Ocean Backpacker’s Independent Youth Hostel Devon
29 St James Place ,, Ilfracombe, EX34 9BJ
MONTHS OPENJanuary, February, March, April, May, June, July, August, September, October, November, December
What makes us a great choice?
Nestled in an Area of Outstanding Beauty and close to the picturesque Ilfracombe Harbour, the location could not be more perfect!
We are a great base for geography field trips with Braunton Burrows UNESCO Biosphere nearby and Exmoor National Park- a short coach ride away. For wildlife studies take a boat trip to Lundy Island, a Marine Conservation Zone where puffins, dolphins and seals are regular visitors….and for rocky shores take a trip to Abbotsham near Westward Ho to explore the spectacular rugged North Devon coast line!
If it’s Outdoor Adventure you are after then Ilfracombe has fantastic fully trained Activity Instructors in the local area that can arrange great team building activities such as coasteering or kayaking straight from Ilfracombe Harbour (soon to get its very own Watersports Centre.)
Alternatively, visit the award winning Woolacombe Beach or Croyde Bay and take a few Surf lessons with a local Surf School! How better to reward pupils for all their hard work than to end the summer term at the seaside!!
You will find us near to the start of the Route 27 coast-to-coast ride from Ilfracombe to Plymouth. Many schools choose to embark on their trip from the Backpackers -where bikes can be stored in our large secure storage basement overnight.
Also, the South West Coast Path with all its breath taking scenery is on our doorstep for those schools that like to ramble! School groups and colleges reguarly base their residentials at Ocean Backpackers, returning year after year. Read their testimonials to find out why they think we are the perfect choice!
Accreditation and Awards
Accredited by the Ilfracombe Tourist Information Centre
We are rated 8.3 (very good) on Booking.com
We have 94 reviews on Trip Advisor which also places us in the “very good” category.
Group Sizes Catered For
Up to 50
Risk Assessment Details
All information and risk assessments are available for teachers on request-or teachers are welcome to book a visit before their stay to carry out their own risk assessment.
A Fire Risk Assessment is completed annually and updated when necessary.
Weekly Fire Alarm testing is carried out as well as Emergency Lighting testing which is completed monthly.
The Fire alarms are serviced every six months by Independent Fire and Security and the Fire Extinguishers/fire blankets are inspected annually by A.F.S.
For exclusive hire of the backpackers -our special discounted schools rate is £16 p.p.p.n applicable to both staff and students based on a minimum of 35 people. For non-exclusive hire for smaller groups please contact us directly for a quote depending on the time of year.
First Aid Information
We do not have a qualified first aider on site so the group would need to bring one.
We have a large fully equipped self-catering kitchen and dining area to seat up to 30 at one time.
There is a communal lounge with flat screen T.V, play station 3 and board games and in addition we have a computer area with free internet. Wi-fi is available throughout the building.
Our car park has room for 6 cars or two mini-buses and there is a coach park nearby. There is a large basement for bike/surf board storage and drying area for wet suits.
The Community rooms opposite the Backpackers can be hired for a small fee if additional classroom style facilities are required.
To keep costs down, some schools prefer to self-cater (even bringing their own chef) and we have a large fully equipped kitchen to allow for this. Local supermarkets can deliver to the Backpackers prior to your arrival.
Depending on numbers we have enough table space to sit most groups (about 30.) If you are a larger group, we suggest two sittings or using the patio area or lap approach for some! We can also arrange to hire the community rooms opposite (£25 for 3 hours) if large groups would like to formally dine altogether.
For older students, it is great to give them the responsibility of cooking for themselves or visiting the local eateries! The Hostel is right in the tourist hot spot of Ilfracombe and so there are plenty of cafes, restaurants and take-aways on the door step.
If you require catering during your stay please do get in touch with us and we will be happy to help you organise it. You can use our kitchen for a self-serve continental style breakfast and packed lunches and evening meals can be pre-ordered with local eateries just a stones throw away!
Opening Hours & Information
Reception times are generally 9am-midday and 4pm-10pm from Monday to Sunday.
