Walk - Hollerday Hill

3.1 miles (4.9 km)

Lynmouth seafront car park - EX35 6EN Lynmouth seafront car park

Moderate - Paths and quiet lanes, some ascent and descent, and a path high above the sea

A stroll through a spectacularly rock-strewn landscape, with castles and witches, as well as goats and woodland, an Iron Age hillfort, a family feud and a mansion allegedly burnt down by suffragettes.

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.

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.

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. 

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.

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.

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.

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. 

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.

Martinhoe Cleave Cottages

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

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. Facing the sea turn left from Lynmouth Pavilion, carry on the road ignoring the cliff railway and the Coast Path. 
  2. Continue along the road and then through the Esplanade car park. Take the steep footpath on the left towards the end. At the top turn right to Join the Coast Path.
  3. On the Coast Path, turn right and follow it high above the sea for a little over a mile, ignoring the path leading away uphill and inland, to your left, a little beyond the halfway point. Shortly after the disused quarry the path curves to your left, around a craggy hillside with breathtaking rock formations looming above you, and then drops down beneath Castle Rock, to fetch up at the roundabout beyond. Take a detour up Castle Rock for some spectacular coastal views.

In the Devils' Cheesewring area of the Valley of Rocks is Mother Meldrum's Kitchen, the fictitious witch's cave made famous by RD Blackmore in his novel Lorna Doone (see the Lorna Doone Walk).

  1. From the roundabout turn left onto the road, and take the path along the verge, past the tearooms and onto the path to your left opposite the toilets. Take the right fork almost immediately afterwards, leading steeply uphill.

There is a herd of feral goats in the Valley of Rocks, and these can often be seen grazing in this area (see the Lynton and the Valley of Rocks Walk).

  1. Zigzag up the side of Hollerday Hill on this path, taking the detour to the left at the top for some more dramatic views and then returning to the main path.
  2. Where the path forks around the hill, take the right-hand fork and follow it around the hill and into the woods.
  3. The path uphill to your left after about a quarter of a mile will lead you up to the summit of Hollerday Hill, a great viewpoint over the Valley of Rocks and the surrounding countryside.
  4. From the summit, retrace your steps, or be adventurous: there is a network of paths leading through the woods on the hill, well-signposted and easy to follow. Check out the Iron Age fort, and the ruins of Hollerday House, with its tennis court and reservoir.

Hollerday House was built in 1890 by George Newnes. The son of a Derbyshire minister, he was working as a haberdasher in Manchester when he struck gold with the publication of his magazine, Tit-Bits, whose content of short items appealed to a population now receiving a better education and hungry for light entertainment. The magazine Country Life followed; and when his Strand magazine featured the exploits of Sherlock Holmes, crafted by the pen of his great friend Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, Newnes's fortunes rocketed.

In common with many a Romantic, including Coleridge and Wordsworth, Newnes fell in love with the Exmoor coastline; and after several holidays in the area, he decided to move his empire down here, where, like the Scottish Hallidays in neighbouring Glenthorne, (see the Glenthorne Walk), he set about spending his wealth on ambitious projects.

The first was the cliff railway, a water-powered funicular designed by local engineer George Marks and opened in 1890, costing £8000 (see the Valley of Rocks Woodland Walk).

Other gifts to the community followed: Lynton Town Hall, the Congregational Church, the cricket pavilion. Perhaps Newnes's biggest contribution to the district was his role as a leading member of the group responsible for building the Lynton to Barnstaple narrow gauge railway, which opened in 1898.

Despite his altruism, however, Newnes appears to have been something of a snob, and it it said that the reason he pushed for the railway to run (somewhat inconveniently to its passengers) from Lynton rather than the more obvious Minehead was to keep out the hoi poloi and preserve his “Little Switzerland” for the better class of tourists.

On the day the first train ran, one of its chief instigators, William Halliday, passed away, leaving the Halliday fortune to his son Ben, and relations between the Newnes and Halliday families took an abrupt turn for the worse. This was exacerbated by the clandestine romantic affair between Ben and Claire Newnes, George's daughter, culminating, in 1900, in Claire finding herself with Ben's child. Her father responded to the news in an explosive manner which is apparently still the stuff of legend in Lynton today. The two were married, however, and the birth of their twins, and another child in a year or two, eventually softened George's attitude towards the Hallidays.

Claire was a leading light in the women's suffrage movement, and when Hollerday House was burnt down in mysterious circumstances, a short while after the family was forced to sell it after the unexpected collapse of the Newnes empire, there was a suggestion that it was as a result of the action of suffragettes.

  1. When you have finished exploring, take the footpath signposted to Lynton, and follow it downhill to the track below.
  2. From here, drop down onto the road, and turn left, staying on this road until you come to the church.
  3. Pick up the Coast Path again and follow it as it zigzags downhill over the cliff railway and returns you to the start of the walk.

    Public transport

    TW Coaches routes 309 and 310 travel several times a day between Barnstaple and Lynmouth, stopping in the Coach Park in Tors Road, while Quantock Motor Services route 300 travels a few times a day from Minehead, stopping at Lyndale Bridge on Countisbury Hill .

    For timetable information, zoom in on the interactive map and click on the bus stops, visit Traveline or phone 0871 200 22 33.

     

    Parking

    Lynmouth and the Valley of Rocks car park - payment needed

     

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