Combe Martin is located in North Devon on the edge of the Exmoor National Park, the name is derived from Combe which means a small wooded valley and Martin the name of the Norman family who inherited the manor from one of the supporters of William the Conqueror.
The town is located in some of the most outstanding coastal scenery in the area and it is famous for its strawberries which are reputed to be amongst the finest in the world.
The silver-lead mines of Combe Martin have been worked at intervals since the end of the 13th century down to 1875, when they were finally abandoned. Evidence of tunnels can still be seen and the remains of a wheelhouse used to lift ore from the mine. There are in fact several items in the Crown Jewels collection made from Combe Martin Silver.
Combe Martin has a reputation for having the longest village street in England, and at one time there were nine pubs all on the same side of the road so drunken customers only had to stagger from one to the other without fear of being knocked down. The street actually winds down the combe, valley, for more than two miles. On the street is the 17th century castle-like Pack of Cards Inn and the 13th century church of St Peter ad Vincular. One of the village's most unusual features the Pack of Cards pub was built around 1700 by George Ley. The story goes that the Pub was erected after he was successful at gambling. It originally had 52 windows, 13 rooms and 4 floors to match the numbers from a traditional pack of cards. The church of St. Peter ad Vincular is a red sandstone building and the southern door has a Sanctuary Ring. This ring saved criminals from arrest and imprisonment. If they held onto the ring and then confessed their crimes their only punishment was that they had to leave the country. This practice was abolished by the establishment in the 17th century.
Combe Martin is the ideal location for a family holiday the beach is lovely for children as it has many interesting rock pools and the nearby countryside and coastline has numerous footpaths and bridleways for walking and riding.