Wooded valleys, farmland and spectacular coastline surround this quiet North Devon village.
The village of Hartland is located in a wild, remote corner of North Devon and is the county’s most north-westerly settlement. For centuries, this small community has been the centre of the rugged Hartland Peninsula, the treacherous coast of which provides some of Devon’s most memorable sea views. Near the village, at Hartland Point, is a lonely lighthouse and a little further down the coast, a quay, where you can enjoy a pint of local cider while Atlantic waves crash against the cliff-face. Hartland has become popular with artists and craftsmen who have set up their studios in the modest shops and cottages which line the village’s narrow main street. In the village centre, there are a handful of small shops, a beautiful church and a couple of atmospheric, old pubs.
A short walk from the centre of the village brings you to St Nectan’s Church, in Stoke. This majestic structure has been nicknamed the ‘Cathedral of North Devon’, thanks to its colossal size and intricately decorated rood screen. A little further down the road, you’ll make a steep descent to Hartland Quay. As well as some of North Devon's most spectacular coastal scenery, you’ll find a small gift shop, The Shipwreck Museum and The Wrecker’s Retreat, a cosy bar with an outside seating area, where you can enjoy a pint with one of the best views in the region.Hartland Abbey
One of North Devon’s most impressive historical sites is Hartland Abbey, which can be found a short distance from the village, towards the sea. This magnificent home dates back to the 1100s and has appeared in numerous films and TV shows, including the BBC’s Sense and Sensibility. Visitors can explore acres of ancient woodland and beautifully landscaped gardens. A circular walking path runs from the abbey to the coast, before returning through woods which are covered in a blanket of primroses and bluebells in spring. Good coffee, homemade cakes and light lunches are served in the Old Kitchen Tearooms. Hartland Abbey hosts an exciting programme of events throughout the year, including jazz concerts and outdoor theatre.
There are a number of small galleries and potteries in the centre of Hartland, including Springfield, which produces and sells colourfully decorated pots and tiles. Also well worth a look are Shoreline Gallery, The White Hare Studio and The No. 39 Pottery.
“Wooded valleys, farmland and spectacular coastline surround this quiet North Devon village.”
For a bite to eat in Hartland, try the Hart Inn, a traditional pub with open fires, serving a variety of delicious, beautifully presented dishes. For takeaway fish and chips, check out the Square Chip. A couple of miles away from the village is Docton Mill, a lovely tearoom which is well known for its cream teas.
It would be difficult to find a better base than Hartland if you want to explore some of North Devon’s most dramatic stretches of coastline. A short drive away is rocky Welcombe Mouth, a popular surf spot. Also nearby is Speke’s Mill, where an incredible waterfall cascades down the cliff-face.