If you enjoy nature and getting away to somewhere uniquely different then you will love this part of North Devon and Cornwall.
Have you ever dreamt of discovering a heavenly peaceful place within the sound of the sea and situated in a valley of spectacular beauty?
Look no further. You have found it. You will not have to share your experience with anyone else.
A unique area of world importance. Welcombe Coastal Barn is situated near the village of Welcombe in an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and within an 800 metre walk of the Atlantic sea shore at Welcombe Mouth.
The Barn’s location is within a wooded valley or ‘combe’ that is on the border of North Devon and North Cornwall. The National Trust manages both the beach and coastal path as well as large parts of the valley. Welcombe is part of the Hartland Peninsula and is included in the world class ‘biosphere’ of North Devon.
If you enjoy nature and getting away from it all to walk, swim, surf, ride, cycle and fish or to visit nature reserves and gardens you will love this unique part of South West England.
AONB, Nature Reserves, UNESCO Biosphere Region. Welcombe Mouth is designated an SSSI (Site of Special Scientific Interest). Its tidal rock pools, waterfall, cliffs, pasture, coastal heathland and oak woodland provide habitats for a rich variety of Devon’s plants, birds and animals. The Marsland Nature Reserve, in the next valley south, and our gateway into Cornwall, is a habitat for rare butterflies including pearl bordered fritillaries and is especially outstanding in late April/early May when the woodland is carpeted with bluebells.
We now have something in common with Ayers Rock in Australia and Yellowstone National Park in the USA. All of us have been give biosphere status by UNESCO in recognition of our world class environmental importance.
The North Devon Biosphere stretches from Lynton to us in the Hartland Peninsula. Why not experience this precious resource for yourself and use Welcombe Coastal Barn as your base.
Our stretch of coastline is considered one of the most dramatic in the entire British Isles because of its rocks and wildness. Welcombe Mouth and Hartland Quay are visited by geologists, artists and photographers who are particularly interested to see its spectacular rock formations of folds and faults created over 300 million years ago. And the sandy beaches at Sandy Mouth, Duck Pool and Bude are magnificent.
Here we support biodiversity by not using any chemicals in our gardening, plant species which attract insects – bees in particular - and butterflies and have wild life habitats including pitch dark nights when only the stars and moon are visible for miles around.
Are you tempted yet?
Feeling an unrivalled sense of freedom.
WALKING The South West Coast Path: The stretches of this 630 mile continuous coastal foopath which are immediately accessible from Welcombe Coastal Barn are to Hartland Quay and Point to the north and Morwenstow and Bude to the south. We can supply you with an OS map and direct you to our wooded footpath in the garden which leads you to the beach where you pick up the coastal path. This magical journey is for all lovers of the sea and countryside whether your interest is in art, photography, bird watching, botany, geology, history, archeology, landscape or rambling.
CYCLING around the Hartland Peninsula & North Cornish Green Lanes: Because there are no main roads other than the A39 between Clovelly and Bude it is possible to cycle all day on tarmacked green lanes which are virtually traffic free and for long stretches close to the sea.
Recent visitors cycled from Rock in Cornwall and didn't even travel along a B road, only green lanes marked yellow on their OS map, and experienced a thrilling sense of freedom and a whole day of stress free cycling. The next day they did the triangle of Welcombe to Hartland Point then on to Clovelly and back to us travelling only the unmarked yellow roads of their OS map.
Bike Hire is easily available near by.
We have undercover, entirely secure storage for your bikes too.
WALKING & CYCLING along The Tarka Trail: The 180 mile long Tarka Trail foot and cycle path passes through the North Devon countryside following the route made famous by Henry Williamson’s creation Tarka the Otter. Cycle Hire is readily available so you don’t have to bring your own.
SURFING & WATER SPORTS: Surfing is massive here along the wild North Devon/North Cornwall Atlantic coast. The beaches are clean and award winning.
The variety of other water sports available is impressive. You can learn sailing, windsurfing, canoeing and kayaking, and rowing whether on the sea, estuary, lake or canal.
RIDING: Gooseham Barton Stables is nearby and they offer rides for novices and experienced riders on well cared for horses and ponies English or Western style. It is open all year and is approved by the British Horse Society.
BIRD WATCHING: Bring your binoculars and you can twitch to your heart’s content. Not so long ago a Radio4 programme highlighted the fact that Peregrine falcons had reached optimum levels along this coast. The birds of the sea, of the countryside, of woodland and of moorland are all here.
FISHING: Sea-Fishing trips are plentiful in either direction - to the north of us from Clovelly and to the south from all the harbours along the Cornish coast down to Padstow.
And, if you are able to bring your own fishing tackle and lines you can have a fine time line fishing for sea bass and mackerel in season from our beach at Welcombe Mouth.
