Pedal power for beginners - Mortehoe cycle trail
Mortehoe near Woolacombe, North DevonRoute details and mapDownload as a print friendly PDF
It might not be the Tour de France, but this easy cycle ride is a perfect way for you to try out your pedal-power. You'll start on a quiet road, before following a private lane to Bull Point, a rocky headland pummelled by crashing seas - an inspirational place to have a picnic and share stories of smugglers and wreckers.
Start: Mortehoe village car park, grid ref: SS458453
As you leave the village car park, go straight across, taking care of the traffic, down the road next to the village post office, called North Morte Road.
If you have time to look around as you fly down the track, look out for the view towards Bennett's Mouth on your right. The valley down to the sea is know as Kinever Valley and is a beautiful wooded combe. In the spring, the grass covered slopes are covered in primroses - a real delight and often a sign that spring has well and truly arrived.
Dismount to go through the gate to Bull Point Lighthouse. From here the road is much quieter - but do look out for walkers. Follow the track down and around to the lighthouse.
The lighthouse was built in 1879 in response to numerous incidents of 'wrecking' which used to happen along the coast. Ships would be lured on to the rocks and their cargo plundered by locals. Once the lighthouse was built, ships finally had a reliable means of navigation.
Well done - you've reached the lighthouse. Find somewhere to park your bikes and take a short walk in either direction to enjoy stunning coastal views and great places to picnic.
Pace yourself as you cycle back the way you've come - it starts off with a bit of a hill, but soon flattens out into a lovely cycle ride. Take care of the road when you go out through the lighthouse gate.
End: Mortehoe village car park, grid ref SS458453
- Trail: Cycling
- Grade: Easy
- Distance: 2.75 miles (4.4kms)
- Time: 2 hours
- OS Map: Explorer 139
Tarmac road, starting as a public highway, and then into a private road to lighthouse. Terrain descends gently down to lighthouse, with a climb on the return to the start point. N.B. if cycling with inexperienced cyclists or young children, please take care as you leave village car park, as this road can be busy. You may feel more at ease walking with your bikes until the start of the private lane. On Tuesdays in May half term, July and August the tractor and trailer service uses the private road down to the lighthouse.
- How to get here:
By foot: South West Coast Path runs through area from Croyde to Ilfracombe
By bike: National Cycle Network Route 27 runs from Ilfracombe to Barnstaple above Woolacombe Bay, passing close to Mortehoe
By bus: Stagecoach Devon 21A, Barnstaple to Mortehoe Hail & Ride stop, then 10 minute walk to Mortehoe Museum
By car: A361 Barnstaple to Ilfracombe, then onto B3343 to Woolacombe and Mortehoe. Follow signposted road to Mortehoe. Car Park at Mortehoe Museum (not National Trust, parking fee applies). Post code: EX34 7DT
- Telephone: 01271 870555
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Website: http://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/woolacombe-mortehoe-ilfracombe/