Baggy Point Coast Walk
Baggy Point Car Park – EX33 1PA (Map)
A short easy walk out to the tip of Baggy Point and back again, taking in spectacular views of the coastline towards Bideford Bay and Hartland. It is close to the popular Woolacombe Beach and only 1.5 hours from Bowerland.
Children will love the whale bones and the old wreck post, as well as the rocks and cliffs. A good walk in spring, when seabirds nest on the cliff among the clumps of pink thrift and spotted white sea campion and the gorse bushes are ablaze. In Autumn the migrant birds gathering ready for their journey south sometimes attract the attention of a predatory merlin or peregrine, sometimes even a hen harrier.
The Coast Path
The Coast Path out to a viewpoint at Baggy Point (¾ mile each way) has been levelled and compacted to make access easier for everyone. From that viewpoint you can either return along the same path, or follow a higher path, but this involves a short steep climb and descent. Due to the lack of passing places, wheelchair use is not recommended past point 6. Sheep are used to help maintain the coastal grassland in optimum condition for flowers and wildlife, and when they are grazing you are asked to keep dogs on leads.
- From the National Trust car park, the Coast Path runs along a dead-end tarmac road on a gentle uphill and then downhill slope. The tarmac road continues for several hundred metres rising very gently.
- Just before the last house, the Coast Path leaves the tarmac road to follow a compacted stone path that has a slightly loose surface.
- The compacted stone path descends to cross a shallow valley. For about 10 metres.
- On the far side of the stream a one way opening gate (1.2 metres wide) is across the path to enable the headland to be grazed by sheep. From here the path rises slightly, before descending again.
- When you reach the fingerpost, take a look at the steep path on the right. This is the path you will have to descend if you choose to return from Baggy Point using the higher path.
- The path continues to steadily climb out towards the viewpoint on the headland. This path is approximately 1 metre wide, and between here and the viewpoint at Baggy Point there are only 2 places where it is wide enough for two wheelchairs to pass (450 metres and 620 metres from the gate), and so wheelchair use is not recommended past this point, unless you can turn within the width of the track.
- At Pencil Rock, the exposed rock has forced the path to become narrower and this section is only 80cm wide.
- Beyond Pencil Rock the path continues to climb steadily towards Baggy Point.
From the viewpoint at Baggy Point
- Here you can either return back along the path you came here on, or take the more challenging higher path. The higher path is a steep, but relatively short climb. Part way up the slope, the timber boards put in to stop the path’s stone surface from washing away have become exposed, creating two low (50mm) steps.
- 50 metres before reaching the seat on the plateau, the compacted stone path ends, and the surface becomes a mix of bare earth and grass.
- The coast path leading northwards past the wreck post and out onto the other side of the headland is along wide grassy tracks, which are uneven and bumpy in places due to the bedrock being exposed. The initial section is virtually flat, before climbing gently to eventually reach the highest point on the headland.
- Where the path goes around the corner onto the north side of the headland, the bedrock is exposed creating a short steep, and rough section of path.
- Just around this corner is a seat, from where you get great views across Morte Bay to Woolacombe and Morte Point. The Coast Path onwards from here is not particularly steep, but the paths become narrow, (about 30cm wide) and at the next field boundary is a stile.
- The higher path back to Croyde is along a bumpy, uneven, stone farm track. The field gate across the track swings easily, and is one-way opening. The track continues to steadily descend back towards Croyde.
- The main farm track bears inland (and is private), and the path continues onwards descending quite steeply. The surface is a coarse, loose stone.
- The final section where the higher path drops down steeply to rejoin the Coast Path is, along with the climb up from the viewpoint, the most difficult on this route. The surface has loose stones and the path slopes to the side, as well as steeply down-hill. Once safely at the bottom, retrace your steps along the Coast Path back to the car park.