Walking in North Devon

Whether you are on the undulating, coastal paths, river valleys, woodlands or Exmoor trails, the views in this part of Devon are breathtaking making North Devon a spectacular place for walking, especially if you love a coastal stroll. Much of the coastline falls within the North Devon Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and of course, this region is also home to trails such as the Tarka Trail and has easy access to the Exmoor National Park.

Whatever experience you’re looking for, you’ll find it in North Devon

Walks in North Devon are a great way to explore the wider area, whether you’re on the hunt for new places to visit or just want something quiet to clear your head, you’ll find it all here. The county is rife with popular trails and those that are a little off the beaten track. You can find hidden paths where you can enjoy dog-friendly, country inns with open fires and sunny gardens or dine al fresco on the moor and carry a delicious picnic to enjoy during one of your rests on some ancient wooden bench or comfortable rock.

Walkers in North Devon will come across an abundance of livestock and superb wildlife, including red deer, roe deer, feral goats, seals, badgers, foxes, and otters together with a wide ranging bird population and of course, the famous Exmoor Ponies. Wherever you are in North Devon, remember to be respectful of the wildlife and that they aren’t domestic – you might find that an urban fox or an inquisitive pony will trot up to you, but be aware that they can be easily spooked and aren’t for petting. Also remember to keep a close watch on your dogs if you’re out in open country or using the public footpaths through farmland. You will also discover carpets of wild flowers, depending on which season you are visiting.

Plenty of great trails

There are a number of great walking trails in this part of Devon, some of which are managed by the National Trust, particularly those in and around the Croyde area. One well known walking trail is the South West Coast Path, which will link you to towns and villages all over the region and has a range of access points. You can see the South West Coast Path five day itinerary here.

Otherwise, why not visit the Tarka Trail? This trail was made famous thanks to the fictional otter that lived in this area. The trail can be picked up in Barnstaple and Instow and is 1.5 miles long – it’s perfect either on foot or by bike.

The Tarka Trail is an accessible walking and cycling trail that takes in both coast and countryside, giving you ample opportunity to explore both. For a gentle, family friendly walk, join the trail where it crosses Marine Parade at the Instow signal box. Head north and follow the trail across former rail lines and bridges until you see a left turn, this will take you down to the beach. If the tide is in, walk along the driveway of the cricket club, which you’ll be able to see from the trail and this will take you through the village where you can grab a few refreshments and rejoin the trail.