The Heddon Valley is set in the west Exmoor coast surrounded by towering cliffs and moorland. Designated a Site of Special Scientific Interest, the Heddon Valley is home to a variety of wildlife including otters and the rare high brown fritillary butterfly. The coastal, moorland and valley paths are renowned for their spectacular views and natural beauty.
Just a quarter of a mile from the cottages is the start of the trail to Heddon’s Mouth. A gentle stroll through ancient woodland alongside the River Heddon to where it meets the sea, between some of England’s highest cliffs. You’ll also find a restored 19th-century lime kiln on the beach.
To the east is Woody Bay, a quiet and wooded cove with spectacular views over the Bristol Channel. To the west, the Hangman Hills boast towering sea cliffs and beautiful moorland scenery, offering energetic walking and wonderful views over Combe Martin.
There is a National Trust information centre and gift shop, car park and toilets in the Valley, as well as the famous Hunter’s Inn public house.
Exmoor is a unique place shaped by people and nature over thousands of years and is recognized as one of the UK’s finest landscapes. Large areas of open moorland provide a sense of remoteness and tranquillity rare in southern Britain. Spectacular coastal views, deep wooded valleys, high sea cliffs and fast flowing streams all combine to form a rich and distinct mosaic. Click here to link to a short video of the National Park.
The South-West Coastal Path runs through the area and there are many other walks in and around the area.
Exmoor ponies roam freely on the moor. You can see them at close quarters at The Exmoor Pony Centre at Dulverton. Started in 1998, its aim is to work to conserve and promote the welfare of this rare breed pony.
Known by the Victorians as Little Switzerland, the twin towns of Lynton and Lynmouth offer a unique visitor experience including a craft centre and cinema, many shops, galleries, cafes and restaurants. They are linked by a cliff railway. Established in 1888, this water-powered lift takes passengers up and down the cliff between the towns. It uses no power other than water from the River Lyn to run it.
Watersmeet is a dramatic river gorge clothed with ancient woodlands. The area is a haven for wildlife with breath-taking views, waterfalls, evidence of iron-age settlement and past industrial processes. At the meeting place of the East Lyn River and Hoar Oak Water stands Watersmeet House, a National Trust tea garden in stunning surroundings. There are many paths leading along the riversides and up the valley sides to Lynmouth, Rockford and Countisbury.
This National Trust house was once owned by the Chichester Family. The grounds are also the location for the National Trust Carriage Collection which has recently acquired, on loan from the House of Commons, the early 18th century Speakers State Coach to add to their display.
These lovely gardens, pictured above, are well worth a visit. They were started by Dr. Smart in 1950’s and are now owned by his nephew who continues to expand them. Dogs are welcome on leads. The tea rooms come highly recommended for both morning coffee, light lunches and afternoon tea.
This narrow gauge railway, decommissioned in 1935, now has 2 miles of track between Woody Bay and Parracombe. Volunteers keep several authentic steam engines and rolling stock in working order so that visitors, can enjoy travelling in Edwardian style!
As well as the South West Coast Path, the area is home to other long distance walking routes: the Two Moors Way which runs between Lynmouth on the north Devon coast and Ivybridge in South Devon, crossing Exmoor and Dartmoor; the Tarka Trail which includes walking and cycle routes around Exmoor and the North Devon coast associated with the Tarka the Otter novel; and the Coleridge Way which links sites across Exmoor and the Quantock Hills associated with the poet.
Have been coming here since 1980 and this is still the best place to be and still feels like home. Hope to see you again soon!
Stan and JackieBedfordshire UK
We had a great holiday, lovely countryside, great walks. The cottage is in a perfect location. Very peaceful. Thanks.
Monica and Warren and Molly the dogNottingham
An amazing cottage in superb surroundings. Everything is fabulous – the countryside, the beach and the cottage. It is well thought out and equipped. We have recharged our batteries for work next week! Many thanks and good luck in your new venture.
David and Georgina and Alfie the dogStaffordshire
Another wonderful week in this beautiful part of the world. We have explored slightly further afield this time – amazing views from Dunkery Hill; golden sands at Woolacombe. We’re already planning our next visit!
Ros, Adrian & SophieWigan, Lancashire
A little gem – we are sorry to leave. Perfect in every respect. Thank you James and Alan.
Phil and AnneBury, Lancs
Beautiful and peaceful, just the way we like it. The cottage was well equipped and comfy. To top it all the weather was fantastic, thanks!
Debz and Steve Taylor and Sid the dogWare, Hertfordshire
A lovely comfortable cottage in a great location. A good few days. We will be back for sure.
Pauline and RobertWokingham, Berks
We only booked 2 weeks before coming, after our daughter stayed and highly recommended it, so it was no surprise that the cottage was so comfortable and well equipped. A walker’s and dog paradise. We loved the area and will come again as still lots more to see and do.