Walk - Capstone 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 2021. Ordnance Survey Licence number 100022021.

Route Description

This walk is one of a series of walks to be found at www.phototrails.org The website aims "to help everyone discover and enjoy access to the countryside, tailored to their own needs and preferences." It is run by the Fieldfare Trust who work with people with disabilities and countryside managers to improve access to the countryside for everyone.

Although now North Devon's largest holiday town, Ilfracombe has its origins in Saxon times and is mentioned in the Domesday Book. During the medieval period it had two centres, around the church and around the harbour. It was important as a fishing harbour and commercial port and there was a quay here in the Middle Ages.

Ilfracombe began to develop as a holiday resort in the early 1800s, although it was the coming of the railway in the 1870s which really marked the beginning of the town's large-scale expansion. As a result of this it is now one of Devon's best examples of a town dominated by Victorian architecture.

Henry Williamson, author of Tarka the Otter, lived in a cottage on the left-hand side of Capstone Road towards the end of his life, from the mid 1950s until 1976. He used the Royal Britannia as his local.

There are superb views from the top of Capstone Hill along the coast, but this is also a superb location to look over Ilfracombe. As noted earlier, much of the town dates from Victorian times, when it grew rapidly as a holiday resort, but some of the prominent sea-facing terraces are earlier, from the 1830s, when it began to develop as a select resort.

  1. Capstone Hill has a circular walk which for the most part is level or has minimal gradients. The walk is at a low level round the base of the hill.

More details can be found at the Capstone Hill walk page on the Phototrails website.

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