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Gentle walk to Heddon's Mouth


A gentle stroll through ancient woodland alongside the River Heddon, to where it meets the sea between some of England's highest cliffs. Designated a Site of Special Scientific Interest, the Heddon Valley is home to a variety of wildlife including otters and the rare high brown fritillary butterfly. You'll also find a restored 19th-century lime kiln on the beach.

Visitors at Heddon's Mouth
Follow the path from the car park and you will end up at the mouth of the river National Trust Images / John Millar


Map route for Gentle walk to Heddons Mouth
© Crown copyright and database rights 2013 Ordnance Survey


National Trust gift shop, grid ref SS655480


With the National Trust shop on your right, walk down the road towards the Hunter's Inn. Keeping the Inn to your right, follow the road over the River Heddon and carry on as it curves up to the left and then to the right over the stone bridge - please be aware of the traffic on this section. Just after the bridge look to your right - Harry's Orchard was planted in memory of Harry Westcott, a former National Trust employee.


33yd (30m) past the stone bridge, turn right and go through the gate along the footpath signed Heddon's Mouth. You'll follow these signs all the way to the beach. Please close all gates behind you.

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Follow the footpath until you reach the next gate. As you are walking look across the river into the meadow and up into the woodland to your left, home to sessile oaks, ash and some rare whitebeams. If you're lucky you might even see an otter in the river and at certain times of year you may see dippers, grey wagtails and herons.

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Go through the gate and carry on straight. The path is gently undulating and passes a stretch of traditional dry stone wall, a thriving habitat for insects. You'll also see large patches of scree left over from the last Ice Age. Carry on past the wooden bridge. The valley now opens out - you'll see vast stretches of heather light up the slopes in August, and in early autumn the air is tinged with the coconut smell of bright yellow gorse flowers.


Just beyond the top of a slight incline the path reaches its end at the 19th century lime kiln at the beach; for your own safety, please do not enter the kiln. This is a wonderful viewpoint down onto the pebble beach, up to the top of the cliffs and back along the valley behind you. Rest a while on the bench and absorb the myriad of sounds - waves crashing on the beach, pebbles rolling back and forth, and the birdsong. Please do not take rough-terrain mobility scooters beyond the lime kiln, again for your own safety, and if you walk down onto the beach, please keep away from the base of the cliffs.

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Retrace your steps back up the valley, this time with the river on your left, back to the National Trust shop and car park, enjoying the different vistas seen from this direction. We hope that you enjoyed this walk. The National Trust looks after some of the most spectacular areas of coastline for the enjoyment of all. We need your support to help us continue our work to cherish the countryside and provide access to our beautiful landscapes. To find out more about how you can help our work as a volunteer, member or donor please go to


National Trust gift shop, grid ref SS655480

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Gentle walk to Heddon's Mouth


This linear walk follows a graded pathway across easy terrain, with one gentle incline as you near the sea. Suitable for all terrain pushchairs and rough-terrain mobility scooters, but please be aware that the path is stony and can be uneven in places. Dogs welcome on leads, as there is livestock in surrounding fields. No litter bins along the trail so please take your rubbish back to the bin in the car park.

Gentle walk to Heddon's Mouth

Contact us

Gentle walk to Heddon's Mouth

How to get here

Heddon Valley, North Devon
By train

Barnstaple, 16.5 miles (26.5kms)

By road

Halfway along A39, between Combe Martin and Lynmouth, turn off for Hunter's Inn. Postcode for Sat Nav: EX31 4PY.

By foot

Access via the South West Coast Path.

By bicycle

National Cycle Network Regional Route 51 passes near the property. See Sustrans website

Gentle walk to Heddon's Mouth

Facilities and access

  • National Trust shop and ice-cream counter at the start of this walk
  • Toilets near the car park
  • Pub (not NT) near start of walk