Sandymouth to Duckpool and Stowe Wood circular walk

Walking trail

This circular trail offers walkers contrasting landscapes as it follows dramatic coastline to Duckpool before heading inland along a wooded valley, through the centuries-old Stowe Wood before heading back to Sandymouth. This walk embraces the seasons with clifftops carpeted with wildflowers over the summer and woodland rich in autumn colour. Look out for a number of birds including blackcaps, linnets and stonechats. The area is steeped in history, passing King William’s bridge, a home of Parson Hawker at Coombe and the house of Stowe.

Sandymouth beach and cliffs


Sandymouth Duckpool and Stowe circular walk map


Sandymouth car park, EX23 9HW


From the car park follow the path down towards the beach and cliffs (past the café and toilets). Before the path drops to the beach (where the information panel is located) turn right and follow the footpath through a kissing gate.

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Follow the path across the field and over the river. Take the sloping path up the valley to your right, to arrive on top of Stowe Cliffs.

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Continue along the coast path (wooden finger posts will guide you), passing through a gate and eventually descending to the footbridge at Warren Gutter. Cross the stream and climb the slope to Warren Point. Keep walking and soon you’ll pass through another gate and look down on Duckpool and the freshwater pond behind the pebble bank which might have given the beach its name.

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Follow the path down to the National Trust car park.

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After exploring Duckpool beach following the access road inland until you arrive at the road junction. King William's bridge is to your right. Turn left and then take the first right along the road into Coombe hamlet.

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Continue through Coombe and over the footbridge that spans the ford. Leave the road as it bares around to the left and join the footpath signed Coombe Valley. Follow the path through Lee Wood.

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At the first fork in the path, bear right, soon crossing a stream. At the next junction, bear right again entering Stowe Wood and at the next fork take the narrow path which climbs gently on the left.


Follow the path through the woods until you reach a wooden kissing gate with a National Trust sign for Stowe Barton. Go through the gate and continue, emerging from the wood and then follow the path up the slope between newly planted trees.

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Pass a small modern bungalow to your right and go through the kissing gate that is opposite from a cottage. Turn left and follow the track through a farm gate and continue past Stowe Barton farm to your right and along the path as it curves left and go through a pillared gateway. Cross over the road to join the bridle way opposite.

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Follow the track across the fields, and keep straight ahead ignoring the bridleway to your left (leading to Northcott Mouth). Arriving at a sheep pen, go through two waymarked gates into a paddock. Bear left around the hedge, then right to follow the fence and then down towards a gap in the hedge marked with a finger post.


Continue on towards the signposted gate in the right field corner, and up the slope to arrive once more on Stowe Cliff. At the fingerpost follow the path down left into the valley and all the way back to the car park.


Sandymouth car park EX23 9HW

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Sandymouth to Duckpool and Stowe Wood circular walk


The trail follows the South West Coast Path along coast and farmland footpaths. It then continues along road and through woodland before re-joining the coast path via footpaths through fields. There is moderate terrain along natural, uneven surfaces and can be muddy during wet weather. The route includes slopes (some steep), steps and unfenced cliff top. Sturdy footwear is strongly advised. Dogs are welcome. Please keep them on a lead as there can be livestock in surroundings fields. A dog bin is located at Sandymouth.

If exploring the beaches please only enter the water when lifeguards are present (seasonal cover at Sandymouth).

Sandymouth to Duckpool and Stowe Wood circular walk

Contact us


Telephone: 01208 863046

Sandymouth to Duckpool and Stowe Wood circular walk

How to get here

Sandymouth, near Bude, EX23 9HW
By road

Approaching from the south

Follow the A39 north from Bude. Turn left before arriving at Kilkhampton and follow the minor road through Stibb. The turn to Sandymouth beach is located on a sharp right bend about 500m beyond Stibb.

Approaching from the north

From Bideford follow the A39 south through Kilkhampton. Turn right as you leave the village and follow the minor road through Stibb. The turn to Sandymouth beach is located on a sharp right bend about 500m beyond Stibb.

By foot

Sandymouth can be reached via the South West Coast Path.

Sandymouth to Duckpool and Stowe Wood circular walk

Facilities and access

  • Parking at Sandymouth
  • Toilets at Sandymouth (restricted opening November to March)
  • Café at Sandymouth (not National Trust - check website for winter opening)