Woody Bay from Hunter's Inn.

Start. Hunter's Inn.

Route. Hunter's Inn - South West Coastal Path - Great Burland Rock - Hollow Brook - West Woodybay Wood - Sir Robert's Path - Hollow Brook - Hill Brook - Heddon Valley - Hunter's Inn.

Notes. Hunter’s Inn, in the Heddon Valley Exmoor, is a lovely and popular spot, but strike out onto the South West Coast Path and soon you’ll find peace, tranquility and beautiful views across the North Devon cliffs. This walk followed the coastal path, exposed in places with stunning vistas every step of the way, our return was made over the surface of a Victorian carriage drive, and when we thought the views couldn't get any better they did.

We left Hunter's Inn by way of the path to the right of the building, a helpful finger-post announced this was the route to Heddon's Mouth. The waters of the Heddon accompanied us through woodland, we ignored a stone pack horse bridge taking the next path on the right. This path guided us up hill, initially climbing between scattered gnarled oaks then across open slopes of heather, bracken and gorse, when the path reached a protruding rock the views up and down the coast were stunning, our route ahead looked quite breathtaking, the path traversed steep slopes with little hope of arresting a fall in the case of a misplaced foot.

The views were dizzy but the path was quite safe, we soon reached a wooded combe where the waters of Hollow Brook tumbled onto the path before vanishing down the cliff face, this was a delightful spot we hung around chatting to other adventurers. On we walked through gnarled wind bent oak woods, just before stepping onto Sir Robert's Path (a tarmac lane) we were gifted with exquisite views over Woody Bay. The tarmac lane guided us up steep gradients, passed a car park then onto a Victorian carriage drive. This was another splendid stretch of path, once clear of the trees the views were better than earlier, benches allowed plenty of opportunity to stop and soak them up. Too soon the path swung left then started descending via the combe cut by Hill Brook, once back under tree cover we stepped onto our outward route a short distance from Hunter's Inn.

view route map.


Hunter's Inn originally a thatched farm cottage, an inn since the 18th century, burnt to the ground in 1895, it was re-designed to look like a Swiss chalet because the owner wanted it to reflect the fact this whole area is known as 'Little Switzerland', re-opened and doing a roaring trade since 1905, and in a second we will be occupying one of those tables.

Looking up the heavily wooded valley of the River Heddon.

Looking down on Heddon's Mouth.

Wonderful views over Heddon's Mouth, filling the foreground East Cleave.

Another super view, the steep slopes of Highveer backed by Hollerday Hill with The Foreland on the far horizon.

From Great Burland Rock views back along the coastal path.

Sea arch on the North Devon coast, not sure but I think it's The Cow and Calf.

Hollow Brook.

Sue strides out through woodland of birch and oak.

Looking down on Woody Bay.

Our faithful guide back to Hunter's Inn, once the main route along the coast, a Victorian carriage way.

Adventures for another day, seen over Woody Bay, Duty Point, Castle Rock and the Valley of Rocks, on the horizon The Foreland.

Views along the North Devon coast as far as the Foreland.

A final view to our outward route.

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