Walk - Ilfracombe town, Capstone Hill and Lantern Hill

2.2 miles (3.5 km)

Landmark Theatre, Ilfracombe, EX34 9BZ Landmark Theatre, Ilfracombe

Easy - This walk is likely to be suitable for people with impaired mobility or with a pushchair, wheelchair, or mobility scooter.It is graded as mostly Level 1 with a small section of Level 3 (Lantern Hill) which can be bypassed – see map for details. Refer to: www.southwestcoastpath.org.uk/accessibility-grading for full definitions of categories and scooter recommendations.

This circular walk skirts the coast and follows a level path around Capstone Hill towards Lantern Hill. Here it is possible to follow a zig-zag path (Grade 3 due to the slopes) towards St Nicholas’s Chapel, from which there are good views of the coast and Lundy Island. The path then goes around Ilfracombe Harbour to Larkstone beach at the far side, for good views of the working harbour and ‘Verity’ artwork before returning to the start via St James Place. A short extension takes the walker around Jubilee Gardens.

 To download our Access guide, click here where you can find additional mapping and photographs showing gradients, path surfaces and other detailed information such as parking and toilet provision.

Checked by SWCPA Volunteer  - October 2021.

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.

Ocean Backpackers

Quality independent 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. 100m from cosy pub, 5 mins walk to restaurants. Packed lunches by prior arrangement. Book direct for best rates

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

The Devonian Guest House

The Devonian was built as a Gentleman's Victorian Residence in 1883 and is situated in its own acre of woodland and gardens.

High Ways Guest House

Coastal & Countryside Views, caters for any dietary requirements. Bus stop outside

Watermouth Cove Cottages

Watermouth Cove Cottages are ideally situated on the beautiful North Devon coast between the golden surfing beaches of Woolacombe and Croyde and the Exmoor National Park

Lee Meadow Farm Camping

Traditional campsite set in lovely countryside beside the Coast Path. Free hot showers, farm shop on site and bike hire. .

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

Sandaway Beach Holiday Park

Situated on a cliff's edge with breathtaking sea views. There's a stepped path to the private 'Mermaid's Cove' beach, perfect for fishing & dolphin spotting. Relax and eat at Smuggler's Bar and take in the incredible views. Just 1 mile from the Path.

Newberry Beach Lodge

A pebbles throw from the award winning Newberry & Combe Martin beaches, local pubs and cafes. Enjoy a soak in a roll-top bath after a day's walking!

Combe Martin Beach Holiday Park

Combe Martin Beach Holiday Park offers a haven of peace in a picturesque valley, including a woodland walk and natural surroundings for children to roam free and the best sea views in North Devon. Clubhouse with restaurant and bar on-site.

Pack O Cards

Grade2**listed ancient monument offering comfortable, modern accommodation. King size beds, enduite showers.. Varied menu.

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

Seascape Hideaways at Mortehoe

Park Cottage is your ultimate coastal escape and idyllic base from which to explore the Path and rugged Atlantic coast and beaches including Morte Point, Woolacombe and Putsborough.
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 Old Schoolroom Craft Gallery

Contemporary Local Arts and crafts. Maps, books, art supplies, Ice cream, freshly ground coffee and delicious treats to takeaway, limited outdoor seating

The Old Sawmills Inn

Situated between Ilfracombe and Combe Martin, Sawmills provides the perfect stop off for great food, atmosphere and stay in one of 4 thoughtfully designed rooms. Experience the best of North Devon's coast, cuisine and hospitality.
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.

Ilfracombe Tourist Information Centre

Drop in to find all the information you need on things to do and places to visit in Ilfracombe.

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

  1. Facing the Landmark Theatre, turn right to the Promenade, and follow it around Wildersmouth Beach, towards the prominent Capstone Hill.

Originating in Saxon times, Ilfracombe is mentioned in the Domesday Book. The harbour was important for fishing and commercial traffic and had a quay in the Middle Ages. There is still a commercial fishing harbour. It developed as a seaside resort in the 1800s and greatly expanded following the opening of the railway from Barnstaple in the 1870s. This is shown by the dominance of Victorian architecture in the town.

  1. Follow the lower path around Capstone Hill, avoiding the steep, narrow path up the hill.

There are information boards to help interpret the seaward view, and views back over the town and Landmark theatre.

  1. Continue around Capstone Hill to where the paths meet; turn left to follow Coast Path sign into Capstone Road.

Along here you will pass the home of Henry Williamson (author of Tarka the Otter) on the righthand side.

  1. At the end of Capstone Road, turn left on The Quay, keeping the prominent Britannia Hotel to your right. Carry on, heading for the tall “Verity” statue, which stands at the end of the Pier.

This 25-metre bronze and stainless-steel sculpture is of a pregnant Amazonian figure with a sword gazing out on the Bristol Channel by Damien Hurst, was erected in 2012.

  1. Here it is possible to take the zig-zag path up Lantern Hill to the base of St Nicholas’s Chapel, on the top of the hill, and enjoy the fine views of the coast. The path sloping up is Grade 3 due to its steepness but is tarmacked.
  2. From the Pier, walk back around the harbour, returning to the Royal Britannia Hotel, then turning left on Broad Street. At this stage it is possible to turn almost immediately right on St James Place to return to the start of the walk.
  3. Take the first left on Hierns Lane and follow it onto Marine Drive. Follow Marine Drive around the harbour, and up the hill.

There are good views over the harbour to Lantern Hill.

  1.  This walk ends by the Landtrain bus stop, where the Coast Path leaves the main pavement of Marine Drive to drop down to Larkstone Beach.  Beyond here the Path is narrow and stepped. Retrace your steps by the Harbour and back to Broad Street, then left on St James Place.
  2. After passing the large church, the two towers of the Landmark theatre will be seen, to guide you back to the start, keeping the Crazy Golf course to your left.
  3. From the start, it is easy to make a small extension to visit Jubilee Gardens.


Public transport

There is a regular service between Ilfracombe and Barnstaple, with stops on Wilder Road, next to the Jubilee Gardens Car Park.


Jubilee Gardens car park (payment needed 8am to 6pm, at time of writing) in front of the Landmark theatre has 31 spaces, and 7 disabled bays.


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