Walk - Caffyns Heanton Wood

5.9 miles (9.5 km)

Lee Abbey Car Park (above Lee Bay) - EX35 6JN Lee Abbey Car Park (above Lee Bay)

Challenging - Tracks, footpaths, quiet lanes, a lot of ascent and descent

A tiny cove, a woodland walk, and a gentle climb into the hills above Lee Abbey with breathtaking views out over the coast and across to the dun hills of Exmoor. The woods are particularly delightful in spring and early summer, when they are carpeted with bluebells.

Lee Bay is dog friendly. Have a look at our Top Dog Walks on the South West Coast Path for more dog-friendly beaches and pubs. 

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.

Exmoor Coast Holidays

Campsite on working Cider Farm, Shop, off Licence, Restaurant and Bar

The Denes Guest House

The Denes offer locally sourced food and comfortable en-suite bedrooms, facilities to dry outdoor gear and a selection of maps. Books, DVDs and board games for relaxation.

South View Guest House

We look forward to welcoming you to our newly refurbished & upgraded Edwardian Guest House. Ideally located for pubs, restaurants, shops and the spectacular North Devon Coast Path.

North Walk House

Right on the SW Coast Path. Adults only, no dogs. Lounge, bar, terrace with amazing coastal views, free wi-fi and some parking

Sinai House

4 Star accommodation with incredible sea views, offering peace and tranquillity. "Where Exmoor meets the Sea". Ideally located for the South West Coast Path.

The Crown Hotel

A warm welcome awaits at the Crown Hotel, originally a coaching inn. Located in the heart of Lynton, a quiet base to explore N.Devon's rugged coastline. One night stays and dogs welcome.

St Vincent Guest House

Beautiful grade II Georgian B&B in the heart of Lynton, minutes from the coastal path. Packed lunch by arrangement & all diets catered for.

Martinhoe Cleave Cottages

Three lovely cottages within Exmoor National Park close to the SW Coast Path and the dramatic moorland and coastal scenery of north Devon

Bath Hotel

The Bath Hotel is a family run hotel overlooking the harbour in the picturesque village of Lynmouth, where Exmoor meets the sea.

Lynmouth Holiday Retreats

Set in a truly picturesque part of the country; the Exmoor National Park has stunning views from almost every pitch on the park you can admire the view

Heddon Valley Campsite

Tucked away in two meadows bordering the river surrounded by Oaks, quiet and isolated yet within easy walking distance of the National Trust visitor centre & Hunters Inn

Orchard House Hotel

Friendly, homely atmosphere. Full English breakfast, licensed bar, kit drying, luggage transfers,single occupancy reductions,walking parties welcome as well as pets & children

Heddon Orchard Bothy

Heddon Bothy is a simple, basic four person hideaway. Bring your cooking and sleeping equipment. This is indoor camping for adventurers.

Berry Lawn Linhay Bothy

Sleeps 4. The former farm building offers a simple, basic walkers’ overnight shelter.

Exmoor Bunk House

Surrounded by dramatic valleys, rugged moorland and an impressive rocky coastline, the 18-bed Exmoor Bunkhouse is the ideal holiday destination for intrepid explorers of all ages.

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.

The North Cliff Hotel

Right on the SW Coast Path. Families & groups welcome,dog friendly,free wi-fi,drying room,bike storage,lounge,bar,terrace with amazing sea views, parking,2xEV chargers
What is on your list of things to do when you visit the Path? From walking companies, to help you tailor your visit, with itineraries and experts to enhance your visit, to baggage transfer companies and visitor attractions there are lots to people and places to help you decide what you'd like to do. The businesses that support the Path, where you've chosen to visit, are listed here.

Lynton & Lynmouth Tourist Information Centre

Information on where to stay, local food and drink, festivals and events and things to do in these picturesque twin villages on the edge of Exmoor.

