Heddon Valley Heaven
Exmoor National Park
Explore Exmoors Heddon Valley on a walk that takes in wooded coombes (valleys), rich heather moorland and some stunning coastal views. Running along the western edge of Exmoor, the River Heddon meets the sea at the dramatic Heddons Mouth.
Where to start: The Hunter’s Inn, Heddon Valley, Parracombe, EX31 4PY
This is grid reference SS654 480 on the OS Explorer OL9 map.
Start: Facing the Hunter’s Inn, turn left down the lane, bearing left with the land then right over a stone bridge. Carry straight on then bear left at a Y-junction and after 20m turn left to pick up a path into Parsonage Wood.
- Walk alongside the stream through delightful woodland. Bear left at a sign, marked Heale, as the path rises with views over the stream on the left. Join a lane and walk briefly left. Turn right after 10m and walk steeply uphill to join Ladies Mile. Follow a stoney path out of the trees and on to moorland. Turn left as soon as you reach open moor and follow the Ladies Mile footpath around the hill. To your left amazing views open up across Exmoor.
- 2 Miles - Fork right uphill through trees and on to moorland. Keep bearing right uphill towards the gorse covered top. Look back for incredible views over Exmoor. Head straight up the hill to the right of the gorse, across patches of burnt bracken and join a farm track. Continue to a road. Cross the road and continue over the top of Holdstone Hill.
- 3 Miles - From the trig point you can see all the way across to Pembrokeshire on a clear day. It can get a bit exposed here, but the large cairn makes a good spot to shelter. Carry on over the hill on a well defined path, which leads you through a maze of gorse. In summer this whole area and the Great Hangman and Little Hangman hills further down the coast will be covered in richly coloured purple heather. Pick up the South West Coast Path and follow this east back around Holdstone Hill. Bear left when the path forks to the left of buildings.
- Bear left again, keeping to the path closest to the sea. Pass through a hole in a stone wall, then bear left at a sign to Heddon’s Mouth. Go through a gate (keep dogs on a lead) and continue on to grazing land.Go through a gate and continue on the South West Coast Path, with stunning views out to sea and back along the coastline.
- 6 Miles - Go up steps and through a gate, along the edge of a field. At the corner, follow signs along the coast path for Hunter’s Inn 2 ½ miles. Where the path forks at a high point, turn off the South West Coast Path and head right over the brow of the hill, following the fence line, signed Trentishoe Church. Keep to the left of the dry stone wall, overlooking the picturesque Heddon Valley, and drop down when you reach a road.
- Turn left, then when you meet the road left again and follow it back over the bridge and to the Hunter’s Inn.
- Length: 13.5 km / 8.5 miles
- Time: 3.5 miles
- Grade: Moderate
- Download walk and map for printing
- Access: See terrain, steps and stiles
- Get here:See bus, train and car directions
- Facilities:See parking, food and toilets
Terrain: Well-marked paths through woodland and over moorland. The section along the South West Coast Path may be exposed, so take weatherproof clothing.
Train: No train stations nearby.
Bus: Check with Traveline on 0871 200 2233 or www.traveline.org.uk
Car: Hunter’s Inn is 6 miles west of Lynton on the A39 and minor roads.
Refreshments: At the start and end point at the Hunter’s Inn.
Toilets: Toilet's at the Hunter’s Inn available for customers.