Kipling Tors walk

Walking trail

This route is next to the sea, with stunning views across Bideford Bay and inland to Exmoor. Rudyard Kipling’s novel, Stalky & Co, is based on his school days here. Kipling Tors is where Kipling and his friends used to smoke cigars and pipes and read books together.

Oil painting on canvas of Rudyard Kipling


Kipling Tors walking trail route


Car park on Merley Road, grid ref SS423290


From the car park turn right and walk along a wide and reasonably surfaced path, this was once the site of a railway track that continued along the coast to Abbottsham. After approximately 330yd (300m), turn left and follow the steep path next to the National Trust sign. This hill is the most challenging section of the walk.

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As you reach the top of this path, you'll see an old Coastguard lookout. Go inside to be greeted by stunning views and wonderful art work created by the local Primary School. There's also a Toposcope inside with interesting information for you to read. On leaving the lookout go back down the hill a short distance and take the first path on the right. Please note the path beyond the lookout is private access only.

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This is a long and fairly level path with great views and a great place to watch sea birds and try and spot porpoises in the bay. At the end of this path turn left and walk downhill for a short distance where you'll see a path on your right. Take this one down through some broadleaved woodland. At the end of this path you'll meet another path, turn left here.

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Where these two paths meet take a sharp left and take the public footpath. You can take the zig zag path through woodland which ends up in the same place but it's not as pleasant.


Keep going along this path until you reach a wooded gate and a path junction, turn right here and follow the path down through the chalets and back to the car park.


We hope that you really enjoyed this one-mile walk. The National Trust looks after some of the most spectacular areas of countryside 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 and refreshing landscapes. To find out more about how you too can help our work as a volunteer, member or donor please go to


Car park on Merley Road, grid ref SS423290

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Kipling Tors walk


This is a circular walk with some steep sections in places, the route takes you next to the sea and through some woodland. The ground can be a bit muddy, especially after wet weather. Walking boots or good trainers recommended. Dogs are welcome under close control.

Kipling Tors walk

Contact us

Kipling Tors walk

How to get here

Kipling Tors, Westward Ho!, North Devon
By train

Barnstaple, 10 miles (16.1km)

By road

In Westward Ho! continue west along Atlantic Way until reaching Merley Road. Here turn right and continue down Merley Road to the (free) car park, just past The Pier House. Kipling Tors is just behind car park. 


By bus

First North Devon Bus 1, Bideford Quay towards Westward Ho!. Alight Neslon Road and walk west for approximately 5 minutes

Kipling Tors walk

Facilities and access

  • Dogs welcome
  • Benches at regular intervals
  • Public toilets