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High on the Hartland
Bursdon Moor, Hartland Peninsula From the high ground of Bursdon Moor, across to Hartland Point, down to the spectacular waterfall at Spekes Mill Mouth, the gigantic rock formations at Hartland Quay and all points in between the Hartland Peninsula is quite literally an area of outstanding natural beauty. Film makers, photographers and walkers love this glorious corner of South West England just off the A39 between Bideford and Bude. From Bideford the A39 passes by Higher Clovelly then winds round close by the site of Clovelly Dykes. Be on the look out for the brown tourist board signs and turn right onto the B3238 to Hartland. Continue past the converted Chapel until the road forks in two. Take the left fork for Hartland Town, Hartland Abbey and Hartland Quay, the road from the right fork winds and dips across the countryside to the tip of the peninsula where the mighty Atlantic Ocean meets the Bristol Channel. This is Hartland Point 350 feet above the sea. Hartland Lighthouse was built here in 1874. Hartland, voted "Most Welcoming Community in North Devon 2005" is a delightful rural village. In addition to the local post office there is a fish and chip shop, organic grocery, general stores, two garages, antique shop, artists, furniture makers and potters. There is a good car park behind the village square so take time to explore the narrow streets where you will find the galleries and workshops of well known potters Philip and Frannie Leach at Springfield Pottery and Clive Pearson at Hartland Pottery. Fore Street's unique raised pavement adds to its charm. It's a short walk from one end to the other so you can sample local beer and produce in one of three pubs, The Anchor Inn, the Kings Arms or The Hart Inn. Next stop the parish church of St. Nectan's in the little hamlet of Stoke. The imposing church tower, the tallest in North Devon is 39 metres high. At the heart of Hartland is Hartland Abbey which, because of its isolated location, was the last monastery to be dissolved by Henry VIII in 1539. It is the ancestral home of the Stucley Family and this splendid house is open to the public on certain days during the holiday season. The beautiful gardens are open daily, except Saturdays, from March to October. There are also special open days and in 2008 we enjoyed the snowdrop covered woodland walk down to Blackpool Mill Cove which was recently the location for BBC1's film adaptation of Jane Austen's "Sense and Sensibility". Blackpool Mill Cottage, pictured, became Barton Cottage and was, for a while, home to the Dashwoods. The vibrant cliff face rises up from this picturesque, sheltered cove and many people ventured up the incredibly steep section of the South West Coast Path. We had a leisurely walk back to the house up the "long sweeping meadow" beside the Abbey River. High above, as if hanging from the cliff, sits the "Gazebo" which is accessed by an alternative woodland walk via the Walled Gardens. There was an abundance of snowdrops on the walk back carpeting the banks of the river, all in shade, except for the group pictured which were lit briefly by a shaft of sunlight. The other highlight of the day was the scrumptious cream teas and home-made cakes served in the old Abbey kitchens in aid of St. Nectan's Church. I recommend the Walnut Cake! If you missed the snowdrops don't worry the woodland walks are covered in daffodils and bluebells in the Spring. Just up the road from the Abbey are Hartland Quay, The Wreckers Retreat and the Shipwreck Museum. Twenty minutes walk south of Hartland Quay is Spekes Mill Mouth the famous and most beautiful waterfall on the north Devon coast. Follow the stream inland just 1,400 yards and you will come to Docton Mill & Gardens. The restored mill, leat, head wear and tailrace have been traced back to Saxon times. Please scroll down for useful links and historical references. >Focus on Hartland Quay Haartland Peninsula - A39
Walking down to Blackpool Cottage Blackpool Mill Cove
Hartland Abbey - Teatime at the Abbey
The Gazebo - Hartland Abbey Gardens Southwest Coast Path Blackpool
Docton Mill Blackpool Cottage, Hartland Abbey  - Photo copyright Brett D. Adams Hartland Point Lighthouse
Docton Mill
Hartland Pottery Blackpool Cove, Hartland Abbey  photo copyright Pat ADams Hartland
Hartland Town Abbey River, Hartland Abbey Hartland Town - Fore Street
Raised pavement fore Street, Hartland
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Historical References: Hartland Abbey, Hartland Quay Hotel. Please visit Hartland Abbey web site for opening times and more information about special events, the historic house and gardens. Visit the Hartland Quay Hotel web site for information on Hartland Quay Hotel & the Shipwreck Museum. Local Map Weatherproof Clovelly & Hartland OS E126  
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