Open all year for school groups
'We have used the Ocean Backpackers for the last 7 years as a base for starting pupils on a huge cycle venture, completing the coast to coast cycle route in a day.
The Hostel has always helped us securely store up to 35 bikes and the dorm rooms are perfect for our needs. They are always clean and comfortable for our group of 25 or so pupils and 12 teachers. The kitchen area helps greatly in ensuring we get everyone away fed and fit in the morning. The hostel staff do a great job of informing us about forgotten items and indeed are always hugely welcome and supportive of us. We always look forward to returning.' Mr. D. Brewer, Head of Humanities, Beechen Cliff School, Alexandra Park.
"We had a fantastic time at Ocean Backpackers. As a connoisseur of Hostels from a former life, this one was right up there-friendly staff, excellent facilities and a warm welcoming atmosphere. It's also perfectly placed for the Harbour and trips to Lundy and fishing (good cafe next door as well.) This time I was with a school trip, showing a dozen teenagers the delights of North Devon. Recommend highly!" Nick Seward, Kingham Hill School.
'For the last five years, Johannes Fontanus College in Barneveld, The Netherlands, has come to Ilfracombe for a sporting school trip. Ilfracombe has it all: a nice harbor, nice shops and it is beautiful situated along the coastal path. The surfing beach at Woolacombe is nearby and kayaking and coastering is also possible in the immediate area.
Ocean Backpackers is the ideal youth hotel for school groups to stay in North-West Devon. It is situated close to the harbor and between the shops, while the coast is on a walking distance. There are plenty of sleeping places and plenty of sanitation. We have always prepared our own meals in the spacious kitchen and the common area is very efficient and cozy.
Chris and Abby are the owners. They are very friendly and welcoming and always willing to think along with our plans. On top of it Ocean Backpackers is also budget friendly. Every year again our students are very satisfied with the hostel.' Henk Germans.
"For the past four years, we have been bringing our group of 30 Biology A-level students to stay at the Ocean Backpackers during our annual field trip. Ilfracombe is a great place for us to visit as there are several locations nearby where we can study sand dune succession, rocky shore profiles and freshwater ecology.
Liaising with Abby in the months leading up to our trip has always been ultra-simple and problem-free and, on our arrival, she and her team always make our staff and students feel very welcome. Ocean Backpackers has great facilities, is always clean and is situated in the town centre; perfect! We look forward to returning in June 2018!" Victoria Meheust, Hardenhuish School.
Room Sizes and Facilities
ROOM 1 – 6 BED DORM (EN-SUITE)
ROOM 2-FAMILY ROOM (DOUBLE BED AND SET OF BUNKS)-EN-SUITE +TV
ROOM 4 = 8 BED DORM (ADJACENT SHOWER ROOM AND TOILET)
ROOM 5 = 6 BED DORM –EN-SUITE
ROOM 6 = 6 BED DORM EN-SUITE
ROOM 7 = 4 BED DORM EN-SUITE (+TV)
ROOM 8 = 6 BED DORM EN-SUITE
ROOM 9 = DOUBLE ROOM-EN-SUITE (+TV)
ROOM 10-FAMILY ROOM (DOUBLE BED AND SET OF BUNKS) + TV
ROOM 11-FAMILY ROOM (DOUBLE BED AND SET OF BUNKS) +TV
ROOM 12-SINGLE ROOM
ROOM 13-DOUBLE ROOM. +TV
THERE ARE ALSO TWO BATHROOMS ON THE THIRD FLOOR AND A SEPARATE KITCHEN.
On the ground floor there is a large self-catering kitchen, big communal lounge (complete with t.v, board games and computer area and playstation 3.) We also have a large basement if storage is required and our driveway can fit 2 or 3 mini buses.
Our communal ground floor areas, front and back entrances are covered by cctv. Groups have a code for the front door to access the building which is changed prior to each school group and each room has a coded lock. There is a safe guarding policy available on request.
We have a live-in manager at the Backpackers who is DBS checked and either the Manager (or owners that live five minutes away) are always on hand should any queries or issues arrive during your stay!