Walk - Lee Meadow- Putsborough via Marine Drive

9.7 miles (15.7 km)

Lee Meadow Lee Meadow

Easy -

After reaching Woolacombe this becomes an easy level walk above Morte Bay with spectacular views from Baggy Point to Morte Point and out to Lundy. The beach stretches for over 2 miles. Those of us with, at least, a moderate level of fitness will enjoy this walk.

This walk is an easy walk if you are driving to Marine Drive or Woolacombe. It is a moderate walk if you are walking from Lee Meadow. The distances and mapping assume you are walking from Lee Meadow!

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.

Byron Apartments

A selection of luxury seaside apartments, with fantastic on-site facilities including a swimming pool and gym, set in the heart of popular resort of Woolacombe, ideally placed to explore 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

Willingcott Valley Holiday Village

Outstanding self-catering cottages set in 100-acre estate with stunning views, ponds and walks. Ideal for families/large groups. Heated pool & clubhouse on-site.2 miles to beach and Path.

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.

Breakers B&B

Beach-side B&B only 1 minute from the Coast Path, with stunning ocean views, comfortable en-suite rooms and a warm welcome after a long day's walk.

Sunnymead Farm Camping & Touring Site

Small friendly family run site, 4 AA Pennant, stunning views, dogs welcome FOC, hot showers, EHU's, large level pitches, play area, bus stop

Silver Cottage B&B

A charming two double bedroom B&B, private sitting room, kitchenette, terrace and shower room. A warm welcome for walkers. No extra charge for single night stays or single occupancy

Trojen Bed & Breakfast

Relax in our B and B situated half a mile from Coastal Path in a quiet cul de sac in Braunton. Private lounge/ diner and super King ensuite with views of estuary to Appledore

Bennings B&B

Friendly, family run B&B. Double and twin rooms, both en suite. No charge for Wi-Fi. Great location and generous breakfast for your next day's walk!

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
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.

The Quay Cafe

Located right on the famous SW Coast Path our dog-friendly, fully licensed café offers organic coffee, great food, delicious cream teas.....
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.

Woolacombe Tourist Information

Check out all the information you need for enjoying the Woolacombe & Morthoe area at this award winning TIC.

Interactive Elevation

Route Description

A walk above Morte Bay with spectacular views from Baggy Point to Morte Point and out to Lundy. The beach stretches for over 2 miles. Woolacombe Sands is over two miles (3km) long and was given to the National Trust in 1909 by Miss Rosalie Chichester of Arlington Court in memory of her parents. She was also largely responsible for the creation of the holiday village as we see it today.

If walking to Woolacombe then:

  1. Leaving Lee Meadow Farm Camping turn right and walk along Shaftsborough Lane. Turn right at the end, over the bridge and then right into the car park.  Turn left and join the cycle path heading westwards towards Woolacombe. Keep on the cycle path as it crosses the lane leading to Borough Farm.
  2. As you reach the B3343, turn right up Mortehoe Station Road, signposted Mortehoe. Just past Pool Lane, turn left down Sandy Lane. Keep left at the next junction and follow the lane past the holiday park and into Woolacombe.
  3. In Woolacombe bear right but then follow the road that runs between the pub and the beach car park. This is Challacombe Hill Road which runs parallel to the beach in a westward direction. Keep to the pavement on the right hand side of the road until you reach Marine Drive.

If driving to Woolacombe then:

Leaving Lee Meadow Farm Camping turn right and drive along Shaftsborough Lane. Turn right at the junction. At the next junction, the B3343, turn right and follow the twisting main road until you reach Woolacombe. In Woolacombe follow the road to the left and head up Challacombe Hill Road. Look for Marine Drive on your right.

This is a 3.5 mile drive that should take about 10 minutes.

  1. Park along Marine Drive (fee payable).

The path is wide- except for one stretch above Putsborough Sands where the path (gradient - 1:7 uphill for about 10 metres) narrows to a width of just over a metre.

Below can be seen the dunes of Woolacombe Warren. Erosion is a major problem in these sand dunes. Prior to the Second World War, they were used as a golf course and during the war, they were devastated by defensive works and invasion training. Nowadays, constant use of the paths adds to erosion. In the 1970s, marram grass was planted to stabilise the sand - to great success and grazing by rabbits encourages the growth of plants such as thyme, eyebright and yellow stonecrop. Bee orchids and pyramidal orchids can also be seen, as well as mats of lichens. Rare plants such as Portland spurge, sea holly and sea spurge grow at the Woolacombe end of the sand dunes.

Whatever the season there is spectacular coastal scenery even if you have to turn back at either of the gradients. There are no steps or seats along the route. There are toilets halfway along the Marine Drive car park.

  1. At Putsborough Beach carpark there is a cafe. The cafe is open every day from April until the end of October and all weekends throughout the winter.

At the beginning of the Second World War, these beaches were protected by barbed wire and guns, with large posts positioned across the beach to stop enemy boats and aircraft landing. In 1943 the beaches were put to a very important and secret purpose - as the training grounds for the US Assault Training Centre. American troops took over the coastline from Morte Point to Appledore in preparation for landing on the Normandy beaches on D-Day, 6 June 1944.

A fascinating account of local life during the Second World War can be found in the BBC archives. Written by "Woolacombe Girl" it vividly describes how life changed in the area. At one point she writes..." 'My Mother remembers the excitement of seeing the first troops of the London Yeomanry arrive who were sent to defend Woolacombe against invasion. Heading the regiment was Colonel Carr who already conveniently owned a house a Putsborough at the far end of Woolacombe beach. They requisitioned Putsborough Sands & the Woolacombe Bay Hotel for their Headquarters and many other houses and small hotels for the rest of the regiment, one of which was Heatherlea at Putsborough. Heatherlea was burnt to the ground in 1941 resulting in the death of one person, the cook who foolishly went back for her treasured possessions. Locals remember Lady Carr being chauffeur driven along the Marine Drive to do her shopping at Woolacombe.

You can either retrace your steps along Marine Drive or walk along the sands (though NOT suitable for pushchairs) BUT there are dunes with a steep climb for 10 metres before finding a signposted path back to Marine Drive. Drive back to Lee Meadow by reversing your previous car journey.

  1. If walking back to Lee Meadow keep on the sands until you reach Woolacombe. Walk up through the car park and return along Sandy Lane retracing your steps back to Lee Meadow.

Parking

In Woolacombe and Marine Drive

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