Four landscape views of Heddon Valley in North Devon

Gorse at Heddon Valley

Nestled in the middle of the Exmoor national park, Heddon Valley is renowned for its natural beauty.

Heddon Valley has bridges and stepping stones along the river, meadows full of flowers and easy walks which start from the National Trust shop and information centre. By the way, the valley is one of the deepest in England - any deeper and it would officially be a gorge.
 
Take a gentle stroll through ancient woodland, home to sessile oaks, ash and some rare whitebeams, alongside the River Heddon. Brown trout are common in the river and occasionally, depending on water levels, sea trout and salmon can also be seen Heron or some dippers take advantage of this and, if you are lucky, you might even see an otter.
Talk a walk through Heale wood in the Heddon Valley
Sun light dapples through the trees

In spring the meadows by the river are filled with wildflowers, home to the rare butterfly has declined 90 per cent since the 1970s largely due to the ending of woodland coppicing. The woods and meadows in the Heddon Valley are maintained by us to encourage breeding. The best season to spot this beautiful butterfly is between mid-June and early July.

Cattle at Heddon Valley
Cattle at Heddon Valley

The towering cliffs at either side of Heddon's Mouth are some of the highest in England. They are made from Devonian sandstone and are almost 400 million years old. During the last Ice Age the summer thawing of the top layer of permafrost resulted in a slow flow of loose rock and soil downslope, clearly visible as large areas of scree today. The best views are from Highveer point looking along the coast past Woody Bay to Foreland Point.

Rest a while and absorb the myriad of sounds on the 300m wide cobbled beach - waves crashing, pebbles rolling back and forth, and birdsong. If you walk down onto the beach, please keep away from the base of the cliffs.
Crashing waves at Heddon's Mouth
Visitors watching the crashing waves at Heddon's Mouth

As you walk back along the valley the sides reach seemingly endlessly upwards allowing you to fully appreciate its scale. Vast stretches of Common and Bell heather light up the slopes in August and in early autumn the air is tinged with the coconut smell of bright yellow gorse flowers. 

Gorse at Heddon Valley
Gorse at Heddon Valley
 
Then, why not finish off the day of spectacular scenery with a well-deserved ice-cream back at the information centre.