Barnstaple is the heart of North Devon, surrounded by beautiful walks in the countryside and along the coast. No matter the ability or ages of the group, there are endless walks to choose from in this area of the county. For recommendations of walks around Barnstaple, keep reading.
A longer circular walk along both sides of Baggy Point and over the headland. Enjoy breath-taking coastal, sea and farmland views. This is an excellent route to enjoy wildflowers and birdwatching. Head out the car park and turn right up the lane to join the path left through the gate posts. Follow the track to the end of the headland and past the gorse to the gate. Walk along the gently sloping South West Coast Path and keep an eye out for Lundy Island as you walk towards the headland. From the headland follow right until you reach a gate through which widens to a grassy track and leads you to the eastern side of Baggy Point. Stay on the path along the cliff top until you are through the next gate and following the grassy path to your left. Keep following along the coast, enjoying views of the coastline, Croyde village and beyond. You will finally reach the road; cross and follow the path back to the car park. If you are looking for walks around Barnstaple that take you through the countryside and along the coast, this is the perfect one for you.
Barnstaple forms the central hub for the Tarka Trail. This walk takes you into the town whilst enjoying some of the surroundings trails. The walk starts at the Severn Brethren car park where you pick up the Tarka Trail near the river’s edge. The path follows along the river until you reach an iron bridge, where you cross to the other side. The walk then turns north, heading back towards the town, continuing along the Tarka Trail through Rock Park. Travel south along the Ladies’ Mile and keep following signs for the Tarka Trail until you hit the clock tower in Barnstaple Square. Walk up Boutport Street past Butcher’s Row and the High Street and pop out by the library. Head towards the old financial centre and admire the old buildings and beautiful architecture. Circle back into town towards the bridge and follow the trail along the river until you are back to the start. This is one of the great walks around Barnstaple, giving you the luxury of enjoying the main sights of the town and the River Taw, whilst stomping along the Tarka Trail.
Enjoy this point-to-point trail near Barnstaple. Generally, it is considered a moderately challenging route, taking an average of eight to nine hours to complete. This route follows the Tarka Trail on and off along the coast between the two towns. Once out of Barnstaple, follow the Tarka Trail before temporarily leaving to skirt Yelland and walk along the beach to Instow before re-joining the Tarka Trail and heading down to Bideford Station. Leave the Tarka Trail to cross the old bridge and arrive in Bideford. Follow the disused railway to Appledore, passing the shipyard and dry dock. Leave Appledore, stopping at the Lifeboat Station and wander through Northam Burrows Country Park before finally walking along the pebble ridge into Westward Ho!. If you are looking for walks around Barnstaple that offer you the coast, and to visit other North Devon towns, this is a wonderful trail for exploring. The best time of year to visit this trail is between June and October.
BRAUNTON BURROWS (2.6 miles)
Enjoy this short trail near Braunton. Great for birding, hiking, and walking, enjoy the countryside and admire the wildlife. Set out along the route and turn right following along the path. Circular round to meet views of the sea and coastline. Admire the views of the North Devon Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty as you head back to the starting point. Explore some of the best views of North Devon on one of the many spectacular walks around Barnstaple.
This circular walk will take you around the Codden Hill. It is a moderately challenging route because of a few steep sections. Start at the car park near Bishop’s Tawton. Head out along the path and join the circular route heading left or right. Enjoy a stomp through the countryside and admire the surrounding views as you head up the hills. This track is great for hiking, running, and walking, and it’s unlikely you’ll encounter many other people will exploring.
This walk takes you along Croyde beach and the South West Coast Path before climbing steeply up and over Saunton Down, before looping back into Croyde through woods and country lanes. From Billy Budds follow the footpath to the beach and turn left. Follow the coast path along the beach and cliffs to the road and follow back to Croyde. Cross and take the path that will take you to Saunton. From here follow the footpath up and over the hill before joining a wooded path that will take you back to the village. From the top of Saunton Down, you have one of the best views in North Devon looking over Bideford Bay and Braunton Burrows, one of the biggest dune systems in the UK. Be sure to check it out on Your Devon Escape.
For more ideas for what to do on Your Devon Escape, why not check out our journal for recommendations. Or make us all jealous on Your Devon Escape by sharing your adventures with #yourdevonescape or tag us on Facebook @YourDevonEscape, on Instagram @your_devon_escape or TikTok @yourdevonescapeltd.