Summer Reading


It's a beautiful sunny day, pull up a chair on your balcony; lay down a towel on Wildersmouth Beach or nestle down on your deck chair on Harbour Beach, there is nothing like taking the time to get into a good book while you are on holiday.


Ilfracombe has always been a literary place so here's our list of holiday reading of books by local authors or with an otherwise local colour. (jump straight to the childrens' section)


All these books are currently available in Ilfracombe's BookShop on the High Street. Details below.



Tarka the Otter

Henry Williamson


The timeless classic tale of Tarka the Otter. Henry Williamson lived in Ilfracombe and set his tale of an otter growing up on two rivers on the River Taw and the River Torridge. Once read, never forgotten.


Watching the Door
Frances Corkey Thompson


A delightful collection of poetry by Ilfracombe poet, Frances.
Read our page on the collection here.


The Long Call

Ann Cleeves


Ann is the crime-writer behind Vera and Shetland. She was brought up in North Devon and her novel, The Long Call, was being filmed here last month. Read our write-up of the Ilfracombe filming here.


The Long Call will be shown on ITV from the autumn.


Susan Hutchins


Being with Sean in his last months brought Anna and Sean back together.Now he has gone, the question arises - when did their love disappear?Anna is convinced she caused her husband's death, and nobody can tell her otherwise. Searching for an answer, she relocates to Ilfracombe.It's there she discovers that love can be buried amongst the disappointments of life, that the words she has been wanting to hear are ready to be told.


My life on a Cliff Edge
Anne Beer


This autobiography is Anne's second book, the first being Inspiration, a book of short stories. My Life on a Cliff Edge tells the story of the us and downs of Anne's 80 years including her time now living in Hele.


Just a Country Kid
Roy Goodwin


Roy Goodwin has been Ilfracombe's town crier since 1992.


Here's what he has to say about  his childhood memoires:

"Join me growing up in the wilds of Warwickshire, at Eathorpe between 1936 and 1959. We had very little but enjoyed every bit of it. We learnt about life 'The Country Way' with all the fun, scrapes, lumps, bumps, hard graft, a 'few' mistakes and love along the way.

Meet Jumbo, Boxer, Lady and Drummer, the genuine workhorses and those who loved them.

Images of England: Ilfracombe
Sue Pullen and Jane Harding


From it's scenic vantage point on the North Devon coast, the seaside town of Ilfracombe has seen many changes in its long history. In this unique selection of 220 old images from the archives of the Ilfracombe Museum, many of which are previously unpublished photographs, the reader is invited to share a nostalgic glimpse of Ilfracombe of old. 


I Was a Teenage Horniwink: A History of North Devon Football
Steve Wonnacott

The Horniwinks is the name for Bradworthy United AFC, the team of a small North Devon VIllage. This book is part autobiography and part a history of a hundred years of local football.


William Whiptail's
Words of Wisdom

Vivian Head

Illustrated by Biddy Lee (see our Focus Feature on Biddy here).


An interactive fantasy adventure for children.

William Whiptail is so pleased when he finds a new friend to share his next adventure with. He wants to search for theBook of Knowledge because he has one very important question to ask it. Can it help William in his quest?


Vivian and Biddy are both Ilfracombe locals.

The Caravan Gang
- Holiday Park Rescue

Anthony Lugo

Named 'Holly Bush' and a sanctuary for travellers of all ages, the park is home to a family of friends, owned by Mr Tibbs, and of course his dog, Lenny. However, this home is not without its share of trouble. When the gang wake up one morning to find their home vandalised; bright yellow paint strewn across the wash rooms, in addition to other heinous crimes; Hamish, Tank, Pop, Nutty and their friends must band together to catch the culprit(s).


All the books featured on this page are available from Ilfracombe Bookshop on the High Street along with a whole host of other books as well as art and craft supplies. 


01271 864545