Walk - Slattenslade

3.8 miles (6.1 km)

Woody Bay Car Park at Inkerman Bridge - EX31 4QX Woody Bay Car Park at Inkerman Bridge

Moderate - Footpaths, tracks, quiet lanes, some ascent and steep descent

Extensive mature woodland, rolling pastureland, a Grade II listed barton whose history includes Celtic as well as Domesday connections, and breathtaking coastal scenery including hanging woodland, a rocky point and a 19th century clifftop gazebo. It is a stunning walk in spring, when the woods are carpeted in bluebells, and in autumn, when the leaves start to turn and the woodlands echo with the cries of jays gathering acorns for the winter.

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.

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.

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.

Orchard House Hotel, Lynmouth

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

Martinhoe Cleave Cottages

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

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. From the car parking area, follow the road to the right and stay with it downhill as it makes its way through the woods above Woody Bay. Carry straight on when the road joins from above and to the right, until you come to a path on your left, heading downhill into the woods.

Woody Bay's most famous resident was the rock star Elkie Brooks, who lived here for many years with her husband, sound engineer Trevor Jordan, and their two sons.

Note the sign beside the path as you go into the woods: “Enter His gates with thanksgiving” (Psalm 100:4). The woodland on this walk belongs to the estate of Lee Abbey, a retreat and conference centre run by the Lee Abbey Christian Fellowship (see the Crock Point Walk). There are many inspiring walks through the grounds of the abbey. A few of these are currently open to residents only, but all the paths to the south of the road are open to all walkers, as well as the path around Crock Point used for this walk.

  1. Take this path, and follow the Coast Path downwards, through the wood, to where it meets another path heading away to your right, back up to the road. Stay with the Coast Path as it goes out around Crock Point.

This area is part of the West Exmoor Coast and Woods Site of Special Scientific Interest, (see the Heddon's Mouth Cleave Walk), and the ancient hanging oak woods above Woody Bay are one of the important features of the site. In early summer the vivid rhododendron blossoms tumbling through the dark woodland are a delightful splash of colour; but rhododendron is one of the invasive species imported here by Victorian landowners and with a taste for the exotic, and it is rapidly becoming a threat to the woodland (see the Sisters Fountain Walk).

Crock Point, like Hollow Brook a little further down the coast (see the Heddon's Mouth Cleave Walk), is a key geological site, displaying a unique array of fossils illustrating the marine ecology of the Lynton Beds in the Lower Devonian period.

As you walk out around the open point beyond the woodland, watch out for the nesting seabirds which are also a feature of theis SSSI, including guillemots and razorbills. Peregrine falcons, too, are sometimes spotted here.

  1. Reaching the end of Crock Point, above the cove, turn right onto the path that takes you back to the road, a hundred yards or so away. Turn right onto the road and walk a short distance, to a footpath into the woods on your left.

The settlement at Lee Abbey dates back to the Domesday Book, when it was listed as Ley Barton, but there has never been a monastic community based here. The current building was built, some distance from the original barton, by a Victorian landowner who simply designed his new residence to look like an abbey. The Duty Point Tower, too, visible on the hill across the cove as you round Crock Point, is a folly dating back to the same time, and was sometimes used by customs men on the lookout for the smugglers who liked the remoteness of this part of the coastline.

  1. Taking this footpath, follow it into Bonhill Wood. It climbs up through the wood, bringing you to a track which heads south-west (to your right), 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.
  2. Ignore the footpath that leads away over the bridge to your left, instead continuing along the track for a few hundred yards, until it reaches Croscombe Barton.
  3. Follow the waymarked path up around the right-hand side of the barton, heading left and northwestwards in the field at the top, to pick up the waymarked path along the right-hand boundaries of the fields until you come to the track at Slattenslade. Turn right onto the track and walk down to the road a short way beyond.

There is a water meadow system near Slattenslade Farm, known locally as a catchwater meadow system, visible as a series of earthworks to the west, above a stream known as Hanging Water. Found in this area from mediaeval times onwards, a water meadow used a series of shallow channels to distribute flowing water evenly over the surface of the field in order to encourage early growth in spring and prevent freezing in winter, allowing animals to graze for longer. The way the system here appears to be connected to the farmyard at Slattenslade has led archaeologists to suggest that it might also have distributed liquid manure as fertiliser.

  1. Turn left onto the road and drop gently downhill with it a moment, before pulling back uphill for a couple of hundred yards.
  2. When the road forks, take the right-hand lane and follow it northwestwards and back down to the car parking area at the start of the walk.

Public transport

Buses run several times a day between Barnstaple and Lynton, but the nearest stop is at Woody Bay Station, a little over a mile away. For details visit: Traveline or phone 0871 200 22 33

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