Walks and Beaches in the North Devon Area
Local walks within easy access from Charter House
Beaches in the area
Speeks Mill Mouth Beach
This part of the coast is very rugged with high cliffs and jagged rocks extending out into the sometimes-ferocious Atlantic Ocean. Innumerable ships have been wrecked along this coast line which is easy to imagine on a stormy day. You would probably not come to for the sand, sunbathing or swimming, more of a place to take in the dramatic scenery and appreciate the renowned waterfall which tumbles down a sheer 60-foot cliff face onto the rocks below. Regular visitors here are surfers who come down to take advantage of the powerful waves that break over the ridge. This is not for the faint hearted and only really for the most experienced.
Dogs are allowed on this beach.
This is a lovely National Trust beach. When the tide is out the beautiful sandy beach is visible, usually this beach is often much quieter than the other main beaches nearby. Popular with both families and surfers it is set against a stunning back-drop of sheer cliffs. The beach is just a short walk from the National Trust car park where there are also toilets and a café which are open during the holiday season, for further or out of season a 10-minute walk away will take you to a Holiday Park which is open all year round which has a bar, restaurant, Costa Coffee shop and leisure facilities for non-guests. When it is low tide you can also walk along the 2 miles of beach from Sandymouth to Crooklets Beach, beach-combing along the way or simply enjoying the scenery and walk.
There is a charge for the carpark operated by the National Trust. Out of season there is an honesty box for parking which I am sure you will agree goes to a good cause.
Swimming is only safe between the red and yellow flags.
This is a dog friendly beach.
Westward Ho! Beach
Westward Ho! beach offers up pretty well everything for a visitor’s needs. A number of seaside shops, toilets and a choice of food outlets makes this a popular family beach.
Westward Ho! Is prominently a long sandy beach backed with a pebble ridge. Northam Burrows Country Park is accessible at one end, the beach has sand, rock pools, popular with windsurfers surfers and swimmers alike. RNLI Lifeguard service runs from May to September.
Dogs are allowed from October to April on the whole beach. All year round at the Northam Burrows end. There is plenty of car parking and disabled parking handy to the beach.
The wonderful surfing conditions draws surfers from miles around and with selected surfing areas the beach provides for every activity. Fishing is also popular especially with wild sea bass waiting to be caught.
Summerleaze beach has a certain appeal with its large car park which also leads directly to the sand dunes. The River Neet (also known locally as the River Strat), which is home to a number of fishing boats, flanks the wide, sandy sheltered beach with its striking breakwater, as a result making the beach predominantly popular with families and surfers. Beach Huts are available to hire daily or weekly
The area has level access with a even viewing area, toilets, sandy play area and beach, RNLI shop and café all add to the holiday atmosphere. Another great area is the sea pool nuzzled at the foot of the cliffs, this has been part man-made and part of a natural rock pool, the pool is conveniently cleaned daily by the tide, has lured swimmers since it opening back in 1930.
Lifeguard cover is provided on the beach and also at the pool over the Easter weekend and then starting from the 5th of May to the 30th of September. There is also a weekend lifeguard cover in October and full cover from the 20th-28th of October.
Dogs must be kept on leads from 21st May to 30th September between 10am-6pm. There is disabled access from the carpark and also disabled toilets.
Hartland Quay Beach
Hartland Quay is a small rock and pebble beach with areas of sand which can vary during the year. This is situated along the Devon Heritage which is known for its spectacular scenery with towering cliffs over the beach, the rocks that form these cliffs are dramatic with significant geological interest with their jagged profiles and layered forms. The beach has many rock pools, waterfalls with bird's nesting in the vicinity. Hartland Quay beach is a lovely spot for swimming, snorkelling, surfing and fishing. In rough conditions the sea can be an impressive sight with the waves crashing against the harbour wall and rocks. It is quite easy to see why this coast is infamous for shipwrecks.
There is a large car park half way down the cliffs just above the quay. The beach is accessed via a steep slipway which is unfortunately too steep for wheelchair access. There is a restaurant at the top of the slipway overlooking the beach and adjacent coastline. There are also toilets facilities here.
The South West Coast Path passes the cliff top above the beach offering some panoramic views, please take care as there are warning signs of dangerous cliffs.
Welcombe Mouth is an out-of-the-way and peaceful beach. The beach has been designated as a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI), this coastline is well known for its geological rock formations features such as the striated and folded cliffs. There is a dramatic waterfall, rock pools and sand between the rock formations. The entire beach is encircled by cliffs and coast path passes though the area. The beach is made up of pebbles above high tide with sand below when the tide is lower with rocks running down between to the sea. As the beach is mainly used by locals it can be quite difficult to find as you will need to drive along narrow lanes and then walk down a track that leads to the beach, but it is well worth the effort to enjoy this unspoilt spot.
Crooklets is a little pebbly at the top, but offers a large expanse of sand and rock pools to explore once the tide is on the way out. Crooklets Beach is actually adjoined to Summerleaze Beach and at low tide, you can walk between them across the sand in around 15 minutes.
Crooklets Beach is clean, safe is a big draw with surfers, beach lovers and families. There are a number of activity providers offering outdoor pursuits and water sports.
Crooklets Beach has a pleasantly sloped promenade giving level access and an even viewing place. You can also hire beach huts for the day if you wish.
Seasonal dog ban (Easter to October).
Widemouth Bay is very extensive open expanse bay great for families and surfers. Plenty of sand to sit on and play and low tide rock pools to explore.
Accessible along the South West coast path, Widemouth Bay is popular for surfing or body-boarding with many of the local surf schools based there. It has received the Blue Flag Beach Award 2017. Viewing points with free car parking are situated at both ends of the bay so you can enjoy the fantastic views without actually going on the beach. You'll also be able to see the Black Rock landmark.
The sea is suitable for both beginners and experienced surfers. The beach can however get crowded in the busy season.
There is weekend lifeguard cover during April October and full cover from the 20th-28th of October. Full lifeguard cover starts from the 5th of May until 30th of September.
Dogs are welcome all through the year on the southern section of the beach (Black Rock).
The northern part of the beach operates a seasonal dog ban between Easter Sunday until the 30 September.