Put simply, North Devon is a walking paradise, with so many areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty. Whilst there are many opportunities to get off the beaten track and explore new grounds, there’s also plenty of well known and well loved routes that are perfect to walk, hike, stretch your legs, wander in a daydream, explore, sightsee and discover in North Devon! Many routes are also dog friendly and are perfect for families too.
Plus, due to our position on the coast, the gems of North Devon are right by the sea. So here’s our guide to 9 of the best North Devon coastal walks – how many of these amazing routes and photo-worthy views have you enjoyed?
1. Putsborough to Woolacombe
We have to start with this one, the classic walk between the beaches of Putsborough and Woolacombe. It’s a simple idea; start from either end and follow the path overlooking the beach. Along the way you take in the sea, sand, surf and views out to Lundy and Morte Point, enjoying part of the South West Coastal Path – then on the way back take the same route or walk over the beach instead. Whether you’re in Woolacombe, or parking at Putsborough, this is a walk anyone can enjoy.
2. Morte Point
Speaking of Morte Point, this is another walk that needs to be explored, as it gives you a chance to enjoy the dramatic and rocky coastline with sweeping coastal views. Start on foot from the Mortehoe village carpark and look for the signposted ‘Coast Path’. You can’t miss it really, and how you enjoy the route from there is up to you – a picnic from the top is highly recommended when the sun is shining.
3. Baggy Point
Just around the coast is Croyde, and from there you can walk upwards to discover Baggy Point. This walk includes an easier route and a steeper path for an alternative route back. It’s a great walk for taking in amazing, panoramic views of the coastline towards Bideford and Hartland. Children will love discovering the secrets along the way and everyone will enjoy the rocks and cliffs – a true, North Devon experience.
4. Heddon Valley
So this one technically isn’t alongside the coast line, it instead starts inland by the river of the valley, but when you find the beach at the end you’re reminded that you’ve been near the sea the whole time. On the edge of Exmoor, Heddon Valley needs to be discovered by car but it’s worth the effort of finding the starting point. Then it’s all about enjoying a beautiful walk through ancient woodland alongside the River Heddon to where it meets the sea. These are some of England’s highest sea cliffs, framing an amazing view out to sea. Ideal.
5. Crow Point/Braunton Burrows
This one is for those who just want to disappear for the day – to be removed from life and enjoy the outdoors with no distractions. By driving through Velator from Braunton, you’ll find carparks where the Burrows meet the estuary. From there it’s up to you, as there are no set paths, instead you can simply wonder. Drop down onto the beach and follow the water to the wrecked boat and Crow Point – with views of Instow, Westward Ho!, and Appledore – and then head towards the sea onto the far end of Saunton Sands. With the Burrows behind you, there’s plenty of dunes to be explored too.
6. Ilfracombe Coastline
Ilfracombe has an abundance of short walks to enjoy with an ice cream. You can walk around and up the flagpost topped Capstone via a zig zag path, explore the Toors, and climb Hillsborough. To conquer Hillsborough it’s best to start at Verity with your target in sight before going across the sands of The Quay, through Ilfracombe harbour and cross Larkstone Beach towards the Hillsborough headland. Climb the edge of the hillside, known locally as ‘The Sleeping Elephant’ and head to the top where there are several resting benches to sit and take in the fantastic views out over Beacon Point and also back to Ilfracombe.
7. Northam Burrows
Want a long walk around a Country Park home to a diverse range of natural habitats, including salt marsh, open grassland, rocky shore and sand dunes? Well, the Northam Burrows are a haven for all kinds of wildlife, from vivid lichens to coastal birds. For the full experience start and end in Appledore, walk through Northam, around the Burrows between the dunes and the sea, and follow the coast back to Appledore. Plus, take in the history as well as the views on the ancient battleground where Vikings are said to have been slaughtered.
8. Lee Bay and Bull Point Lighthouse
This hidden gem gives a look at everything that’s great about the South West Coast Path in a 4 mile route. Start and finish in the lovely village of Lee, for coastal heathlands, ancient farms, a lighthouse and some gorgeous sea views. Bring the dog, bring the family, take lots of pictures, and discover why North Devon is the best place to be.
9. Hartland to Speke’s Mill Mouth and Waterfall
Last but certainly not least, is Speke’s Mill where the hanging valleys and waterfalls are well worth discovering. By starting at Hartland Quay you can feel the full force of the sea as it collides with the rocks, and then as you walk along the coast the streams running down from the moorland above fall dramatically to the shore in breathtaking coastal fashion. As an added bonus, a return route takes in St Nectan’s Church in Stoke village, sometimes referred to as ‘The Cathedral of North Devon’.
Read Next: 17 of the best North Devon Pubs and Restaurants with sea views – to relax in after a day walking.