Exmoor National Park Visitor Centre, Lynmouth

Discover walking routes and information on places to visit in the Exmoor area

Interactive Elevation

Route Description

  1. Leaving the car park above the cove, take the lane back up to the road from the Valley of Rocks to Woody Bay, and turn right onto it, towards Woody Bay. After the sharp right turn, it will head uphill and follow the curve of the coastline.
  2. Pick up the footpath to your right shortly afterwards, which will take you off the road and through the trees for a little way. When the path splits, take the right-hand turn, to follow the coast out around Crock Point, curving back via Crock Pits to return to the road.
  3. Turn left onto the road, and follow it back a little way through Croscombe Wood until you come to a footpath on the right, heading into Bonhill Wood.
  4. Turn onto the footpath on the other side of the road, and follow it into Bonhill Wood. This climbs up through the wood, to bring you to a track which heads south-west, along the banks of the tumbling stream, some way below. Stay on the track until you come to Bonhill Bridge, about half a mile away.
  5. Ignore the footpath that leads away over the bridge to your left, instead continue along the track for a few hundred yards, until it reaches Croscombe Barton.
  6. Picking up the lane which runs uphill to your left from Croscombe Barton, follow it uphill past The Bungalow to the road at the top of the hill.
  7. Turn left onto the road and take it gently downhill for a mile or so, until you reach the turning at Caffyns Cross, just after the house on your left.

The farm downhill to your left as you walk along this lane is Caffyns Heanton Farm, associated with the Domesday manor of Hantona (“At the High Farm”). In the thirteenth century, the manor of Countisbury and Lynton (of which this was a part) was granted to Forde Abbey a Somerset Cistercian monastery. Shortly afterwards, Richard le Pronte of Forde Abbey confiscated Heanton from William Coffin, although the subsequent court hearing declared Coffin the rightful owner and returned it to him, together with compensation.

  1. Turning left onto the lane, climb gradually uphill with it until you come to the lane to Six Acre Farm, on your left just before the campsite.
  2. Follow the lane downhill, past the farm on your left, and go through the gate to the footpath beyond, with stunning views down to the sea once you curve around the hillside.

Six Acre Farm, too, was part of the Domesday manor Hantona, but its history goes much further back, possibly to Roman times. In 1913 a stone serving as a gatepost at the time was discovered to bear the Latin inscription “CAVUDI FILIUS CIVILIS” (Cavudus, son of Civilis) which dated from the sixth century AD and is one of a number of post-Roman memorial stones in the south-west. The stone is now on private land at Six Acre Farm.

Elsewhere on Six Acre Farm, however, a previous owner was ploughing a field when he turned up what appeared to be a shallow grave lined with seashells – a Roman custom. There is little evidence of an extensive Roman presence around Exmoor, other than a little iron mining and smelting (possibly); but there are two Roman fortlets along this part of the coastline, the nearest being just a few miles away at Martinhoe (see the Martinhoe Roman Fortlet Walk).

Jumping forward a few centuries, archaeological exploration on the farm also uncovered a mediaeval cornditch – an ovoid enclosure, with other fields radiating from it, used for coralling sheep – and a nearby “sheep-creep”: a stone-lined tunnel between two fields which allows sheep to pass through but not larger livestock (a device common on Dartmoor).

Ignore the path through the gate to your left halfway down the hill (unless you want a shortcut).

You are now on land belonging to Lee Abbey (see the Crock Point Walk), and this gate bears one of the abbey's welcoming inscriptions: “Your gates will always stand open, they will never be shut, day or night“ (Isaiah, 60:11).

  1. Carry on downhill, taking an abrupt right with the footpath when it turns in order to flatten out the gradient. Turn sharply left with it a few hundred yards beyond when it doubles back on itself through the woods below until you come to the junction of paths in Six Acre Wood. Take the right-hand path and follow it downhill to where it meets the road, outside Lee Abbey.
  2. Turn left onto the road, and return to the car park.

Public transport

There are several buses a day between Barnstaple and Lynton, stopping at Caffyns Cross, a few yards from point 8 on the walk. For timetable information, zoom in on the interactive map and click on the bus stops, visit Traveline or phone 0871 200 22 33.


Walk Finder


Postcode, placename or click the icon to use current location

Click/hold and drag the map to set the centre point of your search location under the red crosshair

from this location


Length (miles)



Find somewhere to Eat & Drink, Sleep or Do


Postcode, placename or click the icon to use current location

Click/hold and drag the map to set the centre point of your search location under the red crosshair

from this location

Interactive Map


Latest news