Walking the South West Coast
WALKING THE SWCP FROM THE OLD VICARAGE
The Old Vicarage is ideally situated for completing over 80 miles of the South West Coast Path with the advantage of staying in one location.
The bus station is only a 5 minute walk away and allows public transport to be used at the beginning and end of each day taking away the hassle of having to pack and unpack each time or to arrange suitcase transfers. Ilfracombe to Westward Ho! is very simple adding Lynton and Hartland at either end is not too difficult.
We have maps and bus timetables for guests to borrow.
Lynton to Combe Martin
13 strenuous miles with over 1,100m of ascent.
A challenging days’ walk where high and wild Exmoor meets the sea with (hopefully clear views across to South Wales).
Take the Filers bus 309 or 310 from Barnstaple to Lynton and return on the Filers bus 301 back from Combe Martin.
Combe Martin to Ilfracombe
5 moderate miles with less than 400m of ascent.
See the boats at Watermouth and then Damian Hirst’s Verity at Ilfracombe harbour.
Filers 301 to Ilfracombe and either the 301 back or the Stagecoach 21 or 21A.
Ilfracombe to Woolacombe
7 easy to strenuous miles with over 600m of ascent.
A varied day starting with a stiff climb out of Ilfracombe, down to the tranquillity of Lee bay and then the green ups and downs around Bull and Morte Points.
Stagecoach 21 or 21A to Woolacombe, Filers 31 back to Ilfracombe or Filers 303 back to Barnstaple.
Woolacombe to Croyde
6 moderate miles with just over 200m of ascent.
A mainly beach day with time to enjoy watching the surfers at Woolacombe or Croyde and maybe a few climbers on Baggy Point. Don’t forget the café at Putsbourough sands for a spot of lunch.
Filers 303 to Woolacombe (or go via Ilfracombe) and the Stagecoach 21A back to Barnstaple.
Croyde to Braunton
Nearly 9 easy miles with only 150m of ascent.
Walk along the entire length of Saunton Sands (my personal preference) and around the ruins of the lighthouse at Crow Point or take the American Road behind the dunes of Braunton Burrows.
Stagecoach 21A out and either the 21 or the 21A back.
Braunton to Barnstaple
5 ½ flat miles.
A nice evening stroll along the old railway line which once ran from Barnstaple to Ilfracombe but is now well used by cyclists as part of the well-known Tarka Trail.
Stagecoach 21 or 21A out.
Barnstaple to Instow
7 ½ flat miles following the Tarka trail.
Stop at Fremington Quay for morning coffee or maybe enjoy an evening meal in Instow watching the sunset in the distance.
Stagecoach 21 or 21A.
Instow to Westward Ho!
Just under 12 flattish miles.
An alternative is to take the foot ferry from Instow to Appledore, not really cheating as it is great fun and run mainly by volunteers. Watch out for stray golf balls on Northam Burrows.
Stagecoach 21 and 21A all day.
Westward Ho! to Clovelly
11 strenuous miles with over 700m of ascent.
Lots of ups and downs after an easy start and in and out the woods and undergrowth, don’t try to take a short cut on the beach (as we did), it is even harder going. There are a few escape routes if you need them.
Stagecoach 21 out and 319 back.
Clovelly to Hartland Quay
10 moderate to strenuous miles with over 700m of ascent.
Start in the relative peaceful landscape around Clovelly and walk into the sheer rugged splendour of the cliffs past Hartland Point where it is easy to imagine shipwrecks and smugglers.
Stagecoach 319 all day.