North Devon is a magical area for a walking holiday, North Devon has walking for all types and a plethora of types of walks.
The North Devon coastline offers stunning scenery such as beautiful coves and bays, rugged cliffs and golden sandy beaches.
Smythen Farm Holiday Cottages is also close to the The Tarka Trial, The Tarr Stepps and many of the beautiful beach walks are all within a few minutes drive, and the best bit is that it is not crowded.
Only a few miles away and is an ideal location for the whole family enjoy
Wistlandpound is designed for everybody, if you are disabled in a wheel chair, a mother pushing a push chair, a dog walker, or a family going on a bike ride the hard path perimeter path provides a wonderful surface to experience this magnificent oasis
Discovery Trail 1.5 Miles
The route is along the perimeter path along the edge of the reservoir walking through the pine trees enabling people the chance to find out about the history and wildlife from the sensory displays that are situated on route. Alternatively use the bird hides to watch the array of interesting species of birds or stop at the picnic tables or benches to enjoy picnic.
The Challenge Trail is a 1mile and merges onto the Discovery Trail. More adventurous and active, this route stimulates the body, as well as the mind as you can put yourself to the test on Wistlandpound’s innovative sports equipment.
A natural play area with wooden tree snakes, mushroom carvings and tree dens. A great natural play area for youngsters to explore.
Dog bins are located on the paths please ensure that dog mess is properly disposed of, dogs to be kept out of the water and on the lead.
Wistlandpound is stocked frequently with rainbow trout and brown trout. Bank only fishing is allowed at Wistlandpound.
Further information please call South West Lakes Trust on 01566 771930 Permits available on 01598 763 221. Tuition is also available from expert Brian Martin, please call 01769 550840 for permits
The ancient bridge of Tarr Steps is a well-known visitor attraction but the beautiful wooded valley of the River Barle is also worth exploring for its wildlife. Combined with the heathland of Winsford Hill and its wild ponies, this makes a varied walk. The circular walk is ideal for families it is well sign posted and is about 1 ½ miles long. The walk is relatively flat and once you have finished you can enjoy a drink at the pub.
Terrain: Hilly in places
The walk starts in the small town of Woolacombe. Woolacombe has a few shops and pubs, but the main attraction is the superb sandy beach. The beach holds a Blue Flag, so the beach and water are very clean. The west-facing location of the beach means it gets quite a surf so it's not very safe for swimming but is very popular with surfers. The beach is around two miles long, so even in the summer, it's always possible to find part of the beach that isn't too crowded. The official coast path runs behind the beach, but it is also possible to walk the length of the beach, to Putsborough, around two miles away. You can chose to walk along the beach, but the coast path follows the road for a short while, before going off into the dunes and then onto the cliffs as you head south.
If you walk along the beach, the coast path can be joined at Putsborough Sands, where there are steps up from the beach. It is then a fairly gentle walk out onto Baggy Point, with excellent views of the beach and back towards Woolacombe and Morte Point. There are some quite spectacular rock formations around Baggy Point - there were some people climbing the rocks when I was there.
As you round the headland, Croyde Bay comes into view. Once round the headland it is a fairly gentle walk into Croyde. Croyde Bay also has a blue flag and is another excellent beach. As it's smaller than Woolacombe it does get very crowded, and the surf can be bigger here than at Woolacombe. There are dunes at the back of the beach.
Croyde Village is also a pretty place with several thatched cottages. It has a pub and a few shops. Buses depart from the village, near the pub.
Terrain: Long moderate hill at the beginning but then relatively level
The Route: Start the walk from Hunters Inn and take the path sign posted Woody Bay leading from the right as you face the Inn.
Walk along the side of the pub on the track sign posted Heddons Mouth and Woody Bay. After a short distance the track divides, here fork right towards Woody Bay. The path gently climbs up through the sessile oaks following the course of an old stage coach route.
You eventually leave the woods behind and wind up the hill with views over Heddons Mouth to your left, following the track around a combe to cross a small stream before climbing again to reach the top where the route levels out along the top of the cliffs revealing spectacular views over the Bristol Channel to your left.
