In South Devon, Branscombe combines woodland and steeply sloping farmland with dramatic coastal scenery. Its flat-topped hills, deep-cut valleys, copses and hedges frame the view from the shingle beach, beyond which the water provides safe and pleasant swimming. On the high ground are pockets of scrub, heath and woodland. Visitors who linger there encounter rare butterflies and plants. The landscape also contains evidence of past industries, particularly in Branscombe village where some old Trust-owned stone-built properties are open to the public (with working demonstrations), including a forge, bakery and mill. Check for opening times.
|Extra visitor information for Branscombe
|Location: Off A 3052, close to Sidmouth.
Map: Map of Branscombe
Warden: +44 (0)1395 276626
Rail: Nearest railway station at Honiton.
Buses: Bus Sidmouth-Lyme Regis.
Car parks: Parking in Branscombe village.
Useful numbers: Bakery: +44 (0)1297 680333
Forge: +44 (0)1297 680481
Mill: +44 (0)1392 881691
Baggy Point at Morte near Woolacombe stands proudly on the spectacular, rugged and accessible Atlantic coast of North Devon with its rocky headlands, isolated coves and large sandy beaches. Picnickers are welcome in the grassy fields surrounding the car park. A path leads to the Point with amazing views on both sides and, on a clear day, as far as the Welsh coast.
The South West Coast Path passes through the entire property, and there is an extensive network of paths covering the surrounding area. A slipway leads down to the beach where swimming and surfing are popular all year round. On Wednesdays in July and August, tractor rides give the young and old alike a different perspective on this long stretch of sandy beach.
|Extra visitor information for Morte
Location: 15 miles N of Barnstable, off A3123.
Map: Map of Morte
Warden: +44 (0)1271 870555
Buses: Buses from Ilfracombe, Woolacombe & Croyde and Lee.
Car parks: Limited disabled parking at Marine Point, Woolacombe. Car park (charges in summer, free in winter).
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A stone's throw from the popular resort of Newquay, Holywell Bay is the largest bay on the National Trust's stretch of coast to the NE of St Ives. Convenient access points and link paths enable visitors to devise a variety of easy routes for wonderful walks around the cliffs and across the springy turf of the hinterland. Picnics can be enjoyed at points all along the South Coast Path. Holywell Beach below offers more sheltered spots to stop for a snack.
There are many natural delights to be explored with sand dunes that rise up to 60 metres behind the beach and the half-hidden, grotto-like interior of Holywell Cave. At low tide a 70-year-old shipwreck can be seen in the water just off the beach.
|Extra visitor information for Holywell Bay
Location: SW of Newquay.
Map: Map of Holywell Bay
Car parks: Car park at Holywell.
Bathing: Limited bathing; lifeguards patrol the beach during the day April-Sept.
Further down the coast, the bay at Godrevy offers less mobile visitors a superb site for a coastal picnic. High cliffs support some of the best maritime heathland in the country, with many species of plant, animal and insect life. The coast is edged by National Trust land that is open to the public and gives access to Godrevy Head, the highest point on this coast which boasts magnificent views inland and towards St Ives. The earthwork at Godrevy Head is believed to have been constructed against the threat of the Spanish Armada in 1588, and Godrevy Lighthouse (which can be seen from the headland) was the inspiration for Virginia's Woolf's novel 'To the Lighthouse'.
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Families can walk along the cliffs and get active down on the sand too. The long, wide beach between Godrevy Head and Gwithian is ideal for surfing and swimming, and there is a multitude of craggy rocks and coves to explore.
|Extra visitor information for Godrevy
Location: NW of Cambourne, off B3301 Portreath to Hayle road.
Map: Map of Godrevy
Warden: +44 (0)1872 552412
Car parks: Car parking at Godrevy (charge) and along the coast. Some disabled parking; disabled access to coastal viewing enclosure.
Rail: Nearest railway station at Hayle.