Walk - Crock Point

2.2 miles (3.5 km)

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

Easy - Footpaths, tracks, quiet lanes.

A short walk around Crock Point, with views across the tiny cove below to Duty Point Tower, above Lee Abbey, returning through peaceful woodland past gently flowing streams with splashing waterfalls. A lovely area in spring, when the woods are carpeted with bluebells and stitchwort and full of birdsong. This part of the coastline is a Site of Special Scientific Interest because of its trees and lichens and its bird population.

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.

Longmead House, Lynton

We are one of Lynton’s best kept secrets with our beautiful Victorian B&B not only offering plenty of comfort with our picturesque gardens and en-suite bedrooms also serving a breakfast like no other to set you up for the day ahead. 

The Denes Guest House, Lynton

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.

Gable Lodge Guest House, Lynton

This is a beautiful grade 2 listed Victorian house where you will receive a warm welcome. Home cooked meals available.

Fernleigh Guest House, Lynton

The Fernleigh Guest House, in charming Lynton, is a friendly and informal place to stay.  We are open all year and have 5 en-suite bedrooms.

Bay Valley Of The Rocks Hotel

Overlooking the pretty harbour of Lynmouth, early Victorian hotel retains many aspects of its original charm, including an impressive atrium in the lounge and rooms with stunning scenic views.

South View Guest House, Lynton

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.

Heddon's Gate Hotel,Martinhoe

Heddon's Gate is hidden in trees on the east side of the Heddon Valley, just above the old carriage drive. Absolute seclusion,wonderful food and a warm welcome.

Sunny Lyn Holiday Park, Lynbridge

Sunny Lyn Camping and Holiday Park is situated just outside Lynmouth and the closest camping to the South West Coast Path.

The Crown Hotel, Lynton

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.

Martinhoe Cleave Cottages

Stay at these lovely, well-appointed cottages (sleep 2 people each) and explore the dramatic South West Coast Path.

Orchard House Hotel, Lynmouth

Orchard House offers a friendly, homely atmosphere. Full English breakfast, licensed bar, kit drying, luggage transfers, pets & children welcome.

Hillside House B&B, Lynmouth

Situated on the East Lyn River, we are ideally suited to walkers needs, 400 yards from the Coast Path. The perfect location to explore & enjoy coast, riverside & woodland.

The Old Sea Captains House

Set against the mouth of the East Lyn River, the Captain’s House offers an ideal base from which to explore the Exmoor and North Devon coastline.

Lorna Doone House, Lynmouth

Licensed guest house property offering evening meals. Ideally situated for the Coast Path.

The Blue Ball Inn

The Blue Ball Inn is a dog-friendly traditional coaching inn, located in the hamlet of Countisbury, offering a high standard of bed and breakfast accommodation with a warm welcome. 

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.

Hunters Inn, Heddon Valley

The Inn sits beautifully in the Heddon Valley, yards from the Coast Path. En-suite bedrooms, excellent home cooked food and lots of real ales and cider.

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.

Look out for guillemots and razorbills on the coastal part of the walk, and peregrine falcons.

  1. Pick up the footpath to your right shortly afterwards, which will take you off the road and through the trees for a little way.

Looking back over Lee Bay to the headland beyond, the tower at the top of the hill is Duty Point Tower, a 19th century folly. Although it has a commanding position overlooking the Bristol Channel, it is not thought to have been used for lookout duties.

On the beach is a former lime kiln, which was later converted into a chapel for Lee Abbey, the cluster of buildings below the Duty Point Tower.

The 11th century Domesday Book recorded a manor at 'Ley', now Lee, at the time belonging to Forde Abbey, a Somerset Cistercian monastery. In 1628 the grange farm at the manor was repaired and enlarged as the country seat of Lord of the Manor, Hugh Wichenhalse, and the estate remained in the family's hands until early in the 18th century.

The estate was purchased in 1841 by Charles Bailey, who built a new manor house on the present site, a short distance to the south of the old grange farm, designing it to look like an old abbey, although there was never a monastic settlement here. On the death of his son in 1921, Lee Abbey became an hotel, and then a boys' prep school, before becoming a retreat and conference centre for Lee Abbey Fellowship, the Christian Community which presently owns it.

  1. 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.

Fossils found at Crock Point have provided useful evidence for geologists examining the Lynton Slates rock beds, with the disused quarry yielding fossils quite unlike any others found in Lynton Slates, suggesting that the rocks here are older than it had previously been thought.

  1. 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.

This part of the coastline has been designated as a Site of Special Scientific Interest, the West Exmoor Coast and Woods, and the woodland here is noted particularly for its ancient hanging oaks and its rare species of whitebeam, some of which are found only on Exmoor (see the Foreland Point Adventurous Walk). Other trees here include rowan (which is related to the whitebeam), holly, hazel, ash, alder and sallow.

The clean, moist air is also especially good for ferns and lichen, and over 100 species of lichen have been recorded in the area, including one or two particularly rare coastal lichens.

The diversity of habitats also provides a good breeding-ground for birds. Look out for pied flycatcher, lesser spotted woodpecker, redstart and wood warbler in the woods, and dippers on the rocks in the streams.

  1. 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.

The Lee Abbey estate extends over 280 acres, and there are many walks around it, including longer ones through the woodland above here (see the Caffyns Heanton Walk).

  1. Cross the stream via the bridge, and turn left onto the track leading back down the valley on the other side of the stream.
  2. After you have gone a little way, a path heads away to your right, contouring through the woods around the hill. Ignore this, staying with your path as it continues downhill and then itself pulls away to the the right, away from the stream and into a combe. Here it crosses another stream and turns a sharp corner, before dropping you back onto the road opposite the car park at the start of the walk.

Public transport

The nearest stop is some distance from this walk at Lynton. For timetable info zoom in on the interactive map and click on the bus stops, visit Traveline or phone 0871 200 22 33

Parking

Lee Abbey car park. Postcode for sat navs - EX35 6JN

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