The route passes the site of a Roman fortlet which was built by the Emperor Nero to keep a watch on the Silures tribe in South Wales and was rediscovered by archeologists in the 1960s.
The route follows the top of the cliffs around with views to the front of you over Woody Bay and towards Contisbury. Then the path starts to descend into woodland finally reaching a gate onto a lane, here turn left and head down the hill.
Continue down the lane for a short distance and just past a small car park turn left onto a no through road. The road drops steeply down the hill through woods before bending to the right. Here carry straight on through some bollards onto the path sign posted “coast path Hunters Inn”.
The route climbs up again through the trees passing through a small wicket gate before emerging from the woods to bend around a small combe and cross a stream by a water fall.
Following the coast closely the route continues around the cliffs with spectacular views over the sea.
Finally you bend back around the point to start your descent down to Heddons Mouth. At the bottom of the hill fork left onto the footpath towards Hunters Inn.
The path soon divides, keep to the right following the banks of the river past a small stone bridge and returning back to Hunters Inn.
Terrain: Very steep climb up the valley then back down to Hunters Inn with narrow cliff edge path
The Route: Start the walk at Hunters Inn and take the track that runs along the right-hand side of the inn as you look at it following the sign to Heddons Mouth. After a short while the path divides, take the left hand fork down towards the river. Keep taking the left forks until the path reaches the river. Cross the river when you reach the little stone bridge go up the hill and bear left and follow the sign posts to “coast path Combe Martin”.
After a short while take a sharp right turn steeply up the hill on the signposted path just before a small bench. Climb through the woods and steeply up zig-zagging up the hill with spectacular views over Heddons Mouth and back over Heddons Valley.
Continue along the path taking care around the point and along the narrow clifftop path admiring the views over the sea. Continue until you reach a path to your left signposted Trentishoe Church, bear left here and head along the valley with spectacular views over Heddon Valley and Hunters Inn. Continue along the path until you reach a small lane, turn left down the hill and continue back along the lane to Hunters Inn.
The Route: Start the walk from the beach car park at Combe Martin. Follow the south west coast path leading from the car park along a short lane and then up some steps climbing steeply up behind the houses. At the top of the hill you reach a shelter where you can rest for a while and admire the views.
Continue along the path, still gradually climbing, admiring the far reaching views to your right over Combe Martin and onto another seat over looking Wild Pear unofficial nudist beach.
Continue on ignoring the path back to Combe Martin and go through a wicket gate towards Little Hangman still climbing upwards, with views behind you now of Wild Pear and Combe Martin. Finally reaching the summit of Little Hangman you continue along the well marked coast path towards Great Hangman which you can see in the distance. The route goes through a series of wicker gates until it reaches open moorland. At Great Hangman, the summit of which is marked by a pile of stones, continue on down the other side until you reach a corner of a stone wall. Here you turn right following the footpath to County Road.
Continue on the path reaching some sheep pens. Here cross through two field gates where the path becomes a farm track which you continue down skirting around the side of Girt Down Farm. From the farm continue down the lane sign posted Combe Martin. After a short distance at the top of a small rise in the road take a path to your right marked to Combe Martin and Knapp Down Lane.
At the bottom of the path turn right down the tarmac road continue along down the hill until you see a footpath to your right marked by a green sign which you take leading you back to Combe Martin, at the bottom cross straight over the road and continue back down the foot path leading to the High Street passing the school on your right side as you go.
Terrain:- Mainly level with gentle hills
The Route: The walk begins from the path leading from the top tier of the public car park and rises through the wood for a short distance before it levels out. After a while you drop down into a small valley and ford a small stream with stepping stones. Leaving the wood follow the well marked yellow posts showing the route of the path across the open pasture land reaching a small wicket gate at the top corner. Stop for a while to admire the view.
Continue following the yellow posts up and onto the open moorland. Head for a field gate at the top and go though it keeping the hedge to your left and follow the signs to Prayway Head.
Follow the hedge to the road and go through the wicket gate, turn right and follow the road for about 200 yards to a small layby. At the layby go through the gate and follow the path into the field, head for the small wicket gate on the right and go through it keeping the Cornish hedge to your left and follow the hedge to the top corner and go through the gate then immediately turn left and follow the blue signs to Simonsbath.
