Have you tried these iconic North Devon walks?
- Credit: ND Ramblers
Walking is a great way to explore the beautiful areas of North Devon. Here are just a few possible routes.
No one in North Devon needs telling the area is packed with a huge variety of walks to suit all ages and abilities, offering everything from stunning coastal views to secluded wooded coombes and fascinating local history.
Thanks to North Devon Ramblers here are three local walks you may not have considered trying before.
Start and end: Westward Ho! Free car park near The Pier House at the west end of the village.
Take the South West Coast Path from the car park and walk away from the village for about one mile (20-30 mins). You should enjoy fabulous views along the coast towards Clovelly and Hartland Point.
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Turn left, following the footpath sign inland and up over a couple of fields until you meet a surfaced lane near to Abbotsham Court. Walk along the lane and take the first left (about five mins), follow the lane downhill, (you may not realise but you will be crossing the disused Bideford to Westward Ho! railway line), next uphill, past a few house then an estate at the top of the hill.
When you reach a road junction take the footpath to your left, through a gate and follow down the lovely Kipling Tors (National Trust land) back to the car park.
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This walk is just about 3.5 miles.
Start and end: Barnstaple Square
This urban walk explores some older parts of Barnstaple and is all on hard surfaces so no boots necessary.
Cross from the square, past the Albert clock to Litchdon Street (on your right), at the road junction turn left, walk for about 20-30 yards and enter the church yard of Holy Trinity church. Follow around the church, along the avenue of yew trees and through a gate into Victoria Road.
Cross the road and to your half left, on the corner of Gloster Road, take the cycle/walkway. This runs to Hollowtree Road, cross at the lights and continue to follow the path, behind buildings, to a path junction where you turn right.
This wide path was the route of the railway line between Great Western and junction stations. It eventually meets the B3138 Barnstaple to Bishops Tawton road where you cross at the lights, follow the path, past Park School, to the old park and ride parking. Keep straight on to the old railway bridge at the end of Rock Park, cross this, turn right and follow the riverside path to the Long Bridge where you recross the River Taw to Barnstaple Square.
A very easy three mile walk.
Start and end: Baggy Point National Trust car park, Croyde
Leave the car park by the overflow gate, behind the cafe, and in a few yards a stile takes you on to the road where you take a half left to a path running parallel to the road in the direction of Croyde village.
Where this path becomes a pavement, cross the road and take the public footpath on the opposite side. This is a lane, which may be wet in places, and which gradually rises for about three quarters of a mile, with various twists and turns.
Follow the footpath sign on your left and continue uphill across two fields before meeting the South West Coast Path, to the east of Baggy Point itself. Turn left and follow the path around Baggy Point, with fantastic views, for about two miles back to the car park.
About 3.5 miles fairly easy walking.
Start and end: Bishops Tawton (parking normally available on straight, beside main road, just after the church). Also possible by bus from Barnstaple (hourly).
This walk involves a gradual pull up to an excellent view point followed by a steepish down. Having parked safely, cross the road and head away from Barnstaple.
After crossing the end of the village street and passing Park Villas, take a rough lane to the left, just to the left of the scout hut. Follow this uphill, past an old quarry for about 300 yards then fork right, continuing to rise up.
After some more level walking, about half a mile, (15-20 mins) fork right here on the main track and uphill again, views across the valley to Venn Quarry, Bishops Tawton and the Taw valley are now opening up.
Keep walking uphill until you come to a small bench, a good place for a breather, then follow the path to your left until you meet the main track towards the summit, where you turn right.
When you reach the memorial to Caroline Thorpe (first wife of former North Devon Liberal MP Jeremy Thorpe) take some time to enjoy the excellent, wide-ranging views, from Exmoor to Dartmoor.
Now continue in the same direction, following the fence (on your left) as you gradually and then more steeply drop down the hill and almost back to the rough lane near the scout hut. This can make a wonderful evening walk.
Just over 2.5 miles.
Find out more at www.ramblers.org.uk/north-devon .