Clovelly Harbour Blackchurch Rock Hartland Point Hartland Quay Ronald Duncan's Hut Morwenstow Church Duckpool Sandymouth

30-60 minutes north

Clovelly

As one of the most famous and prettiest villages in Britain Clovelly needs little introduction. Attractive cottages tumble down the hillside to the lovely harbour at the bottom. Climbing back up the steep cobbled streets can be a challenge on a hot day but donkeys and landrovers come to the rescue if needed. It can get a little crowded in the peak season but on a good day in the low season you will encounter few other visitors. The high and steep coastline here is sheltered from the winter storms and is covered in beautiful sessile oak woodlands. Superb walking is possible in both directions, to the striking Blackchurch Rock at Mouth Mill to the west, and to the east along Hobby Drive towards the attractive village of Buck's Mills, a smaller version of Clovelly with far fewer visitors.

Hartland Quay

Visit Hartland Quay on a windy day with a big swell if you can; it is a good bad weather option! Probably the wildest section of coastline in England and a wonderful setting for a great pub. It is hard to imagine that boats used to dock here on the notorious 'Shipwreck Coast' with over 200 ships lost. A good short walk option takes you south in 20 minutes to Speke's Mill Mouth with its double waterfall. You can drive up to Hartland Point with its lighthouse or walk this spectacular coast path section in an hour and a half. Just behind Hartland Quay lies the pretty village of Stoke with its attractive Church of St Nectan, known as the 'Cathedral of North Devon'. Within walking distance you can also visit Hartland Abbey and Docton Mill, both with beautiful gardens.

Welcombe

Feeling remote, but accessible by car on an unmetalled road, Welcombe is one of the quietest beaches in the school holidays. At low tide you can walk south around the headland to Marsland Mouth and the Marsland Valley Nature Reserve, famous for its butterflies; at high tide you will have to go steeply over the top, but this will afford you the opportunity to visit Ronald Duncan's hut. Both north, and especially south, of here, lie some of the most remote and toughest sections of the whole South West Coast path if you are feeling energetic.

Morwenstow

There are only a few things to see at Morwenstow but don't let that put you off visiting because all are special. As the parish of the famed eccentric the Reverend Hawker, the church and its beautiful churchyard, are very interesting, and the coastline is stunning. Be sure to make the short walk past the church to the cliffs, where slightly south along the coastpath Hawker's Hut, the smallest National Trust property, can be found set into the cliffs. Beyond lies precipitous Higher Sharpnose Point, well worth the 20 minute walk to visit for far reaching views up and down the south west coast. You can finish your visit in the Rectory Tea Rooms or at the 13th century Bush Inn, the best pub between Widemouth and Hartland Quay.

Duckpool

Duckpool, a small beach enclosed by steep cliffs, lies at the end of the beautiful Coombe Valley. Walks head off in all directions, up the valley into Lee Wood and Stowe Wood, and south to Sandymouth, reachable both over the cliffs and, with care, over the rocks at low tide. The climb up the obvious diagonal path to the north is a must for the view back down the valley and, if you are curious, you can carry on for 20 minutes to see the spooks at GCHQ Bude (the radar dishes you have been seeing from all over North Cornwall), or for them to see you.

Sandymouth

Simply one of the most beautiful beaches on the Atlantic coast; at low tide the beach seems to go on forever and it is possible to walk south along it all the way to Compass Point at Bude. A waterfall falls onto the beach and the cliffs to the north are spectacular, especially at sunset. Excellent for swimming and surfing, accessible by car but never crowded; Sandymouth is a personal favourite of Guinevere's owners. Look out for the wreck buried in the sand below Menachurch Point to the south.

Guinevere, Tintagel

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