Mortehoe, Devon
Starts at Mortehoe car park [SS458452]
2 hours 0 minutes | 4.3miles 7.0km | Moderate
ID: 0.10378 | Developed by: Paul Miles |
This short but moderately challenging circular walk begins in Mortehoe, then picks up the South West Coast path along the rugged Atlantic shore. The route offers exhilarating coastal views and the chance to spot seals at Morte Point
Main Route
Alternative Route
Point of Interest
*move mouse over graph to see points on route
Starts at

Mortehoe car park [SS458452]

Ends at

Mortehoe car park [SS458452]

Getting there

Regular buses to Mortehoe from Barnstaple, served by train services from London via Exeter (

Route instructions

[1] START Exit the car park (with public toilets) at Mortehoe. Cross towards the post office shop and follow North Morte Rd until you reach a gate and a sign saying ‘Private road to Bull Point Lighthouse’. It may be a private road, but a public footpath runs along it, so continue on this tarmac lane, with camp sites behind hedges either side, until you reach the lighthouse. This was first built in 1879 after requests from local people concerned about wreckers who lured ships onto this rocky, windswept shore. The light, now fully automated, can be seen for 24 miles. It was rebuilt in the 1970s after the land on which the original lighthouse was sited subsided. The lighthouse keepers’ cottages are available to rent.

[2] Turn L at lighthouse and follow coastal path westward, passing Rockham Beach, which has some fine wooden steps to reach it. The beach is sandy at low tide and there are rock pools full of sea anemones and crabs. The small beach has no facilities. After rock-pooling or a bracing dip, continue on the coast path, which includes many steps, towards Morte Point, an impressively jagged promontory of slate, like plates of armour along the back of a stegosaurus. Protruding into the stormy sea, walking to the very tip of the narrow peninsula is not recommended – after all, Morte Point translates as Death Point! This coast is renowned for its storms. In the 19th century, the Royal Charter Storm was the largest storm yet recorded. On 26 October 1859 there were eight shipwrecks on Morte Point alone, with huge loss of life. There is further information about local wrecks in Mortehoe Museum.

[3] After safely admiring the view and perhaps spotting seals, turn south-east and continue on the coast path, dotted with sea thrift in spring. The view is now towards Woolacombe and its three-mile long sandy beach. As you approach houses strung along the road, bear L uphill and join the road at a gate.

[4] Turn L and continue uphill back towards Mortehoe village, passing the Chichester Arms, St Mary’s parish church, with its impressively large lychgate, and nineteenth-century Town Farm B&B. There’s another pub, The Ship Aground, and then, turning R, around the corner, you are back at the car park.


This route was first published in the spring 2018 issue of walk magazine (Walk 58).

Developed by: Paul Miles
Looking towards Morte PointLooking towards Morte Point
Photo taken by: Herbythyme