Walking and Wildlife

A slipway next to the hotel leads to a sandy and rocky beach that is ideal for families, where you can swim safely in the sea, fish in the rock pools, explore exciting coves or just lie there and enjoy the sunshine. Whether you enjoy a long, energetic walk, taking in the fresh sea air and stunning views, or a gentle stroll alongside the sea before relaxing at the hotel, the local area is abundant with fascinating wildlife, attractions and places to visit, ideal for all ages.

There is no better place to start a coastal walk or to stop for refreshment and a good night’s sleep than  Hartland Quay.  The South West Coastal Path offers great walking and stunning views for many miles.IMG-20120127-00118 With direct access to the Coastal Footpath, you can easily walk north to Clovelly for a day out or further on round the North Devon coast towards Westward Ho!, Bideford, Ilfracombe and  Minehead. Walking south takes you to Cornwall via Bude and then on to Tintagel and Lands End! There are plenty of lovely walks on well marked footpaths in the Hartland area; you can be as energetic or lazy as you like! A stroll to the lighthouse with a bite at the refreshment shack is a wonderful day out or a walk to the village taking in the local sights; the woodland walks are carpeted in snowdrops, primroses, bluebells, wild garlic and ferns as the spring progresses.

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In an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) you will see beautiful tapestries of wildflowers, seabirds, towering cliffs, sandy and rocky coves, streams crashing to the beach below via huge waterfalls.  The wildflowers are particularly good in spring and early summer when it is possible to see a huge variety including sea pinks, wild orchids, primroses, bluebells, campions, irises and much more. It is a naturalist’s paradise and binoculars are highly recommended.  Pods of dolphins can often be seen in a good summer and seals are regular visitors to the Quay bay and below the lighthouse.  Peregrine falcons hunt the cliffs, oyster catchers, cormorants and seagulls are all around.  Buzzards abound in the woodlands and roe deer are never far away.

Just north of Hartland Quay is the cottage where the BBC filmed the Andrew Davis adaptation of Jane Austen’s  ‘Sense and Sensibility’ in 2008 starring Dominic Cooper, David Morrissey and Janet McTeer. Blackpool Mill Cottage also starred in Rosamunde Pilcher’s The Shell Seekers (Muschelsuckers) for ZDF television. It is clearly visible from the coastal walk. .

Lundy Island, off the North Devon coast and clearly visible from Hartland Quay, offers a diverse variety of seabirds, wildlife, flora and fauna for nature lovers and the seas surrounding the island are designated a marine nature reserve. Day trips to Lundy Island are available locally.

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