Walk - Whalesborough Farm- The Hare Walk

3.0 miles (4.8 km)

The Weir, Whalesborough Farm The Weir, Whalesborough Farm

Moderate -

A fascinating walk linking Whalesborough's cafe and wildlife centre with the Coast Path at Widemouth Bay. This is an easy-going route which includes newly-planted woodland, a valley bottom of reeds and rushes, coastal dunes and farmland giving pleasant views. The walk crosses terrain much favoured by hares, although they are shy creatures and you will be lucky if you see one.

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.


Award Winning - spacious, contemporary coastal home with enclosed garden just 5 mins from the Path. Pub, beach cafe and shop within easy reach. Sleeps 6 and dogs welcome. EV Charging Point available.

Efford Down Campsite

Basic hillside camping right in the heart of Bude. Close to SWCP, cafes, pubs, beaches and shops.

Widemouth Bay Caravan Park

Set in 50 acres of grounds in peaceful countryside with the famous Widemouth Bay within walking distance. A lively park, great for children with entertainment and an indoor pool. Self-catering & camping available.

Canalside Bude

2 Bed, 2 Bath self catering apartment overlooking Bude's gorgeous canal. Walking distance from South West Coast Path, Pubs and Restaurants. Private Garden with BBQ.

Sea Jade Guest House

Sea Jade has 7 en-suite rooms. Single night stays welcome. Happy to help with travel arrangements.Come as a guest,leave as a friend.

Sunrise Guesthouse

The Bude Guest House, Sunrise is situated 200m from the South West Coast Path offering opportunity to walk both north and south using us as your base.

The Tree Inn

The Tree Inn is a charming former Manor House dating back to the C13th. We offer 6 comfortable rooms, 2 bars, restaurant a flower filled courtyard.

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.

Brendon Arms

Bude's best known inn, owned and run by the Brendon family since 1872.Overlooking Bude's inner harbour and 200 yards from the unique sea-lock and Summerleazes Beach.
What is on your list of things to do when you visit the Path? From walking companies, to help you tailor your visit, with itineraries and experts to enhance your visit, to baggage transfer companies and visitor attractions there are lots to people and places to help you decide what you'd like to do. The businesses that support the Path, where you've chosen to visit, are listed here.

Bayside Taxis

Family run friendly reliable taxi service 8-seater mini bus and car (dogs welcome) covering North Cornwall coast path

Bude Tourist Information Centre

Modern TIC, open 360 days of the year. Large resource of books, maps, guides, and local information. Free and comprehensive accommodation booking service/

Friends of Bude Sea Pool

FOBSP charity set up 10 years ago to save and enhance BSP. The SWCP goes along our perimeter path so people can enjoy a swim along the way too.

Trev's Taxi

A local taxi service based in Bude in the beautiful county of Cornwall. Providing an efficient service around Bude and surrounding areas. Particularly convenient for visitors walking the Coast Path.

Interactive Elevation

Route Description

Keep an eye open for the occasional red hare waymarks on this walk.

  1. From the cafe and wildlife centre at The Weir walk down the lane towards the A39 road. At the bottom of the slope go through the gate on the right by the parking area at a public footpath sign. The information board by the gate gives an idea of some of the trees, plants and wildlife you may see in the area.

Go into the field and climb the slope, bearing right to reach a gate in the hedge.

  1. Don’t go through the gate but turn left and follow the hedge and field edge as it turns left then straightens. Passing through two gateways you will reach the end of the field.

While crossing the slope, the village of Marhamchurch will be seen ahead, its church tower prominent. Appropriately, the village is named after its church, which is dedicated to St Marwenne. She was a 5th century Celtic saint, said to be one of 24 brothers and sisters who came by sea from Wales and founded religious centres along the coast of North Cornwall. An early church here was replaced by the present building in the 1400s, doubly important because its tower served as a landmark for sailors.
Keep along the field edge as it then turns right.

  1. At the end of the field the walk arrives at a plantation of young trees. On reaching the trees bear slightly to the right, following a grassy path along the outside edge of this plantation.

This woodland was planted in 2001 by the owners of Whalesborough Farm. It is an area of mixed planting, partly broadleaved woodland and partly coniferous. Species include ash, oak, rowan and hazel. The wet grasslands in this shallow valley bottom were not especially good for farming, while the trees made a good habitat and shelter for birds and insects.
When the path arrives at a hedgerow turn left across a sometimes wet area then almost immediately turn right, through a gate.
There are boards to help the crossing of another wet area, where there is a small stream.
Take the left-hand path after the boardwalk and follow this grassy path through the young plantation.
The shrubs alongside this path and around the edges of the plantation were introduced at the same time as the trees to act as a source of food for birds. As well as species such as whitethroat, blackcap and chiffchaff the combination of trees, shrubs and open fields is also a good habitat for cuckoos and barn owls. The plants also attract butterflies.

  1. The path turns left then right to cross another stream on a boardwalk. It now continues along the valley bottom past a combination of indigenous and planted trees. After crossing another sometimes wet area it emerges in an open field.
  2. Enter the field and turn left, alongside the hedge. The path curves slightly, following the stream at the bottom of the valley, until it and heads for the sea, now visible ahead.

This is one of the lengths of the walk where it just may be possible to see hares. They are instantly recognisable in being larger than a rabbit, longer legged and with longer, black-tipped ears. In the spring the males chase and sometimes box one another. Formerly widespread, they are now relatively uncommon.

  1. Another boardwalk now brings the path to an area of reeds and rushes.

This is a very different landscape, relatively unusual in North Cornwall. A variety of birdlife is seen and heard, especially reed, sedge and willow warblers.
To the left, on the valley side, is the modern settlement of Widemouth Bay. There was little or no development here until well into the 20th century, when tourism made this a popular location. The bay here (pronounced “widmouth”) is now much used for surfing.

  1. Keep ahead to a gate onto the coast road (Marine Drive).
  2. Cross the road and go through the gap to cross the dunes.

In the car park to the left are seasonal refreshments and toilets while up the road to the right is a general shop.
On the seaward side of the dunes the walk reaches the South West Coast Path.
Turn right, between the refreshment tables then ahead by the edge of the dunes to a footbridge.
After a little way the Coast Path diverts to pass inland of Salthouse.Salthouse dates from the 18th century. As the name implies, it has in the past been a salt store; it has also been a fish cellar, locally-caught pilchards being stored in salt in the building. As recently as 1900 it was the only building at Widemouth Bay.

  1. At the far end of Salthouse, just after the drive, turn right along the path away from the Coast Path and back to the road.

A little way along the road to the right is another refreshment opportunity, the Bay View Inn.
Cross the road and go through the gate, following the left-hand field edge up to the top corner.
There are excellent views from here along the coast to Penhalt Cliff, the flat-topped Dizzard Cliff behind and, in the distance, the distinctive triangular shape of Cambeak, the headland near Crackington Haven.

  1. Enter the left-hand field ahead, bearing diagonally left over this field. Go through the next gate and follow the hedge ahead.

This relatively high location gives good views over a wide area. Ahead is seen Marhamchurch village again, noted earlier in the walk. To the left of the village is the Hele Valley which you can explore on another of the Whalesborough walks.

  1. Pass through the next gate and descend diagonally to the left. At the gate at the bottom the path re-joins the outward route at point 2. Go through this gate and again descend diagonally left to the gate onto the access lane to Whalesborough and The Weir. Turn left to return to The Weir.

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