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Coast Path and Trentishoe Down

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Coast Path and Trentishoe Down
Author: Claire, Published: 28 May 2017 Walk Rating:star1 Coast Path and Trentishoe Down Walking Guide star1 Coast Path and Trentishoe Down Walking Guide star1 Coast Path and Trentishoe Down Walking Guide star1 Coast Path and Trentishoe Down Walking Guide star1 Coast Path and Trentishoe Down Walking Guide
Devon, Exmoor
Walk Type: Coastal
Coast Path and Trentishoe Down
Length: 5 miles,  Difficulty: boot Coast Path and Trentishoe Down Walking Guide boot Coast Path and Trentishoe Down Walking Guide boot Coast Path and Trentishoe Down Walking Guide boot Coast Path and Trentishoe Down Walking Guide
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0009_light_rain_showers Coast Path and Trentishoe Down Walking Guide Today's weather
18 °C, Patchy rain nearby, Wind: 23 mph SW
Next few days: Hover over icon for more info.
0009_light_rain_showers Coast Path and Trentishoe Down Walking Guide 0004_black_low_cloud Coast Path and Trentishoe Down Walking Guide 0006_mist Coast Path and Trentishoe Down Walking Guide 0003_white_cloud Coast Path and Trentishoe Down Walking Guide 0017_cloudy_with_light_rain Coast Path and Trentishoe Down Walking Guide

A 5 mile circular, coastal and strenuous walk near the tiny village of Trentishoe in Exmoor, Devon. The route leads you along a spectacular section of the South West Coast Path and then turns inland to visit the village. Heading steeply downhill, the route joins a beautiful waterside path through the atmospheric Parsonage Wood, then climbs across the remote Trentishoe Down moorland. This is an exhilarating and varied walk giving you rewards in spades.

The route has several climbs and descents throughout, including several long and steep sections. Some parts are very exposed (so dress appropriately) and the paths include sections that can be muddy, slippery, rocky and uneven, so good boots are a must. The coast path has a steep drop on one side, down a grass cliff, so take particular care with children and dogs. You will need to negotiate several gates plus one stile (this has fence gaps for small dogs to pass through and a stone wall at the side that larger dogs should be able to jump onto). You will be sharing about two thirds of the route with sheep, so keep dogs under close control. There is one stretch along a village access lane, but traffic is usually very light. Allow 3 hours.

The small village of Trentishoe is located in north-east Devon, close to the coast. The walk starts and finishes at a small, open, stone-surfaced car park on the northern edge of Trentishoe Down. This car park is not named and, being remote, it has no post code so you will need to navigate carefully to find the start point. The car park is an oval-shaped, stone-surfaced parking area with sea views, on the road between Combe Martin and Trentishoe village. Leave the A399 at the southern edge of Combe Martin, to join Coulsworth Lane, heading north, signed to Trentishoe and Hunters Inn. Ignore the first right turn and, at the next junction, stay with the main road as it swings right (still signed for Trentishoe and Hunters Inn). After a mile, you will pass a row of cottages (including Stag Cottage) on your right. The post code EX34 0PF should take you to this point. From this point, continue along the road, heading north. After 0.3 miles ignore the first car park on your left (immediately before the property called Moorlands). Instead continue for a further 0.2 miles to find the correct car park on your left.

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Walk Sections

Start to Coastal Gate
Start to Coastal Gate

Start point: 51.2138 lat, -3.9664 long
End point: 51.2177 lat, -3.9564 long

Remember, right from the car park, you will be sharing the paths with free-roaming sheep. Standing with your back to the car park entrance, turn right to walk along the length of the car park, heading downhill. At the bottom of the car park, join the grass path ahead which passes a bench on your left and leads you downhill into the gorse bushes, towards the sea. Continue to the bottom of this path, where a fingerpost marks a T-junction with the South West Coast Path.

Turn right to join the coast path, continuing downhill with the sea on your left and dramatic cliff views ahead. At the bottom of its descent, the path bears right (heading slightly inland) to reach a fork with a fingerpost. Take the left-hand branch to continue on the coast path. The path leads you through a fence gap, crosses a grassy down and continues with gorse bushes on your left. You will come to a small wooden gate ahead.

Coastal Gate to Trentishoe Church
Coastal Gate to Trentishoe Church

Start point: 51.2177 lat, -3.9564 long
End point: 51.2205 lat, -3.9393 long

Pass through this gate and turn immediately right, up some steps and following the line of a stone wall and grass bank on your right. The path levels off, still following the stone and grass bank with a fence on your right and with steep drops down the grass cliffs to the sea on your left. You will come to the next gate ahead, pass through this to enter a sheep field.

Continue ahead with a wire fence on your left (and a steep coastal ravine beyond). The field edge path swings left to reach a fingerpost. Do NOT turn left through the gate to continue on the coast path, instead turn sharp right (about 4 o’clock) across the sheep field. At the far side, cross the stile to reach the lane (this stile has fence gaps for small dogs and the adjacent stone wall should be suitable for large dogs to cross).

