|Location Map ( geo)|
|From:||Barnstaple (NE) (SS563353)|
|Distance:||9.6 miles (15.4 km)|
|Meets:||A39, A3123, A399|
|Route outline (key)|
The B3230 is very much the locals' route between Barnstaple and Ilfracombe, being a bit shorter and much quicker than the parallel A361. The two towns are only signposted along the route when you are on or very near the road itself, with nearly all traffic being signposted to the A361.
Heading north, the road begins as it forks left from the A39 just on the outskirts of Barnstaple, near to the North Devon District Hospital. It immediately dives down into a valley whilst the A39 climbs out of it. The road follows this valley for about 5 miles, twisting and turning as it follows the contours. This can result in some fairly sharp bends which make the route unsuitable for HGVs.
After leaving the A39, we quickly pass Blakewell Fisheries and Broomhill Arts Hotel to our left, before soon arriving in the twin villages of Milltown and Muddiford. We then pass a quarry and encounter more sharp turns, some of which are closed in even more by houses. After a couple more miles, the road climbs sharply out of the valley and rises to its highest point at Lynton Cross, where it meets the A3123 at a notorious accident blackspot. We very quickly come across another accident blackspot at Iron Letters Cross, where a particularly bad concealed entrance has claimed many victims.
We reach Two Pots after less than a mile of nothing much. The B3230 forks right along the New Barnstaple Road through another valley with more sharp turns. The road for the next two miles is liable to subsidence, and has been closed for substantial periods twice throughout 2008 due to landslips. Oddly, the B3230 still takes this route, despite that fact that a new road effectively bypassing this stretch was built, to a much higher standard, in 2006 as part of a supermarket development. This meets the B3230 at a roundabout near to Ilfracombe's recycling centre.
After yet another very sharp corner (though improved substantially as part of the 2006 changes), we enter Ilfracombe to the east of the town. There isn't really anything special about this area, being just another residential area, and after about half a mile the B3230 terminates at a light-controlled junction on the A399.