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Highlights of the North Devon Coast

A taste of perhaps the best coastal walking in Britain!

From£789

  • England

  • 7 nights
  • Half Board
  • Jun

    Sep

    Oct

Moderate

What does this mean?

Tour codes: 73007

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Our holiday walking grades

Moderate

Grade 5

Full day walks with moderate amounts of ascent and descent.

The paths are mostly good, but there may be some steep and rough ground.

Walks will last up to 6 hours and could involve as much as 750m of ascent and descent. Some walks will be less demanding.

Overview

Holiday Highlights

  • Hartland Quay! As evocative a seascape as you will find in the UK
  • Woolacombe Beach - a lovely place for a paddle
  • The cliffs at Ilfracombe with fine views out to Lundy Island
  • The waves rolling in on Saunton Sands

The South West Coast path is Britain’s longest, at 600miles, and many would say the most attractive, long distance path. The section along the North Devon coast offers a taster of all that is to be enjoyed on the path. It can be enjoyed in a week rather than the 3 months normally set aside for the whole route. 

We are based in Barnstaple, as well as being an ideal centre for our exploration it is a very pleasant historic town. We have two days to the west walking to Hartland Point, with its lonely lighthouse. When the west wind is blowing the waves against the cliffs it is a spectacular place to be. We also walk to the impossibly picturesque fishing port of Clovelly.

To the north we walk to Woolacombe Beach and up to the cliffs at Ilfracombe. Our walking takes us over grassy hills, shear cliffs, passed hidden coves to broad sandy beaches.

We intend to use local buses to get around as much as possible. We include a weekly bus pass in the holiday allowing further exploration at little cost on the free day. 

  • Half board en-suite accommodation
  • Transport to and from the trailheads (including a weekly bus pass)
  • Services of a dedicated tour leader
  • Entrance fees (unless otherwise specified)
  • Personal expenses (such as your bar bill)
  • Discretionary tips
  • Optional excursions
  • Travel Insurance (you can add this when you book)

Holiday Information

Click the button below for a detailed Holiday Information Sheet containing all the particulars about this trip.

NOTE: Itineraries and Holiday Information Sheets can vary by a specific date chosen

View Holiday Information Sheet

Itinerary & Travel

Itinerary Details

Whilst every effort will be made to adhere to the outlined itinerary and advertised programme, local conditions can change due to weather or other unforeseen circumstances. This may mean that routes and timings need to be amended or the order of days may change, sometimes at short notice.

Due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, we may unfortunately need to withdraw a tour that is currently confirmed to operate and we therefore reserve the right to cancel your booking. We would always do our utmost to give you plenty of notice should we have to do this. Selected elements of this tour, including local attractions and restaurants, may change at late notice. Please ensure you have valid insurance cover before you travel.

Your Itinerary

Day 1

Arrival day

Meals

Dinner

Accommodation

Independent arrival to The Barnstaple Hotel, just outside the centre of Barnstaple. Check in is from 3pm. Your leader will meet you for an evening briefing before dinner. All dinners will be taken in the hotel restaurant throughout your stay.

Day 2

Chivenor to Woolacombe

Meals

Breakfast & Dinner

Accommodation

  • Time

    5 hours

  • Distance

    13 miles

  • Ascent/Descent

    300m

We cover some gentle terrain for our start to the week. We will get a public bus from Barnstaple out to Chivenor and walk along a generally flat path along the back of Braunton Sands. From here the path goes up and down through Croyde and to Baggy Point before descending to Putsborough at the beginning of Woolacombe Sands.

Day 3

Woolacombe to Ilfracombe

Meals

Breakfast & Dinner

Accommodation

  • Time

    4 hours

  • Distance

    8.5 miles

  • Ascent/Descent

    600mm

This is an outstanding day's walk. We take the private transport back to Woolacombe. From here we walk north upon to Morte Point, for the view, and then around the coast, continuing north and then west to Ilfracombe. The trail rises an falls continually passing sandy coves and spectacular viewpoints on the way. Ilfracombe is a pleasant little town and worth a look around before we take the bus back to Barnstaple.

Day 4

Instow to Westward Ho!

Meals

Breakfast & Dinner

Accommodation

  • Time

    5 hours

  • Distance

    12 miles

  • Ascent/Descent

    200m

Today we take the bus out west to Instow. From here the path goes down the Torridge Estuary to Bideford then through the old port of Appledore and round to Westward Ho! to catch the bus back to the hotel.

Day 5

Free day

Meals

Breakfast & Dinner

Accommodation

This is planned as free day. You will have a local bus pass to allow you to explore inland or perhaps just relax in and around the hotel.

