Baggy Point short circular walk
This short circular walk along the western flank of Baggy Point will reward you with far-reaching coastal, sea and farmland views. It's also an excellent place to see wild flowers and for a spot of bird-watching. The area is designated a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) for its geological features.
Baggy Point car park, grid ref: SS432397
Go out of the car park by the kiosk and turn right up the asphalted lane, signed Baggy Point 1 mile. Be careful as there can be traffic on this section.
Go through gate posts to the fingerpost at the fork in the path, go left here. On your left at this point is the only dog waste bin in this area. Follow the asphalted track past the houses. Watch out for peregrines flying overhead.
Follow the track, keeping to your left at the next fork to your right here is a driveway to a modern house. About 28yd (25m) along here stop and look at the whale bones on the right side of the path. These bones are all that remains of a large whale that was washed up on Croyde Beach in 1915. They were preserved here for the benefit of visitors by the Hyde family, who gave Baggy Point to us in 1939.
Follow this mostly level, graded track along to the end of the headland. Look out to your left across the bays to Hartland in the far distance (we also have downloadable trails for this area - please look on our website for details). As you're walking along the paths on Baggy Point look for wild flowers in the spring and summer, bright yellow gorse and a variety of fungi in the autumn, and lichens and moss all year round. Be careful not to touch any of the fungi as many of them are poisonous.
Baggy Point is renowned for the wild flowers that carpet its cliff slopes and rock crevices. Its thin, acidic soils, battered by harsh, salt-laden Atlantic winds in the winter, are inhospitable to all but the hardiest of plants. Maritime plants such as sea campion, thrift, wild carrot, and a variety of grasses thrive in this tough environment. You can also see rare rock sea lavender and spring and autumn squills; unusual members of the bluebell family. In autumn, bright yellow gorse fills the air with the smell of coconuts and a variety of fungi can be found in the fields. Please do not touch them as many varieties are poisonous.
33yd (30m) past the gate you'll come to a fingerpost. Carry on straight here, signposted Baggy Point ½ mile. On the day this trail was walked there was a rare bird visitor to Baggy an Iceland gull that had brought a number of birders to have a look. There's a detour off this path that leads down to the rock pools if you do decide to take a look please be careful as the path and the rocks can be slippery. Look out for grey seals along the shoreline, especially in the summer. On a clear day you can see Lundy Island, 20 miles due west across the Atlantic Ocean. The island is owned by us and managed by the Landmark Trust and can be reached by boat in season and by helicopter all year. The waters around Lundy are world famous for scuba diving and, unusually, has licence to issue its own postage stamps. There are a number of holiday cottages and a renowned pub; please see www.nationaltrust.org.uk/lundy for details.
Birds and seals
The west-facing cliffs of Baggy Point are a popular nesting place for a wide variety of sea birds including herring gull, fulmar, shag, cormorant and occasionally peregrine. Nesting season is usually from March to June and during this time rock climbing on the cliffs is prohibited. Grey seals can sometimes be seen offshore, usually visiting from the colonies at Lundy Island and Morte Point.
When you reach the headland do take time to stop and absorb the view it's magnificent at any time of year and in any weather. On clear days, and when the sea birds are not nesting, you may also have the chance to watch the many rock climbers that come to Baggy Point to take advantage of the variety of routes it offers. You can also see the headland at Morte Point from here, also owned by us. Please take a look at our website for walks from Mortehoe and Woolacombe.
From the headland follow the footpath sharp right, up the hill, to and through the gate. Follow the graded path straight ahead of you to the fingerpost. As you walk across this field look to your left at the dry stone wall covered with moss and lichen.
Dry stone walls
Hoe Wall is a magnificent example of a traditional North Devon dry stone wall that straddles the spine of the promontory. In the past it marked the limit of cultivation. There are many types of lichen and moss here, testament to the wonderful air quality we have in this part of the country. How many types can you see?
Follow the gravelled footpath, signed NT car park 1 mile. Go through the gate and follow the stony track down the slope. To your right there are breathtaking views across bays to Hartland Point.
Follow the path as it goes to the right down the hillside to rejoin the path that you followed out to Baggy Point.
Turn left and retrace your steps back to the car park, signed NT car park ½ mile. 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 www.nationaltrust.org.uk/northdevon
Baggy Point car park, grid ref: SS432397
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