Situated on the lovely banks of the River Taw, The Imperial Hotel is at the heart of the historic market town of Barnstaple, yet retains the tranquil feeling of an elegant country house. The Imperial has been welcoming guests for over a hundred years, and the elegance, grandeur and luxury of a bygone age still flourish here. The grand oak staircase, comfy lounges and paintings by local artists all add to the atmosphere. The bedrooms are spacious and comfortable and many boast superb views of the river. Each bedroom has its own particular style – some are neutral in tone, others are inclined toward dramatic hints of turquoise, gold or silver. The Arlington Restaurant is equally elegant, with its refined chandeliers and paintings complementing the fine cuisine. North Devon is renowned for its produce, and the chefs here have formed close relationships with local suppliers, bringing the best and freshest ingredients right to your plate. Another option is Colours Bar and Bistro for informal dining and light meals. An aperitif or nightcap in the newly refurbished Colours Bar is in fact a highlight of any stay. The deep armchairs and subtle lighting set the mood and there’s also an interesting collection of military memorabilia, including a bugle from the Charge of the Light Brigade. When the weather turns fine, it’s a pleasure to sit with drinks on the lovely sun terrace overlooking the river. Guests are also invited to make use of the leisure facilities of The Imperial’s sister hotel, The Barnstaple, where you can sample the indoor and outdoor heated swimming pools, hot stone bed and fitness suite. Barnstaple is a delightful town for a stroll, including great boutique and High Street shopping options. Just a bit further afield are the wonderful National Heritage property Arlington Hall, the beauty of Exmoor, a host of North Devon beaches, the Tarka Trail, the South West Coastal Path and much more.
Wych Cross Forest Row