Day 6

Westward Ho to Clovelly

Meals

Breakfast & Dinner

Accommodation

  • Time

    5 hours

  • Distance

    11 miles

  • Ascent/Descent

    300m

Back on the trail we head out west to sample the trails. We take the public bus to Westward Ho! From here the trail heads out past Buck's Mill to arrive at Clovelly. As we arrive towards the end of the day the crowds should have dispersed allowing us a more relaxing look around the village.

Day 7

Clovelly to Hartland Quay

Meals

Breakfast & Dinner

Accommodation

  • Time

    5 hours

  • Distance

    10 miles

  • Ascent/Descent

    500m

We return to Clovelly and continue our path west. The coast becomes steadily more rugged until we reach Hartland Point, with its distinctive lighthouse, one of the more dramatic coastal views to be found. On a windy day hold on to your hat! Finally we turn south for the short walk down to Hartland Quay. Here we can grab a celebratory pint (according to taste) in the hotel bar and reflect on a week's superb walking before our trip back to the hotel for the final night.

Day 8

Departure day

Meals

Breakfast

Depart The Barnstaple Hotel after breakfast. Check out is by 11am. We hope you have enjoyed your holiday and look forward to welcoming you on another soon.

Departure dates for your selected tour

19th Jun 2021 - 26th Jun 2021 (7 Nights)

11th Sep 2021 - 18th Sep 2021 (7 Nights)

9th Oct 2021 - 16th Oct 2021 (7 Nights)

Travel Details

Transport to and from the trailheads, if necessary, is included.

Accommodation

Accommodation information

Below is the accommodation featured on this holiday across all departure dates. Please refer to the Itinerary for more detail about each night's accommodation for each departure date.

The Barnstaple Hotel

The 3 star Barnstaple Hotel is located close to the town centre (15 minute walk) and a short drive from the stunning North Devon beaches. The hotel has been chosen as a convenient location from which to explore the beautiful area on foot. 

We stay at this hotel for the duration of the holiday in classic styled, comfortable en suite bedrooms. 

Bedroom facilities include;

* Television

* Hairdryer

* Bathroom toiletries

* Tea & coffee making facilities

* Free of charge Wi-Fi

The hotel boasts a Leisure Club with extensive facilities, including fully equipped gym, saunas, relaxation suite, indoor heated pool and outdoor heated pool (open April - October and weather dependant). All facilities are complimentary for hotel guests. 

Breakfasts and dinners are taken in the hotel's Brasserie Restaurant. 

Trip Information

All the details you need

Holiday Grade

This is a Grade 5 moderate holiday which includes full day walks with moderate amounts of ascent and descent. The paths are mostly good, but there may be some steep and rough ground. Walks will last up to 6 hours and could involve as much as 750m of ascent and descent. Some walks will be less demanding but equally rewarding. See the 'Proposed Itinerary' for more information.

Walks & Excursions

From Barnstaple, a well established market town at the mouth of the Taw estuary, we can explore the rugged coast, rolling inland countryside and attractive villages of north Devon. 

Local Transport Costs

All local transport costs in conjunction with the advertised activity programme are included in the holiday cost. There may be occasions where additional visits or excursions are added to enrich your experience, these will be paid for locally by you if you choose to participate. Local transport can be a mix of private hire coaches, taxis, local buses and ferries depending on the itinerary.

Optional Excursions

A range of local excursions and activities may be available to book at your destination through a local operator. We have no involvement in such activities or excursions which are not run, supervised or controlled in any way by us. Your contract will be with the local activity supplier and we accept no responsibility for their actions or omissions.

Spending Money

Holiday Budgeting

When budgeting for your holiday, you will need to consider drinks, any meals not included in the holiday price, non-included entrance fees, optional excursions you may choose to participate in locally and any souvenirs or additional services such as laundry. A general guideline for lunches and drinks is £10-£20 per person per day.

Tipping

Although entirely at your own discretion, tipping is an important aspect of tourism and hospitality life and expectations are fairly high. In order to simplify tipping, we strongly recommend that you allow your leader to take care of making sure tips are given to hotel and restaurant staff and to local guides and drivers. This will be done using some funds provided by us together with, if you wish, a contribution from you, which he/she will collect during the holiday.

