Lets Go For A Hike
June 2024 North Devon, England South West Coast Path
Let’s Go For a Hike!
2024 Hiking Trip to: North Devon, England, South West Coast Path and
Exmoor National Park
Let’s Go For a Hike!
And experience the breathtaking scenery of this craggy coast, across multi-colored moorland plains, the sparkling rivers in deep green valleys and the medieval villages that feel ‘lost in time’. These footpaths wind through one of the most impressive coastlines in Europe!
We’ll spend 6 days (June 7-13, 2024) in this unforgettable picturesque region. Upon your arrival in Bristol, we’ll gather and travel to our 14th-century thatched smugglers cottage home base. Nestled in the harborside village of Lynmouth (mouth of the river Lyn), The Rising Sun Hotel also hosted the poet Shelley’s honeymoon and R.D. Blackmore spent time here while writing Lorna Doone!
Devon is a county in South West England named by a tribe of early Celtic settlers probably meaning ‘deep valley dwellers’. With a remarkable deep river valley as our playground backdrop, we’ll take in Devonian stone towers, medieval castles with striking views, an isolated church and extraordinary tea house in wonderous settings, hand carved tunnels to magical beaches and amazing coastal scenery!
Along our route on the South West Coast Path, Britain’s longest way marked trail (630 miles) and the surrounding woodlands and moorland, we’ll keep a lookout for a plethora of seabirds, butterflies, red deer, 100s of species of fungi and lichen, 14 bat species and Britain’s oldest breed of native pony, The Exmoor Pony (free range)!
Dates~June 7-13, 2024 (6 days, 6 nights)
Arrival/pickup~Bristol, England airport or train station. You are welcome to arrive by plane or train to Bristol. We will transport you from Bristol to The Rising Sun Hotel. Your home for our adventure is the delightful Rising Sun Hotel setting seaside -beside the Atlantic Ocean and Bristol Channel. Expect deliciously prepared fresh meals with local produce with a focus on fresh! The Rising Sun Hotel has a local pub, a hidden terraced garden and is situated harborside and right along the Coast Path!
Our Typical Day…
Enjoy breakfast served each morning at the hotel (available from 7:30am on weekdays, and 8:30am on weekends).
We will gather to overview the days plans and begin walking or travel to our trailhead. Trail terrain will be varied underfoot and in difficulty, as the coast path descends to the sea and climbs to rocky cliffs for great views. There are sections most days that are more demanding. The paths can be slippery after/during rainfall, and are so worth the effort for the superb views!
Expect June weather to include lows in the mid-upper 50s°F and highs in the mid 60s°F. Perfect for hiking! In the open areas the wind can play a role. Devon historically experiences 6-12 days with some rainfall in the month of June.
We’ll enjoy a picnic lunch or stop at a local pub each day. The hikes will finish in mid-to-late afternoon and we’ll either walk or be transported back to the hotel to relax before dinner!
Some of the exciting regions we can explore…
~Valley of the Rocks/ Coast Path-
With amazing scenery just outside our door at The Rising Sun, we can step onto the coast path and into the dramatic valley of rugged Devonian stone towers after an option for a short journey to Lynton (the hilltop town) on the famous “Cliff Railway”! Other highlights today include spectacular coastal views (of course), the White Lady formation, expansive landscape surrounding the Lee Abby, wild Cheviot goats, spring cliff nesting seabirds, a possible jaunt down to Wood Bay, completing our loop back along the high cleave, with great views, on our return to Lynton.
~The river gorge walk to Watersmeet-
Steps out of the Rising Sun into the lush green inland backdrop valley of the Lyn River. The many trails in this valley of rich history create options for circular and one way treks to explore one of Britain’s deepest gorges!
Watersmeet, where the East Lyn River and Hoar Oak Waters meet is part of a National Trust property where a present day tranquil teahouse sits riverside in a fishing lodge built in 1832. Sections of this native woodland are designated Sites of Specific Scientific Interest. We’ll walk by rushing waterfalls, lime kilns, mine shafts, trout and salmon pools and Iron Age earthworks. The high cleave trails give us expansive views of Exmoor to the sea.
~Tunnel Beaches and Hangman Cliffs-
These sandstone cliffs make up the highest sea cliffs in England (1043 ft) and the highest point on the S.W. Coast Path! Deemed an “Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty” Little Hangman Cliff sits above with expansive views of beaches and the coastline. Alternatively, the gentle path around Capstone Hill toward St. Nicholas Chapel also affords great views of the coast and Lundy Island. Ilfracombe Harbour, Larkstone Beach and Jubilee Gardens summons us ahead. And… the fascinating 1820’s hand carved tunnels to the unique sheltered beaches and tidal Victorian bathing pools among lovely rugged scenery call to be explored! Fun!
