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Abbotsham Cliff beach and Kipling's Tor, Westward Ho!

Devon Walk

County/Area - Devon

Author - The Pig on the Hill

Length - 3.5 miles / 5.7 km    Ascent - 300 feet / 91 metres

Time - 2 hours 0 minutes    Grade - easy

Maps Ordnance Survey Logo Anquet Maps Logo

Ordnance Survey Explorer 139Sheet Map1:25kBUY
Anquet OS Explorer 139Digital Map1:25kBUY
Ordnance Survey Landranger 180Sheet Map1:50kBUY
Anquet OS Landranger 180Digital Map1:50kBUY

Walk Route Description

Photo from the walk - Abbotsham Cliff beach and Kipling's Tor, Westward Ho!
Click image to see photo description.

This walk along the North Devon Coast includes a section of the South West Coast National Trail. The route follows paths and lanes so a stout pair of walking shoes is not essential but, when wet, you might be glad of them. A waterproof jacket is always advisable. Remember this is the Atlantic coast after all. Route finding is straightforward and you might wish to explore away from the route as described.

Begin the walk at the entrance to the Pig on the hill driveway. Turn left up the country lane and cross the stile on your left. Continue through two fields and then turn left onto the lane. Follow this down the hill and up the other side. At the next junction turn right (un-signposted) and follow the lane towards the sea. By now you should be feeling the sea breeze (or howling wind). There is a gate to lean on up ahead perfectly positioned to enjoy the view.

Continue along the lane to Abbotsham Court. Turn right on the paved lane towards the beach. At the end, turn left over a stile. Follow the path towards the sea, kinking to the right as you come over the brow of the hill. Lundy is ahead, Clovelly and Hartland Point are to the left, and Baggy Point is on the right.

In the 1920s, the valley below was home to Shebberton race course 'the most beautifully situated racecourse in England'. At the bottom of the hill, cross the stile to Abbotsham Cliff beach. The gullies and crevices of this beach are home to lobster, shrimp and Conger eels, with occasional visits from porpoises and seals.

Turn right and follow the coast path with the sea on your left. The path here follows the course of the old Bideford to Westward Ho! railway. Built in 1901, the cuttings were blasted through the rock. This stretch is long and straight and the walking easy.

The village of Westward Ho! Soon comes into view. On your right is Kipling Tor, which is names after the Jungle Book author, Rudyard Kipling, whose schooldays here in the 1870s inspired his novel Stalky and co.

The climb onto the Tor is worth the effort providing some wonderful views. Turn right on the steep path that leads upwards. At its end is the Lookout, with the best views of Bideford Bay. From the Lookout you can see the white Saunton Sands Hotel. The beach below it has starred on album covers (Pink Floyd) and in music videos (Robbie Williams). During WW2, over 10,000 American GIs trained for the D-Day invasion on Braunton Burrows (the dunes behind), which is now a designated UNESCO biosphere.

After taking in the view, retrace your footsteps down the hill and turn right on the first path. Follow the path across the top of the Tor. At the crossroads of paths, turn right and follow the path upwards through the trees and all the way up until you come to a metal gate at a road. Go straight across and follow the lane downwards.

You soon arrive at the Pig on The hill for well needed refreshment!

Other walks nearby

Walk 2161 Appledore to Westward Ho!easy4.5 miles
Walk 2295 Buck's Mill & Peppercombeeasy/mod6.2 miles
Walk 2028 Croyde to Baggy Point Circulareasy5.5 miles
Walk 1719 Clovelly & the South West Coast Patheasy/mod6.0 miles
Walk 3749 Codden Hill Circulareasy/mod4.8 miles
Walk 1797 Morthoe, Morte Point & Bull Point circulareasy/mod6.0 miles
Walk 1824 Hartland Point Circulareasy3.0 miles
Walk 1261 Hartland Point circularmoderate10.0 miles
Walk 3208 Stoke & Hartland Quaymoderate6.4 miles
Walk 3207 Knap Head to Mansley Cliffmoderate8.0 miles

Recommended Books & eBooks

The South West Coast Path

The South West Coast PathGuidebook to walking the entire South West Coast Path National Trail. The route runs for 630 miles from Minehead to Poole along the north Devon, Cornish, south Devon and Dorset coastline. Divided into 45 stages, this long-distance coastal trek could be completed within 4 weeks, or walked in sections. Guide includes maps and essential information.
More information

South West Coast Path Map Booklet - St Ives to Plymouth

South West Coast Path Map Booklet - St Ives to PlymouthMap of part of the southern section of the 630 mile (1014km) South West Coast Path National Trail. Covers the trail from St Ives to Plymouth along the west Cornwall and Devon coastline. This convenient and compact booklet of Ordnance Survey 1:25,000 maps shows the route, providing all of the mapping you need to walk the trail in either direction.
More information

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