Heddon’s Mouth Walk
Start and Finish at Hunter’s Inn – Heddon Valley, Jose’s Ln, Barnstaple, EX31 4PY (Directions)
This week’s walk is an easier route through to Heddon’s Mouth. At 2 miles in length this walk will take you through a variety of different terrain such as woodlands, paths and a beach. You’ll even be able to stop at Hunter’s Inn, a dog-friendly pub at the end!
A gentle stroll
Heddon’s Mouth Walk is a gentle stroll through woodland adorned with wildflowers in Springtime beside a stream to a small shingle beach. It’s also a stunning walk in Autumn, when the trees leaves have started to turn. The cove sits at the mouth of the River Heddon, which has carved a deep valley to the rear of the beach.
In the past it was a favourite haunt of smugglers who appreciated its remoteness. A restored lime kiln overlooks the beach, dating back to the days when limestone was burnt to create quicklime for spreading on the local fields to sweeten the acid soil.
- To begin, head to the Hunter’s Inn near Killington in North Devon. Once you’ve parked, head up the path to the right side of the pub. After a short distance it will fork – take the left path which goes back downhill.
- You’ll pass through some lovely scenery on this section of the route – be sure to take it all in as you walk along! Heddon Valley is home to a variety of wildlife including otters and the rare high brown fritillary butterfly.
- As you continue down you will pass two bridges on your left – ignore these and keep heading alongside the river towards the sea. Eventually you will reach the beach.* [see notes about low or high tide below].
When you’re ready to leave cross over the beach and head up the path leading upstream. Continue alongside the river, again ignoring the first bridge you see on your left. You’ll also need to ignore the next path on the right hand side, which would lead you to Heddon’s Mouth Cleave.
Keep following the curve of the river and you will eventually reach a road – turn left and you will be guided back to the pub at the start of the road. Celebrate your successful walk with a well-earned drink or meal.
If the tide is low, cross the beach and pick up the path beneath the lime kiln and turn back upstream. If the tide is too high, or you have difficulty crossing the boulder-strewn beach, return to the bridge at 3, and cross the river there, again turning upstream to continue southwards, back towards the inn.