Walk - Baggy Point

4.5 miles (7.2 km)

NT Baggy Point Car Park - EX33 1FF Baggy Point Car Park

Moderate - Two fairly gentle climbs.


A breathtaking stroll around a windswept headland between two sandy beaches. Baggy Point's dramatic cliffs are home to many nesting seabirds and unusual wildflowers, while the crumbling stone walls dividing the ancient fields on the top of the headland are encrusted with lichen. Take a picnic and make a day of it on Putsborough Sands. A lovely walk in autumn, when the heathland is vivid with gorse and heather and flocks of migrant birds gather ready for their long journey south. The headland is exposed to Atlantic winds and the weather can change abruptly, so wear warm clothing. 

There are a range of wonderful places to lay your head near the Coast Path for a well-earned sleep. From large and luxurious hotels, to small and personable B&B's, as well as self-catering options and campsites. The businesses that support the Path, where you've chosen to visit, are listed here.

Pickwell Barton

Unique peaceful, stunning location, 4 star Gold award cottages with private access through fields to the Coast Path and fabulous beaches, 1 mile from villages of Georgeham & Croyde.

Breakers B&B, Croyde

Beach-side B&B only 1 minute from the Coast Path, with stunning ocean views, comfortable en-suite rooms and a warm welcome after a long day's walk.

Combas Farm

Combas Farm is a 17th century farmhouse, located in a wonderfully secluded valley, with a beautiful garden and unspoiled views.

The Whiteleaf

An AA award winning Four star Gold Guest House offering en-suite fully equiped rooms, some with balconies, close to the footpath.

Marine House B&B

We are a small modern B&B in the center of Woolacombe, just 2 minutes walk from the beach and the South West Coast path.

Lundy House

Lundy House B&B sits between Mortehoe and Woolacombe on the North Devon coast. Surrounded by National Trust land. Great breakfasts. Dogs and dirty boots welcome.

North Cottage

Close to the Coast Path, village centre with restaurants & pubs, beach and golf course. Double, single & twin rooms, available Wifi.

Silver Cottage B&B

A charming two double bedroom B&B, private sitting room, kitchenette, terrace and shower room. A warm welcome for walkers. No extra charge for single night stays or single occupancy

The Laurels B&B

A warm welcome will greet you from this family owned B&B in the heart of Braunton within easy reach of village facilities and the magnificent local beaches.

Marsdens Devon Cottages

One of Devon’s leading agencies with over 450 cottages in popular locations including Croyde, Woolacombe, Braunton and Lynmouth. Book online today!

Lee Meadow Farm Camping

Traditional campsite set in lovely countryside beside the Coast Path. Visit the farm animals, free hot showers, farm shop & tea room on site. Ehup available.

Trojen Bed & Breakfast

Relax in our B&B situated half a mile from Coast Path in a quiet cul de sac in Braunton. Private lounge/ diner and super King ensuite with views of estuary to Appledore.

Bennings B&B

Friendly, family run B&B. Double and twin rooms, both en suite. No charge for Wi-Fi. Great location and generous breakfast for your next day's walk!

You'll be spoilt for choice for where to eat and drink along the Path. With lots of local seasonal food on offer, fresh from the farm, field and waters. Try our local ales, ciders, wines and spirits, increasing in variety by the year, as you sit in a cosy pub, fine dining restaurant or chilled café on the beach. The businesses that support the Path, where you've chosen to visit, are listed here.

Lee Meadow Farm Shop

The home of Glampig home reared pork cuts,our own eggs, fresh baked bread and pastries, cream teas, lite bites, amazing cooked breakfast, bbq products, dog friendly,free parking.

Interactive Elevation

Route Description

  1. Coming out of the National Trust Baggy Point car park, turn right and walk to the gate at the end of the road.
  2. Going through the gate, bear left to follow the South West Coast Path along the tarmac path above the rocks, past the houses on the right.

Baggy House was built in 1995 for former BBC Chairman Gavyn Davies. Its dramatic location and its striking architecture have made it one of the country's best-known modern houses.

  1. When a path on the right heads off uphill you have a choice of route: take the high one for tremendous sea views, or carry on ahead for a more gentle ascent towards the point.

