Walking

Walking trail

Salcombe Hill circular walk

Walking trail

Following parts of the famous South West Coast Path, the views of the Jurassic Coast UNESCO World Heritage Site cliffs and valleys are not to be missed. Take a flask of tea and sit on a bench at the Frogstone Steps for a stunning vista before heading through the valley and up to Weston Plats, 19th Century cliff allotments which back then rivalled Jersey's early crop of new potatoes.

Donkeys looking through gate at the Donkey Sanctuary in Branscombe

Map

Map route for Salcombe Hill circular walk

Start:

Salcombe Hill car park (National Trust), grid ref SY148889

1

Start your walk at the National Trust car park. Take the path past the picnic tables, and follow the footpath to the cliff where you can enjoy fantastic views of Sidmouth, High Peak, Ladrum Bay and beyond.

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2

Take the path to the left and follow the ‘Coast Path Salcombe Mouth ½m' sign through South Combe Farm which was dedicated as a permanent open space by Oliver Vaughan Cornish in 1937. After enjoying the view at the ‘frogstone’, walk down the ‘frogstone steps’. At the bottom of the valley, continue past the steps which lead to Salcombe Mouth and follow the “Coast Path Weston Mouth 1m” sign and along the edge of the field and across a small footbridge.

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3

After crossing the bridge, follow the Coast Path across the field towards Weston Mouth and up the steps to Higher Dunscombe cliff. At the top of the steps, continue to follow the Coast Path towards Weston Mouth (signposted ‘Coast Path Weston Mouth 1½m’) across two fields and through a kissing gate to get a fantastic view of Weston beach.

4

After admiring the view, continue following the coast path towards Weston Mouth, through a small wood, up some steps and along the coastline.

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5

Turn right in the next set of woods (signposted ‘Weston Mouth ¼m’) and continue following the coast path past Weston Plats. Turn left at the kissing gate at the steps leading down to Weston Mouth beach (signposted ‘Public Footpath Dunscombe 1m’).

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6

Head inland and walk across two fields. At the signpost, take the footpath to the right towards Slade House Farm (The Donkey Sanctuary). Continue heading inland through The Donkey Sanctuary’s ‘Field of Dreams’ and past their nature centre and hermitage woodland hut. As you reach The Donkey Sanctuary’s paddocks, turn left and follow the ‘Public Footpath Salcombe Regis 1½m’ sign which will lead you into the heart of the dog-friendly Donkey Sanctuary (admission free, open every day until sunset) which is home to over 500 donkeys and mules.

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7

After exploring The Donkey Sanctuary, leave the main car park (next to Shelter 1) and take the path opposite (just to the left) signposted ‘Public Footpath Trow ½m, Salcombe Regis 1m’. Continue across two fields. After passing the third kissing gate you will come to a crossroad of footpaths, continue straight over taking the path through the metal gate which is to the left of a five-bar gate. Follow this path across a field and diagonally across a second field.

8

Turn right at the stile and follow the quiet road down the hill to Salcombe Regis. At the end of the road, by Soldier’s Hill House, turn left and walk down the hill towards Salcombe Regis church.

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9

After visiting the church and walk down the hill towards the beach and then take the footpath on the right opposite Springcombe House (signposted ‘Public Footpath South Combe Farm and Coast Path ¾m”). Take the second footpath on the right through the woods (signposted ‘Public Footpath Sidmouth 1 ½m’ and continue straight ahead towards Salcombe Hill and carpark. Continue along this footpath until you reach a dirt road next to a barn. Turn right onto the dirt road and follow this back to the National Trust car park where you began your walk.

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End:

Salcombe Hill car park (National Trust), grid ref SY148889

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Salcombe Hill circular walk

Terrain

The tracks at Salcombe Hill and The Donkey Sanctuary are rough and steep at times. The coast path is well maintained but naturally uneven and care should be taken when walking alongside the cliffs. Dogs should also be kept on a lead on the coast path where cattle grazing signs are displayed. Dogs are also welcome at The Donkey Sanctuary but must be kept on a lead.

Salcombe Hill circular walk

Contact us

Salcombe Hill circular walk

How to get here

Address
Salcombe Hill, Sidmouth, Devon, EX10 0NY
By road

The National Trust carpark is opposite the Norman Lockyer Observatory (postcode: EX10 0NY) which is signposted from the A3052

By foot

Join this circular walk from the eastern end of Sidmouth seafront next to the seascape mural at The Ham. Follow the coast path until you connect up with the trail at no.2 marked on the map

By bus

 In the summer, the Sidmouth Hopper (running free hourly services from May – September excluding Sidmouth Folk Festival week) passes the National Trust car park. Ask the driver to stop at the National Trust car park/Norman Lockyer Observatory stop. Outside this period, take a bus to Sidmouth and then commence this circular walk from the eastern end of Sidmouth seafront next to the seascape mural at The Ham

By bicycle

A Route 2 cycle path from Sidmouth passes immediately in front of the National Trust carpark where this circular walk commences. For further information about this cycle path please view the National Cycle Network website

Salcombe Hill circular walk

Facilities and access

  • A National Trust Car park (free to NT members) is available at the starting point of this walk. Additional car parks can be found at the Donkey Sanctuary (free) and Salcombe Regis church (donations)
  • Toilets, a restaurant and a gift shop (not National Trust) are located at the Donkey Sanctuary
  • Picnic tables can be found at the Donkey Sanctuary and at the Salcombe Hill car park