North Devon has some of the most spectacular coastline and the best way to enjoy it: by foot!
Apparently a coastal walk will have you sleeping 47 minutes longer and leave you feeling refreshed, relaxed, happier and healthier, according to a report by “Sleep, Mood & Coast Walking”! Here are five of our favourites:
Morte Point & Bull Point Lighthouse
Park in the car park in Mortehoe village and walk down North Morte Road. Turn off down to Rockham beach for a shorter walk or carry on and follow signs to Bull Point Lighthouse. Either way head to the coast and pick up the coastal path following it with the sea on your right. Now the steps have been mended you can head down onto Rockham beach, one of our favourite secret beaches. Enjoy the fantastic views from Morte Point and carry on back to Mortehoe. If the tide is out take the opportunity for a swim at Grunta! Lovely little beach but only from half tide and below.
Valley of the Rocks
Park in one of the car parks near the Cricket Pavillion or walk in from Lynton. Head to Castle Rock and join the cliff path and walk back towards Lynton. There is a path that you can follow down into Lynmouth. We then like to have lunch at the Dining Rooms above the Exmoor Pavillion and catch the Cliff Railway back up.
Hunters Inn to Heddon Mouth
Park in the car park opposite the National Trust shop and head towards Hunters Inn taking the path to the right of it. Enjoy the beautiful streamside walk down to Heddon Mouth, crossing the river at the wooden bridge (not the stone one). At Heddon Mouth pick a pebble to remember the walk by. Amazing how smooth the sea has made them. Return to Hunters Inn for a well deserved lunch or tea, staying on the right hand back all the way back for a change.
Croyde to Baggy Point
Park in the National Trust Car Park by Sandleigh Tea Rooms and head up and over the hill. Follow signs to the coast path and turn left onto it. Enjoy fantastic views out to sea and down to Croyde. Enjoy a delicious meal at Sandleigh Tea Rooms surrounded by a wonderful kitchen garden.
Putsborough to Woolacombe
Park at Putsborough beach car park. Remember to take some change. Head down to the sea and see how far you can go before the lure of the beach cafe at Putsborough forces you to turn around and draws you in! Great hot steak sandwiches!
Drive to Woody Bay either via Hunters Inn, if you are feeling adventurous, or via the A39 Lynmouth road. Once you have parked you have two walks to choose from: either along the old carriage track up the hill, or down to Woody Bay itself.
The old carriage track will eventually take you back to Hunters Inn but this is a lengthy walk and not for the faint hearted! The views over the Bristol Channel are out of this world. I like to walk for half an hour or so and then turn around for a whole different vista.
If you head down to Woody Bay along the winding road do remember that you will have to head but up it to return home! I love this road with the trees forming a tunnel overhead and a waterfall half way down. Spot the old post office and wonder at the madness of the man who created the road and build the houses! Woody Bay is a wonderful spot for some secret swimming. Look out for the Victorian swimming pool but do keep an eye on the tides so you don’t get caught out!
Lynmouth to Watersmeet
One of our favourite woodland walks is from Lynmouth alongside the river Lyn to Watersmeet. The sign has 1.5 miles but we think it is nearer 2! Stop for cream tea and then head back via the higher woodland route. Just beautiful, particularly in Autumn!
Countisbury to Foreland Point
This is the walk to take to earn your meal at the Blue Ball! Park in the Blue Ball car park in Countisbury and head through the church yard and out the other side. Follow the path towards the signal house taking time to admire the views and watch the Exmoor ponies. Head past the signal house to the edge of Foreland point. You can stare down at the lighthouse if you pick your spot carefully. Meander back, taking the right hand cliff path and enjoy a well earned meal at the Blue Ball Inn. This walk will take about an hour.
Whichever walk you choose enjoy the views and the extra sleeping time and mood lift!