Continue towards another gate at the bottom, avoiding the sheep pens and walk diagonally across the field to the small wicket gate in the distance keeping the steep valley to your left. Cross a further field to another wicket gate still keeping the valley and Limecombe Cottage to your left. The path leads into another field crossing to a further gate. Go through and immediately turn left to the edge of some woodland. Follow the blue way markers leading down through the wood and eventually reaching the main road.
After just a few yards cross the road and follow the footpath signposted Simonsbath. Go down the hill and pass through a further gate and turn left following a well marked path along the edge of the Upper Barle crossing over several plank bridges before returning to Simonsbath.
Terrain: Relatively level along the river banks with one moderate hill half way climbing onto the moor.
The Route: Start at the sign post opposite the Exmoor Forest Hotel. Follow the path a few yards and fork right sign-posted Landacre. Follow the path through the woods and along the northerly bank of the river Barle, walking along the river bank the whole way until a small hill where you bear left rejoining the Barle at Wheal Eliza, a C19th worked out copper mine. Continue along the river until you reach Cow Castle, an Iron Age Hill fort on top of a conical shaped hill. It is worth the short climb to the top of the castle for the spectacular views of the Barle valley.
Follow the path around Cow Castle and across a small footbridge into a copse. The path leads along a track through the wood to a gate. The gate leads onto open moor. The path climbs up onto the moor leaving the river to your right. As you reach the ridge the path divides, Point "A", follow the signs to Withypool. It is worth stopping here to take in the views over Landacre Bridge. Following the path you reach a small road, point B, go straight across onto a lane. Follow the lane until you start descending into Withypool where on your right you see the village sign posted across the fields. Follow the footpath into the village and the Royal Oak is on the left when you reach the road. The Royal Oak is very good for lunch and you can sit outside on picnic benches in the summer or by the fire in Jake's Bar in the winter.
After lunch you can either retrace your steps to point "A" or leaving the Inn on your right follow the road down to the river, cross the brige and on your right you will notice a sign-post to Landacre. Follow the Barle to Landacre Bridge. Cross the river and follow the road up the hill past Landacre farm to point "B". Retrace your steps to point "A".(This optional route will add an extra hour onto your walk.)
At point "A" continue straight ahead sign posted Simonsbath via Picked Stones. Follow the path through a gate. Bear left along the edge of a field. Go through a gate and turn left down a farm track, through a metal gate and on to the farm. The path leads you around in front of the farm. Follow the sign posts across the fields through several gates taking in a spectacular view of Cow Castle to your left. Descend into a valley, cross a small brook and climb the hill. Near the top bear left between the gate-posts and then walk right along the edge of the field. Continue along the hedge through three more gates and just before the fourth gate turn left, the path leads along the righthand edge of the field. Go through the gate keeping the hedge on your right through three more gates then bear left to another gate. Follow the path towards the wood descending back into Simonsbath.
Terrain: Mainly level with one steep hill out of Brendon.
The Route: Start the route at the small car park at Dry Bridge on the B3232 on Brendon Common.
Follow the path from the car park sign-posted to Shilstone leading towards the trig point. Here carry straight over descending off the moor, the path well marked by yellow way markers. The route continues down towards Shilstone Farm.
Continue descending through pasture fields to cross a small brook before ascending up to Shilstone Farm. Walk between the farm buildings to a gate in front of you, cross the field towards the stone corner of a hedge on the other side of the field. Here you see another sign directing you to your left down through the next field to a style at the bottom leading onto a small lane.
Turn left onto the lane and follow it down the hill and a short distance up the other side before turning right onto a footpath which takes you down into the woods.
Descend steeply towards Rockford following the course of a small brook reaching another lane at the bottom where you turn left and follow the road for a short while towards Rockford.
Just before entering the hamlet turn right across a wooden footbridge and then right again onto a footpath towards Brendon.
Continue along the path following the banks of the river Lyn the route finally leading you through Contisburry Mill and onto a small lane where you continue straight on. You eventually cross the river via the road bridge at Brendon.
