Walk - Hartland Quay Circular

4.0 miles (6.5 km)

Hartland Quay Car Park - EX39 6DU Hartland Quay Car Park

Moderate - The terrain is very varied, with easy and level stretches and some steep, uneven climbs.

The sound of bubbling water follows you almost all the way around this beautiful circular walk. The route takes you along the Coast Path past streams banked with yellow flag irises, foxgloves and campion in the summer, along wooded inland paths carpeted with bluebells and wild garlic in the spring, and quiet farm lanes dotted with primroses. A good walk in autumn, when flocks of migrant seabirds can be seen passing offshore and the stubble of the fields is full of small birds feeding on the fallen seeds. Older children will be fascinated by the rock formations and the spectacular plunging waterfalls.

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.

Stoke Barton Farm Campsite

Set 1/2 mile from the Path, we offer camping and full facilities incl.Taxi available to the nearest shops. 2 Pixie Huts with king size sprung beds

Hartland Caravan Holidays

Nautically themed static caravans. Bed linen & towels provided. 2min walk to shops, cafe & pub. Single night stays welcome. Lifts to path on request.

Little Barton Hartland Cottage & Farmhouse

20 mins walk from the Path at Spekes Mill, Hartland, Little Barton Farmhouse sleeps 10. Cottage sleeps up to 6. The Cottage can be booked for 2 people, for 2 nights or more

Gawlish Farm B&B

B&B and Self Catering. Single Night Stays. Hearty locally sourced breakfast.

Hartland Quay Hotel, Hartland

On the edge of the Atlantic ocean, the Hartland Quay Hotel and Wreckers Retreat Bar provides refuge and refreshment for tired walkers!

Philham Holiday Lets

Rural, warm comfortable self-catering accommodation 3 miles from Hartland Quay. Each with wi-fi, tv, towels, linen and fully equipped kitchen & washer dryer


A relaxed friendly warm welcome awaits walkers. Sel-catering double room annexe with own entrance or Shepherd's Hut (sleeps 2). Breakfasts and list by prior arrangement

Fosfelle Country House Glamping and Cottages

Fosfelle Cottages, Camping and Glamping. Perfect for those who want to stay within easy access of the coastal path with its easy access to Hartland, Clovelly and Bude.

Pitt Farm Camping

Working dairy farm with basic facilities for budget camping

West Welsford Wild Camping

Basic camping on cornish dairy farm. 2 miles from the coast. Great views.

Coastal Cabins Glamping

Coastal Cabins Glamping - Award winning glamping North Devon style, at its finest.

West Titchberry Farm

Welcoming B&B conveniently situated for the Path. Evening meal & packed lunches on request. Pick up/drop off available. Call 01237 441287 for bookings

Roeys Retreat Campsite

On-site Shop, Facilities, Children's Area, Dogs Welcome, Communal BBQs & Fire Pits to use.

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.

Docton Mill Gardens and Tea Rooms

Located in a delightful sheltered courtyard. Famous for cream-teas and also offer a selection of filled rolls, crab, salmon, beef, cheese and a variety of homemade cakes served with a selection of teas & beverages. Open 1 April - 5 October.

Hartland Point Refreshment Kiosk

A welcome Refreshment stop - fresh coffee, tea, soft drinks, light bites, snacks, ice creams etc.

Interactive Elevation

Route Description

  1. From the car park above the Hartland Quay Hotel, follow the Coast Path sign to Spekes Mill along a fairly wide path.

Views of the spectacular rock formations and black finger like reefs exposed at low tide, provide a fantastic start to the walk, especially when contrasted with banks of pink thrift, sheeps bit and yellow birdsfoot trefoil present in late spring and early summer.

  1. The path takes you around the headland towards St Catherine’s Tor, a prominence that is believed to have had a Roman Villa or chapel on top, although this may well have fallen into the sea along with much of the Tor. As you follow the path which runs upstream behind the Tor, take a moment to look at the waterfall tumbling to the beach below. Cross the stream via the stepping stones and follow the acorn sign across the field to a gate. The path is easy to follow here with spectacular views up the coastline and beyond to Lundy Island, but does then fall quite steeply down to Spekes Mill Mouth.

Here, the two streams that rise on the high ground of Bursdon Moor cascade down a sheer rock face and through a series of smaller falls before tumbling to the sea below.

All the land between Hartland Quay and Speke's Mill Mouth is managed with conservation in mind under a government funded scheme called Environmental Stewardship.

For the last ten or so years, the landowners have been positively managing their coastal heathland and grassland. Invasive gorse has been controlled by burning, while cattle graze during summer to help enrich the pasture. Additionally, a number of fields through which you pass used to grow arable crops - nowadays it's difficult to tell which ones!

  1. At Spekes Mill Mouth you leave the South West Coast Path and follow the public footpath sign to Lymebridge up a wide stony track. Stay on this track, keeping right at the fork ahead, and passing through a lightly wooded area, until you reach a road.
  2. To continue the walk, follow the lane left to a crossroads and left again up a steep hill, however a short detour to Docton Mill gardens is available by turning right on meeting the road. Continue straight on at Kernstone Cross, following the farm track to Wargery Farm. The track leads you left, providing glimpses of Lundy Island and the church tower in Stoke. The path gradually narrows and passes through some pretty wooded areas.

There are some steep climbs here and the path is quite uneven until you reach the lane which leads to Stoke.

  1. On entering Stoke, turn left and follow the road signposted to Hartland Quay, right past some tea rooms and St Nectan’s Church, and pick up the public footpath at the corner of some coastguard cottages.

Known as the “Cathedral of North Devon”, this 14th century church has the second tallest tower in Devon and its original wooden rood screen.

  1. You can avoid the road altogether by walking through the churchyard and over the steps in the far right corner, and then pick up the public footpath running in front of the cottages. The path runs parallel to the road through some fields and over some stone steps, past Rocket House and over a stile where you pick up the Coast Path back to the car park.

Public transport

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



Parking is available at Hartland Quay (Postcode for Sat Navs: EX39 6DU which will bring you to St Nectan's Church - continue on for 0.5mile to car park). Access is possible all year round with a small £3 toll/parking charge applicable during the season. 


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