Tour Leaders & Local Guides

Tour Leaders

Your tour leader makes the world of difference to your holiday and ours are as passionate about discovering the world on foot as you are. They're resourceful, organised and widely travelled. They will handle all the local administration and other needs that might arise to ensure that you don't have to worry about planning your days and you can enjoy your holiday. Although leading group holidays, they won't forget that every group is made up of individuals. Each tour leader has their own individual style, talents and professional backgrounds and all are trained, qualified, experienced and dedicated to making your holiday as enjoyable, interesting and inspiring as possible.

Leader's Evening Briefing

Each evening, your tour leader will discuss with you the programme for the following day. This will be your opportunity to discuss the details and ensure the planned activities suit your walking ability. If you have concerns on clothing or equipment, this can be discussed then also. If you do not wish to join the organised group programme, please let the leader know.

Your Travel Details

To reach the hotel…

by car: 

  • Exit the M5 at Junction 27 and take the A361 to Barnstaple.
  • At Barnstaple take the 1st exit on to the A39, signposted Bideford and Bude.
  • At Bishops Tawton Roundabout take the 2nd exit onto the A39.
  • At the Lake Roundabout (Second Roundabout) take the 2nd exit onto the A361 signposted Barnstaple and Ilfracombe.
  • At Sticklepath Junction continue forward onto the A361 signposted Ilfracombe.
  • At the end of the bridge stay in the left hand lane and you will see The Barnstaple Hotel on your left.
  • To reach us, you then take the first left off Braunton Road on the A361.
  • The hotel's postcode is EX31 1LE.
  • Should you require a taxi from Barnstaple Railway or Bus Station (both 10 minutes drive) we use a reliable company and would be happy to book them on your behalf.

 If driving to the hotel, there is a free of charge car park with ample space. 

by rail: travel to Barnstaple railway station which is located around 5 - 10 minutes drive to the hotel. With luggage it is advisable to take a taxi from the station to the hotel and to pre-book. The hotel can pre-book a taxi for you or you can search online for a suitable company to use. 

by coach: the nearest bus station is in Barnstaple, located about 15 minutes walk or 5 minute drive from the hotel.

You may also wish to look at the following website for advice on the best way to travel to the hotel: www.rome2rio.com 

The AA and RAC both offer free and detailed on-line route planning facilities on their websites which may help you find our hotels. Details can be found at: www.theaa.co.uk and www.rac.co.uk 

Meeting your tour leader and fellow walkers: Please check the time of dinner (approximately 7:00pm) on arrival at the hotel, and aim to be in the hotel lounge half an hour before dinner for an introduction to your tour leader, an outline of the planned programme for your holiday and the chance to meet your walking companions.

Personal Details Check

To ensure that we can accurately administer your holiday arrangements, please confirm that the personal details we hold for you are up to date and that you have provided the information we need to secure your holiday travel and accommodation arrangements. Please check your passport details, date of birth and any other important details necessary for us to properly manage your holiday booking. You can view and update information already provided, and add details not yet asked for, by using the Manage My Booking facility on our website www.ramblersholidays.co.uk, or by calling our Sales and Reservations team on +44 (0)1707 331133. When you receive your booking confirmation please check the details as soon as possible.

Passports and Visas

Passport Information for United Kingdom

Any non UK or EU citizens may be subject to passport, identity card or visa requirements to enter the United Kingdom.

Meals

The holiday is offered on a half board basis. Breakfasts and dinners are taken in the hotel's contemporary Brasserie Restaurant. You will be offered a table d'hôte menu which is changed daily. Lunches are not included in the holiday price to allow for flexibility. 

Footwear & Kit List

Footwear

Lightweight waterproof walking boots with a good moulded sole (such as Vibram or similar) and a deep tread and which provide ankle support are strongly recommended and may be essential for some walks. 

General Kit List

Outdoor activities are always safer and more enjoyable if you are prepared.

If you have not travelled with us before the following list might be of use:

  • Waterproof jacket (Goretex or similar) and trousers
  • Lightweight quick-drying trousers
  • Walking T-shirt/shirts
  • Walking socks
  • Fleece or jumper
  • Sun hat, sunglasses, lip salve and sun block
  • Warm hat and gloves (if appropriate)
  • Swimwear (if appropriate)
  • Day sack (this should be able to carry all you would need for the day's activity)
  • Day sack liner
  • Water bottle - at least 1 litre capacity (more than 1 bottle may be required)
  • Basic first aid kit
  • Lunchbox
  • Walking poles (should you find them useful)
  • Sit mat

This list is not exhaustive and every walker is different and may have their own preference.

