A local

A local's guide to Mortehoe

Kate W 22 October 2019

North Devon is renowned for its fantastic coastline and attracts everyone, be it families, artists, surfers and everybody in between.

Little-known Mortehoe happens to be at the heart of this coastline, situated right next to exquisite beaches and bustling seaside resorts yet hidden on a secluded clifftop. Families and groups will have a great time with all the activities available in the surrounding area, in particular the fun water sports, while couples can make the most of the serene atmosphere of the village itself with quiet dinners and days spent exploring the sandy beaches. There’s plenty for everyone, including miles of walks and dog-friendly beaches, ensuring even doggos travelling with the family can enjoy a great holiday out and about. 

Stunning beaches, dramatic walks and epic views encapsulate this section of the North Devon Coast, providing an ideal setting for a seaside escape. Read on to find out more about this hidden gem…


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Morte Point

Food and drink



About the village:

Our guide to the village of Mortehoe

A quiet village in peaceful surroundings yet less than a mile from the vibrant, award-winning Woolacombe Beach, Mortehoe is a place where you can lose yourself amidst dramatic scenery or enjoy a true bucket ‘n’ spade holiday with your family.

It was once known for the wreckers and smugglers who worked along the shores, but now this sleepy and pretty village, made up of winding streets and crooked terrace cottages, welcomes holidaymakers for breaks surrounded by picturesque rural landscape.

The cliff-top position provides breathtaking sea views and the centre of the village is less than 500 metres from the first of an array of beaches lining this beautiful coast.

The beaches:

Woolacombe near Mortehoe

The closest beach is Grunta Beach, a dog-friendly cove that sits beneath Mortehoe village, just 500 metres away, and is often overlooked in favour of the bigger beaches nearby. On the first day of your holiday, take a wander down to this shoreline to dip your feet in the water; it’s such a quiet spot that you might even get the place to yourself.

The next beach along is the ever-intriguing Barricane Beach, another secluded cove tucked between two rocks less than a mile from Mortehoe. It’s known for the exotic seashells that can wash up here, in particular the cowries, and it’s great for rock pooling and surfing although there’s no lifeguard cover here or at Grunta.

After passing these two tranquil, beautiful bays you’ll finally reach the wide, flat golden stretch of sand that is Woolacombe Beach. One of the UK’s favourite beaches, the award-winning Woolacombe is the seaside spot you have to visit while staying in Mortehoe at just 1.3 miles away.

Morte Point:

Morte Point on the North Devon Coast

If you reach the heights of Morte Point, you’ll be welcomed with a far-reaching view across North Devon’s spectacular coastline. This scenic spot is the start point of the Morte Point to Bull Point Walk but can be accessed during a short jaunt from the village if you simply fancy a bit of fresh air to start off your morning. Extending from Morte Point and out beneath the water are the deadly 'devil's teeth' rocks which have caused many shipwrecks over the centuries. From this vantage point, you may be lucky enough to spot Atlantic grey seals pop out of the waves as they visit and play close to the shore.

The food and drink:

Cosy pubs in Mortehoe


The Chichester Arms is a good place to start if you want an insight into the Mortehoe way of life. This slanted blue and white pub-hotel, once a vicarage, now boasts tasty pub grub and a relaxed seaside vibe - they cement their reputation every year for all things cool with Chichfest, a summer event with live music, BBQ and local beers and ciders.

The Ship Aground is another great choice for hearty food. This establishment is right at the centre of the village and sits high up peering over the cobbled cottages on the surrounding country lane. This welcoming pub is spread over two floors, with plenty of space for big groups to book in and it’s dog-friendly too - head out for a coastal dog walk before settling in for a feast.

Barricane Beach Café is a quirky eatery that’s crane-lifted down to Barricane Beach every summer season and removed when summer comes to an end. They serve a range of classic café snacks but the unusual offering which pulls in diners year-after-year is the warming Sri Lankan curry. In their own words, they encourage you to: bring a bottle of wine and sit and watch the sunset!

The accommodation:

Holiday cottages in Mortehoe
Cotfield House in Mortehoe


Coastal cottages are always a favourite! The chance to walk out of your front door and within moments, step foot on a sandy beach is a real draw when looking for the perfect holiday location; this makes the scenic area of Mortehoe and Woolacombe a sought-after holiday destination.

Find yourself a romantic retreat, a cosy family escape or a luxury lodge in Devon when browsing our cottages. We have a wonderful collection of holiday cottages in Mortehoe and Woolacombe for you to look through and an even wider range of beautiful holiday homes, ranging from cosy two-person boltholes up to luxury large properties for big groups, scattered all along the North Devon Coast.

Take a trip to Mortehoe and spend days surfing and sunbathing on Woolacombe Beach, evenings enjoying a curry during sunset on Barricane Beach, and early morning walks to gaze out on far-reaching views from Morte Point. Find the perfect coastal holiday cottage in Mortehoe.


Disclaimer: Whilst every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of the information at the time of writing, please ensure you check carefully before making any decisions based on the contents within this article.

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