Walk - Cherryford Hill
Walk information provided with help from Natural England. Map reproduced by permission of Ordnance Survey on behalf of HMSO. © Crown copyright and database right 2020. Ordnance Survey Licence number 100022021.
- From the road outside the Hunter's Inn, take the path to the right-hand (eastern) side of the inn and walk a short way uphill until it forks. Take the left-hand fork and follow it downhill and alongside the river for about three-quarters of a mile, until you come to a path to your right, leading uphill through the woods.
Hunter's Inn has been here since the early half of the nineteenth century, although the thatched cottage of that time burnt down a few decades later and was replaced by the current building. As you might expect, even in these early days of tourism the stunning beauty of the landscape around the Exmoor coastline attracted people from all over the country, (including several of the Romantic poets), and at one time the inn was the area's largest employer (see the Heddon's Mouth Cleave Walk).
- Take this path, and follow it as it climbs steeply out of the woods and pulls up the bare hillside beyond. At the headland, it turns abruptly to the right and continues eastwards along the coast, around the outcrops at Great Burland Rocks and into the combe at Hollow Brook.
There are a few heady moments at the very top, even on this lower path, when the rocky outcrops to your left look a long way from the sea below, and the opposite path around the wild, romantic headland across the plunging valley looks impossibly high. Anyone's imagination would run riot here; which probably explains the legend of the Gurt Fish of Wringapeak. Whatever you do, don't try swimming in the dark waters down there, or this mythical monster fish will have you!
The breathtaking waterfall at Hollow Brook plunges a distance of 200 metres to the sea, in a series of cascades and two near-vertical drops of 50 metres each, and it is one of the westcountry's highest coastal waterfalls. The rocks here, too, are of geological importance, marking the southern shoreline of the Old Red Sandstone continent (see the Martinhoe Roman Fortlet Walk).
- The path carries on around the cliffs and starts to climb between the outcrops and into the ancient oak woods. Stay with it as it curves around and starts to drop gently into West Woody Bay Wood. Leave the Coast Path above Martinhoe Manor where it meets a road on a hairpin bend. Turn right up this road past Wringapeak House.
- When you come to the path pulling steeply uphill to your right, signposted Martinhoe, turn onto it and make your way to the path running along the top edge of the woodland. Cross this path, and carry straight on over the hill, along the boundaries of two fields, to the road beyond.
- Turn right at the road and after a short distance pick up the footpath opposite, signposted Folly Corner, and follow it very gently uphill to the top of the common, aiming for the stile towards the right-hand side of the fence in the first field.
- Reaching the road beyond, go straight across.
- Follow the bridleway signposted to Kemacott and Killington leading away through the fields to your right, around the top of the hill and dropping very gently down towards Kernacott.
- Another bridleway merges from the left, and you travel another hundred yards westwards to Kemacott.
- Take the track leading away to the left, and follow it as it loops between the fields, to turn abruptly to the right at the end and fetch up on the road as it drops sharply from Killington, just above you on the left.
- Turn right onto the road and follow it for about half a mile as it travels down around the edge of the trees.
- Ignoring the track to your left at the bottom of the hill, stay with the lane as it turns right through woodland to Mill Farm.
- Turn left onto the footpath opposite Mill Farm, into Heale Wood, crossing the stream via the footbridge. When the path forks a short while later, the choice is yours; the top (left-hand) path travels a little higher through the woods but rejoins the lower path a little further on.
- If you opt for the upper path, however, take the right-hand fork at the next junction of paths, or you'll find yourself heading around the top of the hill towards Trentishoe, with a much longer walk back to the start!
- When the two lower paths merge, carry on northwards through Invention Wood until you come back to the road at Hunter's Inn.