Turn left along the lane (ignoring the branch to the right, after a few metres). The lane descends steadily, before swinging left to descend more steeply into the small village of Trentishoe. As you reach a fork, you will see the stone village church on your left. The tiny church of St Peter was thought to be the smallest in Devon until the chancel was added in 1861. In the 1800s smuggling was rife in Trentishoe and there are local tales that the church tower was used to store the contraband.

Trentishoe Church to Parsonage Wood
Trentishoe Church to Parsonage Wood

Start point: 51.2205 lat, -3.9393 long
End point: 51.2162 lat, -3.9339 long

Take the right-hand branch at this fork and follow it as it swings sharp right to lead you steeply downhill. Further down, as the lane enters a section of trees, you will see a beautiful rocky stream running on your right. At the bottom of the hill, you will come to a staggered T-junction with another lane. Turn right for about 40 metres and then fork left onto the track which leads you into Parsonage Wood.

Parsonage Wood to Ladies Mile
Parsonage Wood to Ladies Mile

Start point: 51.2162 lat, -3.9339 long
End point: 51.2115 lat, -3.9512 long

Follow this stone track ahead, with a fern-covered bank and stone wall on your right and soon with a beautiful wide stream running on your left. Ignore the first footbridge on your left (signed to Mill Farm), simply continue ahead along the track which leads you past a house with large landscaped grounds on your left.

The track begins to climb to reach a fork marked with a fingerpost. Take the left-hand branch (signed to Trentishoe Mill), following another pretty stretch of track with rough meadows and the stream across to your left and occasional remnants of old stone walls each side. Ignore the footpath on your left signed to Heale and, soon afterwards, the track emerges to a junction with the lane.

Turn left for just 30 metres and then turn right to join the footpath signed to Ladies Mile. Follow this rocky path leading you steeply uphill through the trees. Continue until a point just after you emerge from the trees, a crossroads of paths marked with a four-way fingerpost. Turn left here to join the path signed as Ladies Mile.

Ladies Mile to Down Track Junction
Ladies Mile to Down Track Junction

Start point: 51.2115 lat, -3.9512 long
End point: 51.208 lat, -3.9618 long

Follow this level path as it leads you around the contour of the Trentishoe Down hillside, with the banks sloping up to your right and down to your left. You will notice that this carefully engineered path gives relatively easy walking, given the nature of the surrounding terrain. In fact, this path is called Ladies Mile as it was made for the ladies of Trentishoe Manor to walk from the manor house (which is at the end of this path) to the village church (that you passed earlier), without too much strenuous effort.

Continue along this level ridge path for about 500 metres until you reach a fork. NOTE: This fork does not have a fingerpost, however it should be fairly easy to identify as it is the first obvious fork and is around 70 metres before the level path begins to descend to the road. Take the right-hand branch, an unsigned but obvious path climbing steeply into the trees. The path is very steep and uneven with rocks and tree roots to begin with, so do take care.

The path soon levels off, meanders through the trees, climbs more steadily, swings right for a steep uphill stretch, swings left to level off again and then swings right for a second steep pull uphill. At the top of this second pull, you will emerge out of the trees to reach the edge of the down. Stay with the path, still climbing, with a line of gorse bushes on your right. At this point, remember to turn around to enjoy the rolling hill views that your climbing efforts have delivered.

Stay with the obvious path, continuing the climb, and with improving views with every step. Towards the top, you will emerge to a junction of five paths (including a stone and grass track which runs directly ahead and back to your left).

Down Track Junction to End
Down Track Junction to End

Start point: 51.208 lat, -3.9618 long
End point: 51.2139 lat, -3.9663 long

Go straight ahead to join the wide grass and stone track, still climbing and leading you through the moorland of heather and gorse. Simply follow this track all the way to a T-junction with the road, with the house called Moorlands just across to your right. Turn right along the road, with the sea soon coming into view. Follow the road for about 350 metres (passing one house each side along the way) to reach the car park on your left where the walk began.

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network Coast Path and Trentishoe Down Walking Guide Original GPX source file

Text and images for this walk are Copyright © 2017 by the author clairesharpuk and may not be reproduced without permission.


1 comments for "Coast Path and Trentishoe Down"

Wonderful walk. There are beautiful views of the channel & Wales at the start followed by a lovely woodland stretch then a steep climb with cracking views of the Devon countryside. The last section is steep so this walk is good for body & soul. Loved it.

By Joseth on 17 Jul 2018

The information in this guide has been provided in good faith and is intended only as a guide, not a statement of fact. You are advised to check the accuracy of the information provided and should not use this guide for navigational directions nor should you rely on the accuracy of the weather forecast. You are advised to take appropriate clothing, footwear, equipment and navigational materials with you according to the current and possible weather and nature of the terrain. Always follow the country code and follow any additional warnings or instructions that may be available. Some walks may be very strenuous and you are advised to seek medical advice if you have any doubts as to your capability to complete the walk.

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