Walking in Devon

There are few better places for walking in North Devon than at and around Highbullen Hotel.  As well as the rolling hills, rivers and woods all on our doorstep, nearby there is also the wilds of Exmoor to explore and some of the best coastal walks in the UK, along the South West Coast Path.

We can provide written and mapped walk details for 6 walks local to the hotel. The shortest is a half hour route around the hotel and village, the longest a walk on Exmoor, taking in the highest cliffs in England with views over the Bristol Channel to South Wales, as well as Exmoor’s famous wooded combes and heather covered moorland, with its wealth of wildlife.

Walks in North Devon:

  • Walk 1 – 30 to 45 minutes, departing from the hotel, an easy stroll around the village of Chittlehamholt.
  • Walk 2 - 60 to 90 minutes, departing from the hotel, a demanding circular walk across countryside and through woods.
  • Walk 3 – 90+ minutes, departing from the hotel, a woodland walk ideal for those keen on flora and fauna.  Can be extended to take in a section along the River Mole.
  • Walk 4 – 2 to 3 hours,  departing from the hotel, a circular walk taking in great local views.
  • Walk 5 – 3 to 4 hours, a circular walk taking in superb North Devon woodland, streams, open farmland and superb views or the ancient Devon landscapes and villages.
  • Walk 6 – 3+ hours, a circular walk taking in cliffs, coastline, wooded combes and open Exmoor moorland.

For details of each walk, please contact our Reception Team.

South West Coast Path walks in North Devon feature some of the most spectacular scenery.

Discover more things to do in Devon.

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Here are some of our other favourite walks in North Devon?

At Highbullen, we’re surrounded by a feast of walks, all ready for you to explore come rain or shine! 

We could have filled a book with the walks in North Devon available from our doorstep. However, for ease, we’ve whittled down our top five walks for you and your loved ones to enjoy.

Top tips for walking in North Devon:

Walking can create long-lasting family memories, and to ensure your memories are as positive as possible, especially North Devon walks! Here are a few things to remember when embarking on your walks in North Devon.


-        When following a footpath, make sure you stay on the path to protect wildlife and surrounding nature 

-        Close gates to ensure farm animals don’t wander off

-        Be careful of rising tides, and always keep an eye on your exit route

-        To ensure the best experience for all, take all your litter home with you

River Walk - Tarka Trail - EX32 0DQ - 3.7 miles

Many walks in North Devon weave between farmland and forests, which home creatures such as cows, butterflies, frogs, birds and more. When enjoying the Tarka Trail, there’s one furry friend you should keep a lookout for, the otter. 

The beloved otter, made famous in Henry Williamson’s Tarka the Otter book, is a common sight along the river walk, particularly the southern section, which follows the two rivers and is a delight to spot for all ages.  The whole route is 180 miles long, so you might want to break it down into bite-sized chunks, especially if you’re accompanied by little legs!

The River Walk is one of the most relaxing walks in North Devon. Expect the utmost peace on this woodland walk, as most sections are largely inaccessible by car. Think dense ancient woodland and steep-sided riverbanks smelling of damp earth, the perfect setting for any magical fairy tale.

You could do a circular walk starting at Bishop’s Tawton outside Barnstaple and incorporate the huge views from Codden Hill. Alternatively, you could weave along the routes guided by the river’s edge. 

And don’t forget to keep an eye out for the woodland’s resident otters. How many will you spot? 

Beach Walk - Westward Ho! - EX39 1HN - 4 Miles

Come rain or shine, you can’t visit North Devon without taking a trip to the beach. Again, you really are spoilt for choice in North Devon, but if we had to pinpoint a must ‘sea’ beach, then we’d recommend the small village of Westward Ho! 

It boasts two miles of gorgeous golden sweeping sands and even with the worst map reading skills in the world, you won’t get lost!. Northam Burrows country park dunes back the beach, so it’s also possible to veer off the sands and create a more circular route.

It benefits from being a Blue Flag beach, meaning it’s clean enough in summer to walk in your bare feet and get the golden sand in between your toes, which is always a sensory pleasure.

If you are taking your four-legged family member, make sure you stay north of Sandymere where they are allowed to run wild year-round.

Should the weather turn or the little one’s legs wear out, you can enjoy the choice of many cafes and amusements along the front.

For easy parking, there is a pay and display car park behind the beach in Northam Burrows.

Local Walk - Chittlehamholt - EX37 9HD - 2.5 miles

Whether you’ve embarked on a mammoth journey to reach us, or you just don’t fancy hopping in the car, the local village of Chittlehamhold offers a delightful walks in North Devon that starts from High Bullen’s front door.

Walk to the end of the drive and take the first two lefts to go along Whitmore Lane. Turn left along the delightfully named River Mole and then along the footpath back to the village through Arshaton Wood. Chittlehamholt has a fantastic village shop, run solely by volunteers from the community

 You can get a cup of tea, a slice homemade cake and some good chat from Ron if he is working that day. If you want something stronger, try a pint of Exmoor Gold from the Exeter Arms. From here, it's a very short stretch, back along the road to the hotel and maybe a little Devon siesta!

Town Walk - Clovelly - EX39 5TL - 2 Miles

Walks in North Devon don't always have to be in nature! If you forgot to pack your wellies or don’t want to rewash the dog, try a town walk! Clovelly is a magical old fishing village built into the sides of a crack in the cliffs and owned by the same family since 1738. 

It’s pedestrianised due to its steepness and cobbled surface, but it’s awash with atmosphere. You can park at the top of the village and wind your way down to the harbour at the bottom. It is important to note there is a charge to visit the village, which goes towards its upkeep, with a family ticket costing £22.90. 

For a longer walk, leave your car in the free National Trust car park at Brownsham and make your way along the coastal path before descending to the village.

Coastal Path Walk - Valley of the Rocks - EX35 6JH - 3.5 Miles

The South West Coastal Path is 630 miles, but if that is too far for your five-year-old, you can easily cut the route into shorter sections. Park at the eastern edge of the valley in the pay and display and walk via Rugged Jack and Castle Rock to Six Acre Wood. You can come back via South Cleave on the path that hugs the valley's southern edge.

You’ll walk through the Valley of the Rocks with its mysterious geological formations and stunning sea views. Kids of all ages will love the feral goats and wild Exmoor ponies. 

This is a great walk for a sunny day and also good in Autumn with the rust coloured bracken, purple heather and flashes of yellow gorse. Pop into Mother Meldrum’s Tea Gardens for some homemade quiche or chocolate cake for afters. 

Moorland Walk - Dunkery Beacon - TA24 7AT - 2 Miles +

Exmoor has grand scenery of the highest order and has been a National Park since 1954. Dunkery Beacon is its crowning glory and the highest point in Southern Britain outside Dartmoor. 

Park at the National Trust car park, which is one pound for non-members. You can then fan out across the moor for two or twenty miles in any direction you please. 

On a blustery day, it’s a bit exposed, but on a clear one, you can see across to Wales. Warm up in Withypool Tea Room afterwards.

Come the end of the day, when you’re feeling the calming effects of the fresh sea air and your legs ache from your daily ramble, you are always guaranteed a warm welcome at High Bullen. Whether you’re popping in for a rewarding Devon cream tea or recharging for the night, High Bullen is the perfect place to reflect on the day’s walks and plan tomorrow’s adventures.