As you head out towards the point, you can see Lundy Island ahead, twelve miles from the coast and the only land between here and America! Lundy's permanent population is around 30, but this number increases dramatically in the summer as visitors are ferried across several times a week on the island's own ship, the MS Oldenburg. Just three and a half miles long and half a mile wide, the island is of granite, formed about 60 million years ago. This makes it 240 million years younger than Dartmoor, also granite. It is thought that Lundy is associated with rocks found in Scotland and Northern Ireland. Its human history dates back to Stone Age times, with traces of prehistoric settlements on the island, and throughout the ages it has been used as a base by pirates, wreckers and smugglers.

The name 'Lundy' comes from a Norse word meaning 'puffin', and in 1939 there were 3000 pairs of puffins on the island. By 2003 this was down to 10 breeding pairs, after an invasion by rats, thought to have arrived from wrecked ships; but an intensive two-year cull of these nest-robbers by conservationists wiped out the 40,000-strong population of the rodents within two years. Now the puffin colonies are flourishing again, as are those of the equally rare Manx Shearwater. The sea surrounding Lundy is England's only statutory Marine Nature Reserve. This protects a range of species which is especially diverse as a result of the mix of warm Mediterranean waters from the gulf Stream in the colder Atlantic currents.

Baggy Point is a favourite of both geologists and climbers for its rugged formations of sandstone and shale. The rocks on the beach below are popular with scramblers, rockpoolers and anglers. In summer the headland is alight with vivid wildflowers, including speckled white sea campion, clumps of pink thrift and carpets of brilliant yellow and pink Hottentot figs. This is an exotic species brought to the south west by Victorian gardeners who had no idea that it would run riot around the coastline, suffocating more delicate native plants. A hundred years later, Hottentot fig is one of a number of decorative but invasive species that conservationists are having to take steps to bring under control, along with others such as rhododendron, Japanese knotweed and Himalayan balsam.

Above the plunging cliffs at the end of the point there is a grassy plateau high above the water: a good place to sit and watch for the seals that can sometimes be seen on the rocks at low tide. Occasionally in the summer you might catch a glimpse of dolphins and porpoises. Seabirds such as cormorants and shags nest here too, and black curly-horned Hebridean sheep graze on the hillside above, brought in as part of a conservation strategy to keep the scrub at bay.

Baggy Point was one of local author Henry Williamson's favourite places. It features more than once in his most famous book, 'Tarka the Otter'. The novel tells the tale of an otter's life in various waterways throughout North Devon. The celebrated Tarka Trail travels 180 miles over footpaths and cycleways linking some of these locations. The route around Baggy Point is part of the Tarka Trail as well as the South West Coast Path. Williamson did much of his writing in a hut he built himself of elm boards, planting a grove pine trees around it. The hut is preserved just a few miles away at Ox's Cross, perched on a hill above the tranquil thatched village of Georgeham. In Georgeham itself the thatched cottage near the church that he rented for £5 a year in the 1920s still bears the name that he gave it, Skirr Cottage.

  1. Reaching the point from either route, follow the path around to the right, climbing past the white post to carry on along the path towards Putsborough Sands, ignoring the small paths leading away in both directions. Coming to the path down to Putsborough Sands, detour to visit the beach but otherwise carry on ahead to the road.

The white post beside the path is a wreck post, once used as a substitute mast in practice rescues. When the sea was too rough to launch a lifeboat to save the passengers and crew of a ship going down, a small cannon was used to fire a rocket across the water to it, carrying a double line and pulley. With the landward end of the rope anchored to a frame in the ground, the ship's crew tied their end to the mast, and a harness (‘breeches buoy’) was sent to the ship to enable rescuers to haul the men ashore, one by one.

  1. Turn right on the road above Putsborough Beach to pick up the footpath on the right, heading gently uphill through the fields to where it forks, just after a sharp left-hand bend.
  2. Fork right to follow the path downhill to where it comes out on Moor Lane beside Ruda Holiday Park. Turn right on the road to return to the car park at start of the walk.

Public transport

Croyde is served by regular buses from Barnstaple and Braunton (service 308). For timetable information, zoom in on the interactive map and click on the bus stops, visit Traveline or phone 0871 200 22 33.

Parking

In Croyde there is a car park near the post office (Post code for Sat Navs: EX33 1LF), at the village centre, another near the beach and a National Trust Car Park below Middleborough Hill.

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