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 Hartland Point and Hartland Quay

Starting point  and OS Grid reference:

Hartland Village Car Park (SS 259245)

Ordnance Survey Map

OS Explorer Map 126 - Clovelly and Hartland.

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Distance:  8.5 miles

Traffic light rating:

(For explanation see My Walks page)

  Memory Map.jpg    gpx logo.jpg    

For advice on .gpx files see         My Walks page

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

Devon walkHartland Point and Hartland Quay - sketch map  

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

Introduction: This walk takes you to the most north westerly corner of Devon with its lighthouse and Hartland quay with a fascinating little museum. However, the star of the show is the geology of the cliffs all along the route which show off spectacularly the folded strata. There is a small amount of road walking to achieve a circular walk but this is on quiet lanes. You are only likely to meet a few cars on a short section of about half a mile near the village of Stoke as they pass through to Hartland Quay.

(Note: This walk could be extended by using my Spekes Mill Mouth to Docton Mill walk directions from Hartland Quay onwards.)

The walk starts in the village of Hartland where there is a free car park, public toilets and pubs were you could get a refreshment after the walk although you need to watch their opening times. There are other opportunities to obtain sustenance at Cheristow Lavender farm, Hartland Point and Hartland Quay. To get to Hartland, turn off the A39 Bideford to Bude road on to the B3248 just west of the Clovelly turn.

Start: From the car park (SS 249245), walk straight ahead passing the Hart Inn on the right. As you reach the end of 30mph speed limit sign, turn right down an unmade road – there is a finger post on the right indicating the way.

Walk along this road to the British Geological Survey Magnetic Observatory, a fairly non-descript site but worthy of mention for walkers because its data is used in calculating the magnetic variation shown on Ordnance Survey maps. The path passes down the left hand side of the observatory.

This path becomes a broad track through the trees. Follow this downhill and as it opens into a small clearing, cross a footbridge and bear left heading for a stile in the corner. There is a three way finger post.

Cross the stile (SS 254248)and take the footpath climbing ahead through the trees (ignoring the main track which continues more level). On reaching a field, cross the stile and follow the hedge on the right. Another stile at the top of the field takes you into a lane at first bare earth then tarmac.

Follow this lane to Cheristow Lavender farm (which has a fabulous tea room). Beyond the farm, at the road ‘T’ junction, turn right then first left signposted Hartland Point Lighthouse. Stay on this lane ignoring any turns.

After crossing Shamely Bridge (SS 246268), turn left at the ‘T’ junction.

Just before the National Trust car park at East Titchberry, turn right (SS 244270), following the finger post for Coastal Path Bridleway and follow this track past the thatched farm, a listed 17th century building. Where it forks at a gate, take the right fork and the narrow footpath straight ahead. This path emerges on to the coast path above Shipload Bay, with your first glimpse of dramatic rock strata on the cliffs. Turn left and follow the fingerpost towards Hartland Point, passing a radar station.

Shipload Bay

Hartland Point

At Hartland Point car park (where there is a refreshment kiosk), take the footpath heading towards the radio mast and coastguard station, turning left just in front of it, although it is worth making the short diversion to the viewpoint on the far side first  for good views of the lighthouse built in 1874 and the remains of the ship Johanna which ran aground on 31 December 1982.

       Hartland Point lighthouse         wreck of the Johanna

Continuing the coast path you pass a monument (SS 230274) to the Glenart Castle hospital ship which was torpedoed by the Germans in World War I on 26 February 1918.

The path descends to a brook and as it does, you will see steps climbing the other side which is your continued route. Stay on the coast path ignoring the left turn indicated by a public footpath finger post.

       Blackpool Mill Bay         Rock Strata

The path descends to Gull rock, climbs again then descends to Blackpool Mill (SS 227257). Here, it turns briefly inland on a broad track before turning right just after the cottage.

As you climb to the top of the rise, ignore the small track to the right. The path forks but both legs meet up shortly.

The tall tower of Stoke church appears to the left and the ruins of an old tower ahead. Inland, you can see the village of Hartland.

Ruined Tower near Hartland Quay

Rock strata at Hartland Quay

As you approach the stone cottage Rocket House, turn right and follow the path down to Hartland Quay (SS 223248). The Hartland Quay Hotel provides yet another pit stop opportunity. Please do not miss the museum accessed through the shop which has a fascinating wealth of information about shipwrecks in the area. Also visit the quay itself for sight of some remarkable rock strata. There are toilets.

Hartland Quay Bay

Retrace your steps to Rocket House and turn left just before it. Walk round the back and then follow the hedge on the right hand edge of the field parallel with the road. The path crosses two fields with a stone stile between them then as it is about to exit into the road, note the separate footpath which goes in front of the houses to reduce road walking. Follow this straight  through the churchyard with the church on the right and after stepping over an unusual broad stile, go down the steps to the road. Be careful here as it is quite easy to step into the path of any vehicles using the road.

Turn right and at the ‘T’ junction, turn left.

Follow the road through Stoke village (there are toilets in Stoke) heading towards Hartland. You could just stay on the road but if you wish to minimise the road element, turn left when you reach the road, signposted “Berry 1 mile” and “Hartland Point Lighthouse 4 miles”.

After 100 yards, turn right off the road where there is a green fingerpost sign. As it forks, go left and follow it along until it joins the route where you began your journey. Turn right at the gate and retrace your steps to Hartland.

If you need to buy any hiking equipment/clothing before your trip see the Hiking Store

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.