GOLF: You could say that North Devon is one the homes of golf in this country as the Royal North Devon at Westward Ho! is the oldest links course in England, laid out in 1864. It promises a challenging and true test of golf. The nearest 18 hole golf course is practically on the doorstep. The Hartland Forest course is just 5 miles away. Another course close to us is the parkland course at Holsworthy noted for its superbly kept greens. The Bude & North Cornwall Golf Club is in a dramatic setting with spectacular views of the sea. A links course established in 1891 and playable all year round. All of the courses are set in spectacular locations, whether links or parkland clubs.
The Places and Gardens to Visit:
CLOVELLY: An historic fishing village with a 14th century quay, steep cobbled streets and craft shops. There are regular events throughout the summer including a maritime festival, Lundy gig row, Lobster and Crab Feast, Celebration of Local Ales & Ciders, & Herring Festival.
LUNDY ISLAND: The word Lundy is Norse for ‘Puffin Island’ and this place has been designated England’s first Marine Nature Reserve. There are breeding colonies of grey seals, rare lichens and herb-rich acidic or culm grassland, and is an important staging post for large numbers of migrating birds. You can fly to Lundy by helicopter from Hartland Point or sail there in an hour from Clovelly giving 6 hours ashore to enjoy and explore this breathtaking environment. You can also cruise to Lundy from Bideford on the MS Oldenburg on a 2 hour long voyage. Easily done in a day and giving you an unforgettable experience.
APPLEDORE: Another charming fishing village on the estuary of the River Torridge.
BOSCASTLE & TINTAGEL: As well as being outstandingly beautiful and dramatic both of these places have legendary connections - Tintagel is steeped in the history of the mythic figure of King Arthur and Boscastle with the writer Thomas Hardy who met his first wife, Emma, there and worked on the restoration of the local St Juilot’s church when a young architectual student.
PORT ISAAC: This quintessential Cornish fishing village has a wonderful natural harbour where you can eat or buy freshly caught seafood directly from the fishermen who caught it. The narrow lanes mean that you can walk around freely unhindered by traffic. An absolutely delightful experience.
PADSTOW & ROCK:
PADSTOW is renowned for its charm and sheltered position along the Camel estuary in North Cornwall. This fishing town has evolved over centuries and, although still a bustling working place, is also one of the most welcoming and attractive to visit along the whole of the North Atlantic coast. There is always something interesting going on, especially around the harbour. And, there is excellent food available for all tastes.
Fishing trips running from Padstow Harbour include a 2 hour mackerel, 4 hour bass, wreck or reef and all day trips for sharking and wrecking. Skippers are all well qualified and boats are fitted out for safety and have modern fishing technology. All fishing equipment is supplied.
ROCK could hardly be less appropriately named as its popularity is largely due to the long stretches of fine sandy beaches washed by the tidal waters of the Camel estuary. The nicest way of getting to Rock is by ferry from Padstow. The Black Tor ferry runs all year round during daylight hours and there is a water taxi service available. Acclaimed as one of the major watersports centres in Cornwall Rock offers you the chance to sail, windsurf, water ski or go canoeing. Bird watching is also a major attraction. Sports fans can sample the renowned St Enodoc Golf Club which boasts two challenging courses.
NATIONAL TRUST, ENGLISH HERITAGE BUILDINGS AND PROPERTIES: Don't miss the chance to visit the wealth of historically important houses in this area. Many, of course, also have fantastic gardens. Some are very well known such as Cotehele and Buckland Abbey.
Bideford itself has a fine stock of significant buildings, enough to have produced an architectural heritage trail for visitors. There are castles in both Tintagel and Launceston managed by English Heritage. Famous places associated with famous people like Drake, Kingsley and Daphne du Maurier abound here.
The Barn contains a stack of brochures giving all the information you will need to plan your visits.
GARDENS OF NORTH DEVON/NORTH CORNWALL
Cothay Manor - is where the prototype of the “Garden Rooms” approach to design was first laid out. Later examples such as Sissinghurst and Hidcote Manor are now world famous. But, Cothay Manor was the first. It is undoubtedly an exciting gardening experience and it surrounds a medieval manor house considered the finest example of its kind in the whole country. A must see!
RHS Rosemoor - the only Royal Horticultural Society show garden in the South West of England.
Docton Mill & Hartland Abbey - spectacular gardens situated a stone’s throw away.
Clovelly Court - a classic example of a Victorian walled kitchen garden. The original glass houses have been restored and you can buy organic, seasonal produce direct from a stone building in the garden. You simply weigh it out yourself and put the money in a box in the wall.
Broomhill Sculpture Garden - Marwood - Castle Hill - Winsford Walled Garden - Heddon Hall & The Garden House are in the area.
And, The Eden Project - Lost Gardens of Heligan - Trerice - Cotehele - Buckland Abbey - Prideaux Place should be experienced.
All are within an easy drive of the Barn.