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 Brownsham to Clovelly

Starting point  and OS Grid reference:

National Trust car park at Brownsham (SS 285260)

Ordnance Survey Map

OS Explorer Map 126 - Clovelly and Hartland.

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Distance:  6 miles

Traffic light rating:

(For explanation see My Walks page)

Memory Map.jpg    gpx logo.jpg  

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 Click the PDF logo above to give a printable version of this walk without the photos.

  Devon walk,Brownsham to Clovelly sketch map  

To view route as a dynamic Ordnance Survey map click here.

Introduction: This is a very easy walk which shows off a short section of the North Devon coast and the picturesque village of Clovelly.The island of Lundy is clearly visible about 12 miles out to sea but it looks closer. The main street in Clovelly is very steep and barred to traffic and locals use sled contraptions to haul supplies to their houses from the parking area at the top. There are public toilets in Clovelly and refreshments aplenty. I chose the Red Lion Hotel down by the harbour which was fine. An advantage of approaching Clovelly this way at busy times is that you avoid the mayhem and cost of the tourist car park!

The walk starts from the National Trust car park at the hamlet of Brownsham (SS 285260) To get there, turn north off the A39 Bideford to Kilhampton road on to the B3248 to Hartland. After about one and a half miles, on a bend, turn right following the small white on black sign for Lundy Heliport. At the first junction, keep straight ahead for Hartland Point and Lighthouse. At the next two junctions, follow the signs to Brownsham. The National Trust car park is clearly marked.

Start: Leave the car park on to the road and turn left. Walk down the road and take the bridleway on the right following the  direction of the fingerpost  Mouthmill I mile. At a fork, where the right hand fork is gated, keep left. Follow the clear stony track down the hill ignoring any turns off, until you reach another fork. The left fork goes to Mouthmill Bay but go right following the public bridleway sign.

At another junction a few yards further on, turn left, again following the public bridleway sign. After about 100yards, fork right indicated by another public bridleway sign.

At a gate, the track goes straight on – there is a blue public bridleway arrow. Go through another gate and the route crosses the middle of an open field. Follow this to the far right hand corner form where the track follows the line of the trees (SS 303256).

Clovelly Bay

As the track descends to Court Farm, you start to get views of Clovelly Bay to the left. The track passes between the farmhouse on the left and the lovely thatched Dairy Cottage on the right before becoming a tarmac road. Stay on this, ignoring any minor turns off and when it forks at a bend, go right and exit into the road through the impressive estate gates (SS 309250). Follow the road down towards Clovelly.

You will arrive at a fork, the right leg being signed “All vehicles for Clovelly”. Go left and note the finger post here indicating the coastal path left (SS 316250). This is where you resume the walk after visiting the village. It is worth a walk down to the harbour at the bottom and the Fishermens’ Chapel off the right of the main street is interesting.

        Clovelly       Fishermans Chapel, Clovelly

Cottages at Clovelly

Clovelly Harbour

Return to the coastal path finger post mentioned above and follow the coastal path through a large wooden gate. Keep right at two forks in the path, following the coastal path, going through a kissing gate and passing a stone shelter.

        Angels Wings shelter        Blackchurch Rock

Stay on the coast path ignoring a footpath to the church. You soon come to an unusual shelter called the Angels Wings with carved wooden supports, built in 1826 (restored 1934).

At the junction with a broad track, keep right following the coastal path fingerpost and shortly afterwards, the path opens on to open land with good views along the coast, inland across rolling countryside and of Lundy Island.

At SS 302263, the coastal path turns left and then immediately right but here there is also a permissive path to a viewpoint for Blackchurch Rock which is worth a diversion. The distance is given as ½ mile but it does not seem as far as this. There is an impressive Grade II listed summerhouse there built in 1820 by Dame Diana Hamlyn (SS 299266).

Mouthmill Bay

Returning to the coastal path, follow it to Mouthmill Bay where you descend to the stream. The footpath climbs at the other side but before continuing, it is worth crossing the pebble beach for another view of Blackchurch Rock. There is an old limekiln at this beach.

       Limekiln at Mouthmill Bay        Blackchurch Rock

Just past the limekiln and after passing another old building, the coastal path is on the right. Shortly after climbing a flight of stairs, enter the National Trust land of Brownsham. Turn right along the field. Climb some wooden steps and go through a walkers’ gate. Follow the path in the direction of the sign Windbury Point 1¼ miles, round the field with the hedge on the right.

At the end of the field through a walkers’ gate is a three way fingerpost. Go left – Brownsham  ½  Mile.

Cross another stile and go across two fields before another stile leads you down a narrow footpath. Descend through the trees until you reach another three way fingerpost and take the left path to Brownsham. A final fingerpost indicating Brownsham Car Park takes you back to your starting point.

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All information on this site is given in good faith and no liability is accepted in respect of any damage, loss or injury which might result from acting on it.