During the Victorian and Edwardian periods, Ilfracombe in particular developed into a major seaside holiday resort. As well as arriving by road, many visitors travelled by paddle steamer. Ilfracombe, with its attendant beauty spots, was the main cruise destination for services from Bristol and Cardiff. In 1874 the Barnstaple and Ilfracombe Railway (later the London South Western Railway, Southern Railway and British Rail) first brought visitors to Ilfracombe by train. The single line railway was so successful that in 1888 work began on doubling the track to Barnstaple and it later carried direct trains from both Waterloo and Paddington, eventually handling some 10,000 passengers on summer Saturdays until its closure in 1970. The arrival of the railway was accompanied by many other changes. Lifestyles, fashions and people's outlook on life were influenced by new ideas and produce from throughout the empire. This small, 'handy', green-covered, cloth-bound guide to three of North Devon's major tourist spots, retailed for 6d in 1908. The Guide contains a description of the coastal region around Ilfracombe and Lynton with an account of "the best inland expeditions". The text is extracted from the North Devon and North Cornwall volume of Baddeley's series of Thorough Guides. The small book is replete with dozens of business advertisements and several lists of Thomas Nelson's products. This rare and much sought-after book was produced digitally by Google from a copy in the Harvard University Library collection and can be downloaded from HathiTrust. Google has sponsored the digitisation of books from several libraries. These books, on which copyright has expired, are available for free educational and research use, both as individual books and as full collections to aid researchers.
Names extracted from advertisements in the un-paginated section preceding page 1