North Devon Coastal Path
Key information: North Devon Coastal Path
- Enjoy stunning walking high above the sea on this outstanding stretch of the famous South-west Coast Path.
- Walkopedia rating88.5
- Natural interest14.5
- Human interest11
- Negative points-1
- Total rating88.5
- Note: Negs: popularity of some of the best routes.
- Length: 2-3 days
- Maximum Altitude: N/A
- Level of Difficulty: Variable
Exmoor is a unique landscape, in world as well as British terms. Highish and flattish grass and heather (and bracken) moorland is riven with deep wooded valleys.
Its northern flank falls sharply into the Bristol Channel, with huge cliffs, beautiful coves and some characterful towns nestled in wooded slopes and rocky drama. It is explored by the North Devon Coastal Path, part of the famous South West Coast Path, which spends 2-3 days winding along the northern Exmoor coast in what some claim, not unreasonably, to be one of England’s best walks. Always attractive and interesting and often ravishing, it is a form of walking bliss, whether for the day walker or the long-distance merchant.
Views are often priceless, whether out over the sea to Wales, or up some delightful little valley.
The villages and towns have history and charm, and the whole area enormous character.
The sections are as follows. Some make marvellous day walking too,
Minehead to Porlock across Selworthy/Bossington hills: Climb steeply onto the high (well, 1,000ft) hills west of Minehead, for sea views, atmosphere and historical trekking galore. 12km/7.5 miles. Lots of different circuits can be made.
Porlock to Lynton: A superb walk high above the sea, much of it on steep slopes above vast sea cliffs. Colebridge wrote Kubla Khan above Porlock. Drop to wide Lynmouth bay, stopping to enjoy this nice (if touristy) town, which was devastated by a flood in the mid C20. Then climb to Lynton above it.
Lynton to Combe Martin: The first part of this section is on a heavily walked tarmac path, for good reason, as it has beautiful views and visits the decidedly peculiar Valley of the Rocks, so is popular. Thereafter it is very special, winding above Lee Bay, then on generally excellent paths along the wooded mid-slopes to drop into the deep and steep-sided Heddon Valley. Beyond here it is more beautiful coastline to charming Combe Martin. A good day circuit is from Hunters Inn in the Heddon Valley eastward above the steep sea-slope to the Martinhoe Roman Fortlet and back along the North Devon Coastal Path on the mid-slopes. 8km/5miles.
Combe Martin to Woolacombe.
There are firms which will organise guided or supported walking (slackpacking), and you can organise for your bags to be taken on to your next destination by taxi. See our South-west Coast Path page for more information.
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Safety and problems: All walks have inherent risks and potential problems, and many of the walks featured on this website involve significant risks, dangers and problems. Problems of any sort can arise on any walk. This website does not purport to identify any (or all) actual or potential risks, dangers and problems that may relate to any particular walk.
Any person who is considering undertaking this walk should do careful research and make their own assessment of the risks, dangers and possible problems involved. They should also go to “Important information” for further important information.
Anyone planning an expedition to this place should see further important information about this walk.
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