs are also welcomed with open arms making it an ideal pit stop on your journey through Ilfracombe.
The focus at The Grampus is on wholesome home-cooked food using locally sourced ingredients such as free-range meat, poultry, fish and eggs so you can feel good about what you’re eating. They go above and beyond to cater for different diets including vegetarian, vegan, gluten-free or raw options – simply speak to them if you’re unsure about what’s available.
But that’s not all they do well! In addition to serving delicious food, they also have their own brewery which produces real ale served alongside their signature Grampus Gin distilled onsite using locally sourced botanicals. Their wine list is carefully curated by Louis Barroul who grows fantastic biodynamic wines ensuring excellent value for incredible quality.
And let’s not forget about coffee! Owens supplies organic beans freshly ground to order ensuring every cup is top-notch quality.
The Grampus truly offers something special – great food made from local ingredients paired with unique beverages in an idyllic setting makes it no surprise why it’s such a popular spot in Ilfracombe.
10. The Ship & Pilot Inn
The Ship & Pilot Inn pub, which recently reopened in 2023 under new ownership, offers a warm and inviting atmosphere for locals and visitors alike. With its operating hours from noon to 11.00 pm, Tuesday through Sunday, patrons have ample time to enjoy the pub’s offerings. As part of their ongoing improvements, the establishment is gradually introducing a delightful selection of food options and comfortable accommodations. Beer enthusiasts will be pleased to find two changing national beers available, ensuring a refreshing and diverse drinking experience. Whether you’re seeking a relaxing afternoon pint or a lively evening gathering, The Ship & Pilot Inn pub is the perfect destination to unwind, socialize, and savour the best of both beverages and hospitality.
And there you have it, the top 10 best pubs in Ilfracombe. Each one offers a unique experience, from traditional English pub fare to locally sourced ingredients and seasonal produce. Whether you’re a local or just passing through, there’s something for everyone on this list. And with The Ship & Pilot Inn reopening under new ownership and gradually adding food and accommodation options, Ilfracombe’s pub scene continues to evolve and offer even more exciting choices for visitors and locals alike. So next time you’re in town, be sure to check out these amazing pubs!