Ilfracombe Shops are Bouncing Back
Think retail is in trouble? Look again at the Ilfracombe shops in Fore Street. This picturesque street, which runs to the Harbour, is certainly bucking the ‘retail downturn’ trend. With all of its shops and restaurants occupied you’ll find a host of new boutique independents including Juul at Home, as well as nearby Ilfracombe Chocolate Emporium, The Cotton Tree, and Forty-Three. It is also the destination for some of the town’s best restaurants, with Thomas Carr at the Olive Room, Take Thyme and Relish Bistro.
Lots to Find
People come for first class cuisine, to try out craft and art workshops and to browse for unique home gifts. They are part of a new affluent crowd, staying in local Air B and B’s and even moving to the North Devon town. We believe that all of the Fore Street boutiques tell the story of the renaissance of the UK seaside. Places with soul, integrity and history.
Ilfracombe – The Traditional Seaside Resort
Ilfracombe is a traditional seaside resort. It has a working harbour, a mix of architecture and various industries. For years, Ilfracombe has been told it’s doomed. But in fact, if you believe the local press, you’d think everyone has given up and left it over to tumbleweed and stray dogs
And yet, look down Fore Street and see what is happening instead. See the tourists meandering their way down to the Harbour, stopping to peak in the boutiques whilst kids wait patiently with their buckets and spades. Notice the ‘no vacancies’ signs all over the town outside the traditional B&B’s. The car parks are full, the restaurants are packed, the town is buzzing. Bookings and footfall are up.
Ilfracombe is Making a Significant Comeback
Why is this happening? Because Ilfracombe is making a significant comeback. It is an absolute revival, probably due to Brexit and possibly down to the expense of overseas travel. And why not! Ilfracombe is an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, close to popular surfing beaches, stunning harbour and loads to do for families. Truly the place to go to appreciate the nostalgic pleasures of the classic British seaside break. The rush of clotted cream fudge, cream teas, boat trips, mixed in with a blend of familiarity and comfort.
Whilst Damien Hirst’s Verity statue has been a significant attraction, the upturn should be attributed to the resilience, comradeship and creativity of the shopkeepers, chefs, boat owners, hoteliers and attraction-owners. Because on Fore Street, and across the town, you’ll find a diverse range of independent businesses run by passionate people who genuinely love what they do. Ilfracombe is a unique destination where locals and tourists can come to spend time, shop, do an activity and stop for coffee.