Just after crossing the Lyn there is a crossroads, here you continue straight over sign-posted to Tippacott. Follow the lane for about a mile ascending out of the valley and leading you to a cattle grid and back onto Brendon Common. Cross straight over the lane in front of you onto a track sign-posted Dry Bridge.
The path heads towards a field then follows the field fence on your left until reaching a corner of a hedge where the route divides. Avoid the temptation to turn right, even though it is sign-posted back to Dry Bridge, instead carry straight on in the direction of Malmsmead.
Continue along the route, shortly crossing a major grass track, carry straight over and towards the brow of the hill. Follow the track down the other side until you reach a sign-post, here turn right onto a stony track way marked to Dry Bridge.
Follow the stony track towards the hill and just before the brow by a big stone another track leads to your right. Turn right here and return the short distance to Dry Bridge, the path returning just a few yards from the car park.
Terrain: Moderate hills.
The Route: Start the walk from Ilfracombe harbour and walk up through Marine Drive car park shortly bearing left into the park to pick up the coast path. Follow the path around the outskirts of a pitch and putt course following the yellow way marks up Hillsborough hill. Stop for a while to admire the spectacular views over Ilfracombe harbour.
Continue up over the top and start descending down through the trees along the well marked footpath zig-zagging down the hill admiring the views over Hele Bay. You finally reach the bay via a short flight of steps where you find an ice cream shop and public conveniences.
From Hele Bay walk up Beach Road to the main road where you cross over and take the sign posted footpath next to the bus stop. The path follows a stream and eventually emerges at Hele Mill where you can have a look around the restored watermill and purchase wholemeal flour.
Continue along the lane and at the end bear right then turn left towards a mobile home park. Before you reach the park turn left up the hill beside Witheridge Place. Follow the tarmac road up the hill and bear right through a field gate onto a well marked footpath. The footpath leads between the banks to Comyn cottages and farm. Here turn sharp right and continue round to a tarmac track. Follow the track back via Chambercombe Manor, a haunted historic house, where you can stop and have a cream tea before continuing back to Ilfracombe. Follow the road down the hill crossing the main road at the bottom leading back to the harbour
Terrain: Steep hill at the beginning.
The Route: Start from the centre of the village and cross the stream into Watery Lane turning left at the end past Chugs Farm.
Continue up the lane sign posted public bridleway. The track rises up the hill and bends right and then left where you continue straight on through a field gate. Follow the route behind the houses marked by the yellow arrows until you reach a junction of paths where you carry straight on sign posted to Saunton. Climb steeply up eventually reaching open pasture land. Follow the well trodden path across the field reaching a seat at the top of the hill where you can take a welcome rest while admiring the views over Croyde Bay.
Continue over the style through a further field to a gate on the other side. Turn left and follow the path across the hill signed to Saunton reaching another junction at the other side of the field. Here take the path sign posted Saunton Court passing a derelict cottage. Continue down the track and just before reaching Saunton Court turn left following a hedge row to a style at the top of the hill. Cross a further field, the route being marked by yellow way markers. You finally reach a style on the far side of the field leading into wood land. The path winds down through the trees and reaches a track at the bottom. Turn left here and follow the track back to Croyde.
The Terrain:- Mostly level.
Route: Start the walk at Lynton Parish Church. Take the no through road “North Walk Hill”, continue down the road noting the spectacular views over Lynmouth to your right. Shortly you will cross the cliff railway. Continue along the road which eventually becomes a cliff footpath.
Ignoring the footpath to the left head out towards the sea and shortly in front of you is Castle Rock. According to legend a Dark Age castle was destroyed by the devil in a fit of rage when the inhabitants built the first church in Lynmouth. Turn left alongside the road around Rugged Jack, the rock reputedly named after a member of a band of revellers who was turned to stone by the devil whilst breaking the sabbath. Continue up the road past the Cricket Club to Modelgate Shelter, inside are mosaics depicting how the local landscape had inspired famous 18th and 19th century poets. Take the path to the left sign posted Hollerday Hill just in front of the shelter. As you zig zag up the hill admire the views over the Valley of Rocks. At the top fork right towards Lynton and after a few yards turn left.
