Hillsborough Nature Reserve
This week’s walk is a short (but challenging one) around Ilfracombe’s Hillsborough Nature Reserve which is also known as ‘The Sleeping Elephant’. At 1.4 miles in length it should take you roughly 30 minutes or so.
- To begin, head to Hele Bar car park.
- Walk down to the beach and take the stairs on the left to start the South West Coast Path.
- Follow the acorn waymarkers you’ll see.
- Stick to the main path as it zigzags up a hill to bring you to a great viewpoint with awesome views over the Bristol Channel.
- When you’ve had enough of the incredible view, carry on up the hill above the rocks.
- You will soon reach the summit. Stay on the main path still as it takes you up, down and around an old fort.
- The path will then steeply decline to some grassland just above Ilfracombe’s swimming pool.
- When you reach a junction of paths, turn left onto the smaller footpath which will take you round the back of a hill.
- Stay on this path as it curves left and brings you back to Hele.
- Take every right turning you see to bring yourself back to the path above Hele Bay.
- Retrace your steps from earlier to return to the starting car park, before having a well-deserved rest!