Walk - Lee Bay Coastal Heathlands

4.2 miles (6.7 km)

Lee Car Park - EX34 8LR Lee Car Park

Challenging - Some marshy sections and steep inclines

This rewarding walk combines some of the best of the South West Coast Path in North Devon with woodland and windswept farmland surrounding ancient farms.

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.

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.

Little Roadway Farm Camping Park, Woolacombe

Family-friendly campsite nestled on the edge of the beautiful North Devon coast. Glamping Pods, Caravans & Self Cottages also available. Shop/Takeaway in high season

Avoncourt Lodge

Simple light and airy B&B with full breakfast, ensuite baths, honesty bar and drying room on SW Coastal Pathway, Ilfracombe. Dog friendly

Ocean Backpackers

Quality independent Youth hostel with large self catering kitchen, communal lounge and dining room. Private en-suite rooms and dorms. Open from April to November.

Collingdale Guest House

Award winning Guest House directly on SWCP with stunning views of Ilfracombe Harbour. Minutes to the Moors, Seconds to the Sea. Book direct for best rates.

Fisherman's Cottage

Cosy Fisherman's Cottage is just 50 yards from the Coast Path and sleeps up to 4 adults in two bedrooms. Well-equipped and with sea views.

Freshwell Camping

Freshwell Camping is the ideal costal campsite boasting full beach views from the site, offering basic tent pitches with hot showers and clean facilities

The Whiteleaf

A licensed guest House offering en-suite fully equiped rooms( some with balconies) and an award winning breakfast close to the footpath.

Interactive Elevation

Route Description

This rewarding walk combines some of the best of the South West Coast Path in North Devon with woodland and windswept farmland surrounding ancient farms. Of particular interest are the coastal heathlands, where hardy plants such as gorse and heather survive battering from Atlantic weather and centuries of use by man to create a unique landscape.

  1. Start at the car park at Lee near the sea–front. Take the footpath that runs inland and follow it to the far end of a meadow. Go over a stile on the right, cross the meadow and over another stile into Borough Woods. Go over a footbridge and turn left following the stream through the woods for about a mile. After the stile, take the right hand path signed to Damage.
  2. Climb steeply until you reach a stile leading into a field which you then cross to a stile leading into a lane. Go straight over this to the steps in the bank and another stile. Make for the footpath sign high up over the far side behind the hedge. Go over the stile in the right hand corner of the field.
  3. Bear right and head for a gate with a footpath sign. Follow the yellow way-marker arrows through a marshy area between gorse and rocky outcrops. Where another footpath is joined, bear left to a low stone wall. Go through the small gate to the ancient Damage Barton Farm, which stands on the old road between Lee and Mortehoe.

The present building probably dates from the 16th or 17th century but there is evidence of an earlier, medieval building. Its stout walled construction may suggest fortification against attack.

  1. From Damage Barton turn right along a lane for about 500 metres, bearing left where a footpath forks right and then turn left over a stile. Follow the path along the edge of a field with a standing stone in it, then drop down and cross a foot-bridge over a small stream. Climb steeply up the other side until you reach a road. When you come out on the road, turn right and go into the private lane leading, after about half a mile, to Bull Point Lighthouse.

The lighthouse was built in 1879 in response to complaints from “clergy, ship owners, merchants and landowners” to the Trinity House Brethren asking for a lighthouse and stating that the “barbarous conduct of lawless wreckers caused much loss of life and property”.

  1. From Bull Point Lighthouse return along the Coast Path over the splendid cliffs and back to Lee. When the footpath meets the road, turn left into the lane and continue downhill towards the cove car park.

Public transport

Limited bus service from Ilfracombe to Lee (DevonBus 305). For timetable information, zoom in on the interactive map and click on the bus stops, visit Traveline or phone 0871 200 22 33.

Parking

Lee Bay (Postcode for Sat Navs: EX34 8LR).

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