This third edition is similar to the second edition, published in 1988, with minor corrections and updates plus the book has been redesigned. Ilfracombe is an ancient port now better known as a seaside resort which was developed for the holiday trade from the 1830s onwards. The line to Barnstaple opened in 1874 and greatly aided this development as previously access to the town was by steamer or by roads with serious gradients. The book, in typical Oakwood style, tells the story of the line from being a twinkle in the eye to closure in 1970 and then beyond. The chapters in the book include Early Railway Schemes, The Line Opens, Descriptions of the Line, the Great Western Loop, Locomotives, Rolling Stock, Permanent Way and Signalling, Passenger and Freight Services, Accidents and Closure. The illustrations comprise a map, photographs, notices, timetables etc.