Travel Documents Checklist

Documents and Information to take with you:

  • Holiday money
  • Credit or debit cards (and separate details of who to call if lost)
  • Car parking ticket and car park directions (if prebooked)
  • Coach or rail travel tickets (if prebooked)
  • Holiday booking confirmation document
  • Travel insurance details (if applicable)
  • Details of any medical condition or allergy your holiday leader should know about

Water To Go

An alternative to bottled water from single-use sealed water bottles is filtered water from a refillable bottle containing its own water filter such as a Water-to-go bottle available from www.watertogo.eu. Just fill up from any water source and save the environment from disposable plastic bottles.

We have negotiated an exclusive 15% discount with our partners Water-to-Go for you as a thank you for helping the environment. Please go to their website at www.watertogo.eu and enter the code RWH17 when ordering. In addition, Water-to-Go will match the discount with a donation to our charity, Heart & Sole, which will allow us to continue to make a difference in the countries you visit on our holidays.

Maps, Guidebooks & Other Information

Maps, Guidebooks & More

Our intended route is covered by the following map:

Ordnance Survey Outdoor Leisure series (1:25,000):

126 Clovelly & Hartland

127 South Molton & Chulmleigh

139 Bideford, Ilfracombe & Barnstaple

The Map Shop

Maps and guidebooks relating to the areas you will be walking in may be bought before your holiday from The Map Shop at www.themapshop.co.uk

Weather

Visit the following websites for an idea of the climate in your destination:

Staying Healthy On Holiday

Health requirements can change at any time. It is your own responsibility to ensure that you inform yourself from a professionally qualified source on, and comply with, such requirements at least 6 to 8 weeks before departure. Advice on vaccinations is available from your GP.

Health Advice for United Kingdom

No compulsory immunisations are required for holidays in the UK although you should be up to date with the usual immunisations recommended for life in Britain. Tetanus immunisation is recommended.

Further Travel Advice

For further advice please visit:

You might wish to take a small bottle of antibacterial hand gel with you for times when you're unable to wash your hands.

Travel Insurance

Although not compulsory for British and EU citizens resident in the UK, we strongly recommend that you take out travel insurance to cover you in the event of eventualities such as unexpected cancellation, accident or illness before your holiday or the loss of personal possessions.

Visitors who are not British Citizens (or who are not EU citizens resident in the UK), must be adequately insured to join our holidays and will be unable to participate in our local walking and other activity programmes without being able to demonstrate that you have valid travel insurance.

Personal Safety

The UK Foreign & Commonwealth Office provides up to date information on security and local laws for travellers, together with current passport and visa information, at www.gov.uk/travelaware. Please take a few minutes to look at the current advice on your planned destination.

Please be aware of what's going on around you, take sensible precautions with your credit cards and passport and avoid displays of wealth such as wearing expensive jewellery or watches. Do not carry more cash on you than you will need for each day, and we recommend that a money belt is used.

Cultural Awareness

Responsible Travel

We're committed to ethical tourism in all our destinations. Our holidays are designed for you to discover the essence of the country you are visiting. Travelling in small groups not only gives you an up close and personal experience of your destination, but minimises your impact on the immediate environment. We feel that the most important starting point to protect the environment is to be out in it. For more details visit our website.

The Ramblers Holidays Charitable Trust

Unlike many tour operators we have our own trust through which RWH Travel’s profits are channelled back into a variety of outdoor, walking-related or environmental conservation projects in the UK. The focus of the Trust’s financial support is Britain’s leading walking charity, The Ramblers, and their role in promoting the benefits and importance of walking to the British public. In addition the Trust welcomes applications for small grants from local organisations in the UK who need support for walking-orientated activities. This includes the establishment of footpaths and bridleways, funding for rebuilding bridges and renovating huts, as well as bursary funding for the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award for children who could not otherwise afford to do it. Please visit the ‘About Us’ section of our website and click on the Charitable Trust link for more details.

Heart and Sole

We appreciate that we are in a fortunate position to be able to use our profits to help make a difference to people's lives. Heart & Sole is a venture managed by our office staff, whose aim is to reach the heart of the communities in the countries we visit. Through Heart & Sole, we hope to make more of a long term, direct impact to these communities, particularly in less developed countries where even a small amount goes a long way. See our website for more information and details of some of the projects we support.

Staying In Touch

Mobile Phones

Please do provide us with a mobile phone contact number. We will only use this to contact you with important information relating to your holiday arrangements. 

Do keep your mobile phones switched on and readily available when travelling to the airport or if delayed in transit so that we can contact you with any last minute information relating to your travel arrangements.  

As a matter of courtesy, please switch off your mobile phone during walks, or endeavour to minimise its use. Please also try to minimise the use of mobile devices during group meals.

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