Walking in North Devon
There are so many fantastic walks it is hard to know where to start. As the farm is divided in two by the Tarka Trail, which is part of the South West Coastal Footpath, which starts at Minehead and finishes at Poole in Dorset, 630 miles in total and is the longest national trail, I aught to start here.
THE TARKA TRAIL
The Farmhouse is situated in the middle of over 30 miles of the Tarka Trail which is available to cyclists (bikes can be hired from the farm.) between Braunton and Meeth, using the old railways of North Devon. Passing through the largely unspoilt countryside as it was described by Henry Williamson in his classic novel ‘Tarka the Otter’ first published in 1927. This is very easy walking on flat tarmac surface. Many guests like to walk to Instow for their evening meal (about 35 minutes) and if you have eaten too much and do not feel like walking home you can catch a bus which runs every 30 minutes until 11.10 pm.
At Orchard Lodges we have several guide books including two of my favourites for obvious reasons,
Tea Shop Walks and Pub Walks in North Devon . Tea Shop Walks which has 30 different walks which vary in length from 1 mile to 6.5 miles and all start and finish at a Tea Shop where you can enjoy a Real Devon Cream Tea, which is a must when you come to North Devon .
Pub Walks in Exmoor & North Devon features 20 walks between 2 and 4.5 miles, which enables you to enjoy both Devon hospitality and the beautiful Devon countryside.
Our 3 Favourite Walks
About a 30 minute drive west of the farm, Hartland is a place I never get bored of going to. We start at Hartland Quay where there is a nice pub and do a circular walk of about 2.5 miles to the east including about a 2/3 mile along the cliff top to the Blackpool Mill Cottage,(which featured in Sense and Sensibility , BBC 1, New Year 2008) and up the wooded valley to Hartland Abbey and then back to Hartland Quay and after some refreshments walk about a mile westward along the cliff tops with beautiful views across to Lundy Island to Speke’s Mill Mouth the finest waterfall on the northwest Devon coast, a sheer 55ft drop.
As the crow flies, they are less than a mile to the North but 8 miles in the car via Barnstaple . Used in the World War 2 for training for the D Day Landings, the Burrows are 4 miles by 2 miles of sand dunes. They are now part of the 1st UK Biosphere Reserve because of it’s diversity and abundance of rare plants, reportedly there are 129 different types of wild orchid and we will give you a magnum bottle of champagne if you find them all! Our favourite walk is to drive to Crow Point via the Toll road which is only £1.50 then walk around the foreshore, you can walks for miles and have the whole beach to yourself and cut back across the dunes and doing a 2 hour walk you would be unlucky if you saw more than half a dozen of people.
Clovelly is a very unique, picturesque fishing village of white washed cottages on steep, cobbled lanes running down to the sea, well worth a visit. The walk encompasses sea views, woods and farm land. Park in the main visitors car park, walk back to the entrance and turn right. At the junction turn left following signs for the Coastal Path, keep following these signs, it is well marked. You will pass through an old kissing gate and come to the Angel Wings shelter with lovely views out to sea. Continue on to Mouth Mill, here you start you return journey by coming inland through woodland and farmland to arrive at Clovelly Court and then for a very short distance along the road back to the car park. Either before or after your walk you can visit one of the 2 pubs or tea rooms in the village.