~Porlock Weir and the Culbone Church-
England’s smallest church (13th century) seats 30 people, is used regularly and is tucked into the attractive woodlands of Culbone Combe; with pretty streams and the picturesque Worthy Toll Gate. This 4 mile loop begins on a grade uphill from the lovely village of Porlock Weir and the S.W. Coast Path, along the quay. The coast path here shows off the attractive 17th century cottages and the lovely harbour, which is the gateway to Porlock-“there isn’t much you can’t find in the village of Porlock”!
~More options for exploring Exmoor-
Countisbury meaning “camp on the headland” is a striking region visible from our Rising Sun home base. Views from Countisbury Commons and Butter Hill are fantastic at just under 1000ft high ground. There are many trail options to enjoy, delicious food at the Blue Ball Inn, the Foreland Lighthouse and the hut with shelter for hikers.
Dunster Castle and the Crown Estate, presently a National Trust property, sits atop a steep hill above the village of Dunster. It is a fortress with a colorful history, incredible views and many trails…which lead to Gallox Bridge, Bats Castle, and afford great views over River Anvil Valley, Exmoor and the Bristol Channel. We can also explore the village of Dunster and the Dunster Church and gardens.
Our typical walking/hiking participant…
Providing you are in reasonably good physical condition, pack the necessary items, and enjoy meeting people, you’ll enjoy this trip and the walking/hiking. Our groups are generally a mix of couples, singles and sometimes families. Age seems to have no real relevance and guides are available for any concerns or questions throughout.
What you’ll need to bring…
Comfortable hiking boots, rain gear/poncho, a day pack, water receptacles and preferably hiking poles, are at the top of the needed list. The Coast Path can be quite open and you will want to consider a hat, sunscreen and sunglasses. Oh, and if you have binoculars, bring them too! We will provide a more detailed list of what to bring once you have signed up for the trip.
Meals, all except one dinner, are included in the trip package and will be provided including gratuities. The one dinner not included affords an opportunity to wander a village and choose to eat where you’d like! You will be responsible for the cost of any alcoholic beverages you choose each day and the associated gratuities. *Special dietary requests will be accommodated!
Included in the cost…
~We provide all transportation from Bristol to the Inn and return, and to trail heads.
~Your accommodation/lodging for 6 nights
~Meals, all but one dinner, including tax and gratuities.
~Price per person is based on double occupancy. Single room requests, if available, are an additional $100/night.
~A non-refundable deposit of $1000 per person is due to hold your reservation at the time of booking, another $1000 per person is due by March 31, 2024 and the balance is due by April 30, 2024.
Initial $1000 is non refundable. Written cancellation prior to April 15, 2024 will receive $500 refund of payment due by March 31, 2024. Cancellation after April 30, 2024 will result in no refund unless you can refill your space, at which point financial exchange will happen between you and the replacement guest.
We are unable to refund monies for arriving late, or leaving the trip early.
~Costs not included in our trip package-
•Flights and/or trains to/from Bristol.
•Travel prior to and after the trip dates.
We strongly encourage you to purchase trip insurance to cover your investment! You can contact Better Travel in Waitsfield, VT (802) 496-9900 for assistance with travel planning and to obtain travel insurance.
About Us, Your travel team
Brenda began her love affair with the out-of-doors in high school working for the Forest Service, making trails and maintaining hiking and campground areas. She went on to become a hiking guide in 1988 For New England Hiking Holidays, based in North Conway, NH. She created a much loved and well attended hike on the Big Island of Hawaii, guides hikes in New England, N.Carolina, Arizona, Colorado, Michigan, and in Europe; specifically England, Switzerland and Austria, Scotland and Ireland, and recently Wales!
Dr.Trish Murray has spent the last 17 years as a physician in Conway, NH; but prior to this was a high school teacher. In her 20’s and 30’s she led wilderness canoe trips for teens and at one time owned a women’s outdoor adventure business for which she guided many of the trips. She has hiked and canoed in numerous parts of the U.S., Canada, Ireland and Peru. She recently guided our hiking trip in Wales and is SO excited to get out on the trails with a group again.
Elaine Swett is a native of New Hampshire who has spent most of her adult life as a Forest Ranger. You can find her out on the White Mountain National Forest managing the mineral collecting sites and teaching about her passion for the natural world. Her hobbies include traveling, canoeing, skiing and exploring areas of geological interest. She recently co-lead our hiking trip in Wales and is so excited!
“Another masterpiece of guiding, as usual.” – Ceil
“What a wonderous difference has been made in my life. Happy Trails!” – Yvonne