As you decend down the hill there is a turning to the left to the Iron Age fort which you can choose to detour and visit. The remains of an ancient Iron Age settlement can still be made out and there is a board showing how it would have looked and giving its history.
You can also choose to detour to Hollerday House home to the famous 19c publisher Sir George Newnes which was burnt down in 1913. The foundations can still be seen, there is an information board on the sight telling its history. Re-trace your tracks and proceed back to Lynton through the woods. In the village you pass the Town Hall which was built by Sir George as a celebration of his son's coming of age.
Terrain: Very steep hill at the beginning then down hill and relatively level back along the banks of the river Lyn.
The Route: Start the walk at Lyn Dale Cross car park in Lynmouth. Cross the road towards Shelleys Hotel and turn left. After a few yards turn right and follow a path up the hill behind the houses sign posted Summerhouse Hill. The path shortly becomes a track. Follow the signposts to Hillsford Bridge climbing steeply up the hill through the trees. The woodland eventually thins unveiling spectacular views over the Bristol Channel and back towards Lynmouth. Keep following the path upwards finally reaching a junction of paths at the top of the hill. Here bear left following the signs to Watersmeet. Shortly after there’s a seat for you to rest for a while and admire the spectacular views.
Keep following the footpath signposted to Hillsford Bridge with views over the Lyn Valley to your left. After a while the path zigzags down into a small valley to cross a stream ascending the other side to a small gate. Shortly afterwards the path divides, to the left Watersmeet, but keep to the top path to the right towards Hillsford Bridge. The route continues eventually reaching a main road.
Turn left following the main road down the hill for a short distance before crossing over to Hillsford Bridge signposted towards Simonsbath. Immediately after crossing the bridge turn left through a field gate signposted to Rockford.
Follow the path along the banks of the Lyn to Watersmeet where you can stop for a cup of tea at the National Trust café. Then continue on downstream keeping to the right bank of the river towards Lynmouth crossing to the other side after a little way via the new stone bridge rebuilt in 1957, the original being washed away in the great flood of 1952. Keep right after crossing the bridge to the path that runs alongside the river. Keep to the river bank avoiding the temptation to cross the first little wooden bridge. Keep to the path signposted Lynmouth finally crossing the Lyn via a second bridge called Blackpool Bridge .
Continue along the righthand side of the river bank avoiding crossing the next bridge towards Lynmouth and finally crossing back to the other side again to the car park via a white footbridge.
Terrain: Up and down mainly moderate hills along the coast path.
The Route: Start at the Car park in Mortehoe, cross the main road and head straight across, sign-posted "Lighthouse Lee". Follow the tarmac lane out of the village and up a gentle hill to a 3 directional sign-post. Take the left fork through the gates sign-posted to Bull Point. Continue down the narrow tarmac path ignoring the paths to the right to Lee Bay. As you descend down towards the coast spectacular views open up over the Bristol Channel and the North Atlantic sea with Lundy on the horizon.
At the lighthouse turn sharp left up a few wooden steps onto the coast path. Follow the path along up and down the hills finally reaching Rockham Cove which is worth a while stopping to explore.
Then carry on along the path which leads up some steep wooden steps. At the top carry on a little way and eventually go through the archway in the hedge and over the stile. At the top you have the option of turning left and short cutting back to Mortehoe.
Continue along the coast path sign-posted Morte Point ignoring the varios paths leading back to your left, climbing up and down over the hills with spectacular views back to Bull Point and over the sea to your right. As you turn round the point the view changes to look over the magnificent expanse of Woolacombe Bay and over to Putsborough and Baggy Point in the distance.
The coastal path finally leads you through a gate into a field where you veer up to the left and finally go through a gate onto the road back up to Mortehoe.
Terrain: Riverside and one gentle hill up through the woods.
The Route: Start the walk at the layby by the packhorse bridge opposite Home Place Farm. Take the signposted path opposite the bridge or, if wet underfoot, the alternative route via the Old School House. Follow the footpath with the yellow markings through the wicket gate and after a short while cross the little brook, then over the style into the meadow. Keep right signposted to the church and follow the path into the wood.
