For some of us, there is nothing better than a fantastic walk in the stunning coastal scenery with a well earned drink in a good old North Devon pub. Our team at H2Outdoor have put together a list of our top 5 North Devon walks with a pub at the end – and the all important beer garden.
This is a stunning place and is one of our favourite locations for Coasteering, but it also offers some fantastic walks with some breathtaking scenery. The coast path out to the end of the headland and back again takes you past stunning views and spectacular cliffs, with waves crashing into the rocks and the many hidden caves below. It’s amazing all year round but at this time of year (Spring) the clumps of pink thrift and the gorse bushes are ablaze. Stay on the coast path until you get to the end of the headland and take some time to admire the views before following the farm track back to where you started. Keep an eye out for seals, porpoises and dolphins.
We often start our walks at the Baggy Point National Trust Car Park but if you fancy a special pub finish, it may be best to start in the main car park situated next to the Croyde village hall. Once you have finished the walk and are back in Croyde, pay a visit to The Thatch which has a wonderful beer garden, fantastic food, a wide selection of drinks and award winning real ales. It’s also the perfect location for a coffee or hot chocolate by the fire for those colder days. For more information, check out their website.
I have been coming to this place since I was a child and my love of the Heddon Valley and all the amazing things to see here, is as strong now as ever before. This place has loads of things to impress you from the stunning isolated beach, massive scree slopes, the bubbling stream that you follow and the deep, lush wooded valley.
There are footpaths all over the place here to different locations but our preferred route is the walk that starts at the National Trust Car Park and visitor centre. Take the path keeping the beautiful Hunters Inn on you left and keep on the route to Heddons Mouth Beach that follows the stream. Stay on this path keeping the stream on your left until you get to the last bridge and cross over for the final stretch to the beach and lime kiln. This place is stunning and gives you a real sense of isolation and exposure, so stay for a while and dip your toes in the stream or venture over the boulders to the sea.
Follow the path back to the bridge but rather than crossing over again, stay on this side of the valley keeping the stream on your left until you get to the road. Once at the road, turn left which will take you back to the Hunters Inn for your reward. This place was designed based on a Swiss chalet and now offers day visitors the choice of a varied food and drinks menu either inside or outside this stunning Victorian inn. Keep an eye out for peacocks. For more information about The Hunters Inn, check out www.thehuntersinnexmoor.co.uk or for more details on things to see and do here have a look at National Trust information
This walk is made along the famous Tarka Trail from either Barnstaple or Braunton and both sections have their highlights. You can even walk the entire route in either direction and catch a bus back to the start, but make sure you stop on the way for a drink or a bite to eat in the Braunton Inn which overlooks the beautiful Taw estuary. This area looks stunning when the tide is in and the water is reflecting the sunlight and twinkling around the local house boats but when it is out, there are loads of wildfowl and water birds to watch as you enjoy your well earned rest. You can find out more about the Braunton Inn by looking at The Braunton Inn
This walk can be made as short or as long as you would like and as it is a cycle path, it follows mostly level tarmac along the old railway line following sections of the estuary.
You need to be fit for this one but believe me, if you make it to the top you will not be disappointed. There are many car parks around Woolacombe but for the start of this walk, you need to be heading towards Marine Drive car park which runs parallel to the beach. Once there, go through the gate next to the parking wardens office and take the steady climb to the top of Potters Hill and admire the view over Woolacombe and the stunning beach. If you are feeling fit, carry on to the top of Woolacombe down where you will often be joined by buzzards and sometimes the local hang gliders.
Once at the summit of the Down, you will be rewarded with far reaching views where on a clear day, you will be able to see all 3 headlands that extend into the Ocean with Lundy Island in the middle. This really is a special place. From this point it is downhill all the way and so you can choose either to come back the way you came, or carry on over the Down and make your way back either on the dunes or the award winning sandy beach.
Once back in Woolacombe, treat yourself to a drink at the famous Red Barn where you can relax in a “surf vibe” environment and watch both locals and tourists enjoy the sea and beach. If you would like to know more about The Red Barn and what they have to offer, have a look at www.redbarnwoolacombe.co.uk
The picturesque village of Lee is the start of a variety of walks, either on the coast path in the Ilfracombe or Woolacombe direction, or if it is very windy you may prefer to wonder around the local wooded valleys.
Our favourite route is going from the beach and looking out to sea, walk up the road on your left and after about 200 meters you will find a gate on your right which takes you onto the coast path towards Morte Point. You can make this walk as long or as short as you like but we would recommend trying to make it to Bull Point Light House. This area has stunning views of the local coastline all the way to the end of Morte Point and out to Lundy Island. This route is very hilly but has plenty of opportunities to rest and take in the views, but remember to keep an eye out for seals, dolphins and porpoises as they do live around this section of coast.
Once back in Lee, opposite the main beach slipway you will see a path that leads to the village, and you will end up at The Grampus Inn which is a classic pub in the heart of the village. It has a lovely atmosphere and a brilliant beer garden and is the perfect end to a wonderful coastal walk. For more details have a look at www.thegrampus-inn.co.uk
The H2Outdoor team hope you enjoy our recommendations for 5 lovely pub walks in North Devon but for more inspiration and advice, visit www.southwestcoastpath.com
If you want to enjoy the coast of North Devon a bit more closely you could always enjoy the best coasteering in Devon with one of our sessions!