The largest town in North Devon is Barnstaple on the River Taw. This ancient town was granted its charter in 930 AD by King Aethelstan - the grandson of Alfred the Great. It lies to the north of Dartmoor and to the west of the beautiful Exmoor National Park. There are some lovely beaches not far away around Saunton and Woolacombe.Tarka Trail. It is possible to walk or cycle along a stretch of the trail or take a trip by rail along the scenic Tarka Line.
Exmoor National Park with its spectacular scenery and excellent walking lies on the doorstep of the town. The Park covers a large part of North East Devon stretching right across into Somerset. In addition, the Exmoor Steam Railway runs from Bratton Fleming near Barnstaple.