Follow the path up hill and out onto the open pasture fields taking time to stop and admire the views. Head across the field to the small wicker gate and cross another field towards a field gate. Then walk across a small track through another gate and aim for the church. The church was rebuilt in 1850 but the gothic tower is original. Go through the churchyard and turn right when you reach the lane.
Go just a few yards and turn right off the lane following the blue markers which indicate the bridleway that links Barton Town with Barton Gate. Cross the farmyard and continue up the path into the next field. Follow the hedge up to the next gate and admire the views over Challacombe Common. Then follow the path diagonally across the field between the remains of two old hedge banks. Go through another gate and cross the field to the gate in the bottom corner before turning right onto the road.
At the top of the hill into the village turn right through a field gate onto the footpath marked in yellow. Follow the path along the hedge admiring the views over the village then continue through a wicker gate down the hill returning to the packhorse bridge.
The Prehistoric Chains Aprox 6 miles from Goat Hill or 10 miles starting at Challacombe
The Route:Cross Packhorse Bridge (built 1843 replacing an older wooden bridge), opposite Home Place Farm sign-posted Moles Chamber. At the top turn left at the gate, follow the track up the hill leaving the village to your left. Continue the gentle climb following the blue markers on the gates. After about 40 minuets the path divides, turn left sign-posted Woodbarrow. Cross the main road and follow the path to the top of the hill, where you will find the burial mound on the left through the iron gate. It is worth taking in the view from the top of the barrow (You can take a detour from here to the ancient Longstone)
Then follow the signs to Pinkery Pond, the reservoir built by the Knight family in the early C19th.
At Pinkery follow the path sign-posted Chainsbarrow, turn right just before the barrow, sign-posted B3358 road. (Again its worth the detour to see the view from the top of the barrow). Follow the big sticks in the field marked with yellow tops back to the road.
At the main road turn left for 350 yards or so and then turn right down a farm track sign-posted Moles Chamber. (This is part of the ancient Harepath).
At Moles Chamber, so called because of the disappearance into the bog of the Reverend Mole and his horse in the C18th, turn left at the gravestone dated 1742 (or turn right for the short cut) and go through the gate and straight ahead on the lane. Note the views as you descend the hill towards Five Cross Way. At the crossroads turn right and follow the gated track back to Challacombe.
Afterwards why not enjoy a pint and good grub in the Black Venus
Terrain: One moderate hill at the start then relatively level.
The Route: Start the walk from Bank Square in Dulverton. From the church entrance take the path to the right of the church leading to the east end of the building. At a junction here continue straight ahead uphill onto a tarmac path. When reaching a lane turn left, still climbing uphill, passing an old school house on the left. Bear right here up a track towards Broford. Continue steeply up the track through the woods following a well trodden route for about a mile, the trees finally thinning to reveal spectacular views over the valley to your left.
You finally reach a bench with a foot path to your left sign posted “Marsh Bridge”. Take this path and drop down through Looseall woods for about ¾ mile eventually reaching the road. Cross straight over bearing left towards Marsh Bridge, cross over the River Barle and continue down the country lane for about 250 yards. You then turn left picking up a footpath sign posted to “Dulverton”.
The path leads through Kennel Farm and then through some gates to enter woodland. Follow the path back through the woods following the banks of the river Barle for about ¾ of a mile eventually reaching Horner Cottage where you bear left down the hill. Keep bearing left until you reach the main road and cross the bridge back into Dulverton.
Smythen Farm Holiday Cottages also offer 4 holiday cottages that are dog friendly. The cottages have central heating and are available all year round. We are located on the fringe of Exmoor and within a few minutes drive of Woolacome, Croyde, and the North Devon Coastal Path the ideal location for a dog walking holiday in North Devon.
We can also offer you a drop off and collection service, this enables walkers to be dropped off so that you can walk to chosen destination and we can collect you thereafter.
The North Devon and Exmoor Walking Festival is an ideal opportunity for people to enjoy structured North Devon walks.
We can also arrange for walking guides to help you enjoy the wonderful and magical walks of Nroth Devon.
Please find our list of favourite local walks below.