Ilfracombe really does have excellent coastal scenery, the sea, and coastal walks. At the mo’ we’re house-sitting for family in Ilfracombe, aka Ilfrascum or Ilfradoom, so welcome to Poverty-on-Sea and another knackered resort reminiscent of that Viz cartoon: “Skegness – It’s f***** ****”. Never believe the brochures, but it’s not all bad. Blinding sunsets and lots of healthy fresh air here, except very few go for a walk or to the beach, and North Devon and Ilfracombe seem mainly interested in getting folks drunk, overweight and broke. Naturally, they’re never disappointed.
Ilfracombe Parish church – recently in the national news for dog fouling and a spot of self publicity – is the local dog toilet and druggie haunt, where vandals roam free in the churchyard. The people are friendly, mostly, but nobody respectable goes out at night in Ilfracombe unless they went to be punched or robbed.
Scan a well known online review site and you’ll find that Ilfracombe is rubbish, the food is awful, and Ilfracombe’s High Street Cafes stop cooking at 3PM every day. They shut at 4PM. Grockles get under everybody’s feet for six months of each year, with their dogs and backpacks, pushing in all the queues while fumbling in their purses and asking stupid questions. Or getting legless on holiday and waking up the towns at 2 AM. Actually, it’s all true. There is no railway station either, but for the tourists that don’t want to walk there’s a pink – yes pink – train trundling round town holding up traffic and blocking the emergency services.
Ilfracombe is riddled with useless management – case in point being the bankrupt theatre – and food and accommodation in the pretentious, run down hostels are overpriced and ****. The hooray Henry chancers running it all, think they’re in London. Try £14 for Haddock and chips why don’t you. Nobody local can afford the fresh fish caught and landed locally because rich greedy people have made seafish a premium delicacy.
The town is obviously run down and the town management has messed it all up. This Victorian seaside resort was the jewel of the southwest in its heyday, with theatres and a Pavilion, fine Hotels and valuable Victorian architecture. That all went when crooks, arsonists and developers smashed it all up or burnt it down. Then they sent in the ne-er-do-wells all hostelled in bedsits living in deprivation and crime. Then the High Street fell hard from its Oxford Street class to dregsville and cheap shops, silly art shops and umpteen coffee shops. Then drunks and bums took over the Arches and the thugs took over the High Street.
Ilfracombe, “it’s so bracing” so if rubbish seaside resorts, rip-offs and bad food are your bag, then splurge your hard earned spondoolies on the holiday of a lifetime in the ‘Combe. You’ll never forget it.
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