Mortehow, Devon

Mortehoe, Devon

Mortehoe is a village on the north coast of Devon. The village is located on a hill just above Woolacombe and in walking distance of Morte Point. This picturesque little village is almost entirely dependant on tourism. And during the summer months is buzzing with visitors.

We visited Mortehoe and Woolacombe in 2015 shortly after we started our lives as full-timers and were completely smitten with it. At the time Nik did manage to get some good photos but as it was mid tourist season he had trouble not getting people in them. So today was our chance to get the photos in this pretty little village that Nik had wanted last time. 

The biggest difference was the lack of people milling around. There weren’t as many flower pots or hanging baskets. There is a National Trust tea-rooms beside the church which was doing a roaring trade. It looked quite sad this time as, along with everything else, it was closed because of the virus. Nik did manage to get some good photos of the church but actually, the village looks better with people wandering around.

So what can I tell you about Mortehoe?

To begin with, it has been called the prettiest village in Britain. If you like to visit villages because of their beauty Mortehoe is a must. The main part of the village is small, olde-worlde, postcard-perfection. I’ve just realised that the photo I used on the first blog is almost identical to the photo I used as our featured image in this blog. Nik must really, have liked that view of the village.

The village car park isn’t huge. There is a field next to it which may be used as an overflow when it’s really busy. But I can’t say it does as we were never there with a car during its busy times. (The time we came, we parked at Woolacombe and walked up from there.) It’s pay and display. And the public toilets are by the entrance. Knowing where to find the loo is an absolute must for me. 

By the car park is the Mortehoe Museum. The museum is in a barn and has the records of much of the history of the village.

At the centre of the village is St Mary’s Church which dates back to Norman times. The bell tower, carved pews and tomb of Sir William de Tracy are medieval. It is the focal point of the village and pulls the whole picturesque scene together. 

Beside the church is a pub with outside seating that usually serves food. Next to that is the chip shop. Then there is a B&B that does take away food and just down from that is the village stores. Opposite the church on the other side of the street is the National Trust tea room and B&B. Just behind the pub is the village hall, which in better times often has an indoor market selling homemade goods. 

Oxeye daisies in Mortehoe Cemetry, North Devon,
Oxeye daisies in Mortehoe Cemetry, North Devon, UK

It didn’t take long for us to fully explore and photograph the village. Once done we then made our way toward Morte Point following the lane between the church and the pub.

On our way, we found Mortehoe Cemetary, which I have to say affords its residents the most spectacular view of the coastline. 

Morte Point, meaning ‘Death Point’, is a peninsula west of Mortehoe. Notorious as the site of many shipwrecks. Owned by the National Trust, it is a site of special scientific interest and farmed organically by a tenant farmer. Its highest Crag is 150 metres.

My heart sank slightly when we saw the information board by the gate. As I could see by the map that the coast path around the point leads to Bull Point Lighthouse.

Nik and I walked to this lighthouse in 2014 from Lee. My memory of the walk is big hills and painful legs. Seeing it was just a walk away from Morte Point I just knew Nik would want to go there. I also knew it would mean some scarey coast paths and probably some hills.

South West Coast Path from Morte Point to Bull Point, North Devon, UK
South West Coast Path from Morte Point to Bull Point, North Devon, UK

We made our way to the Morte Point, taking many photos of the beauty that surrounded us. After Nik walked to the very end, I just can’t go that close to the edge, we found a nice viewpoint of the coast and had lunch. We could see the lighthouse from where we sat and to be honest, it wasn’t that far away. However, we could also see the route in its entirety.  Instead of enjoying my lunch, I spent the whole time visually walking the coast path. Finding the spots along the path that I just knew would turn my tummy. (I am very scared of heights.)

With stomach-churning, I stepped forth and followed my adventurous Husband along the path of fear. Honestly, most of the path was fine, there were a few spots that were just too close to the edge for me. During those moments my valiant Husband held my hand for moral support. I did have to sit to admire the views from a slightly lower vantage point, on the whole, however, it was just a spectacular afternoon of walking along stunning coastline.

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Bull Point Lighthouse was built by Trinity House in 1975. It replaces the earlier lighthouse built, in 1879, after considerable cliff fall made it unsafe and damaged the engine station.

The lighthouse was automated in 1975 and is now four self-catering holiday cottages.

Living with Nik, I have seen many lighthouses and honestly, Bull Point is nothing special to look at. Nik managed to have a wonderful time re-taking photos from all angles. The walk back to Mortehoe took about 20 minutes as we did the circular route following the lane from the lighthouse. This gave us a chance to look at some of the holiday apartments on the outskirts of the village. Very nice!

 

 

For more blogs about our adventures, please click HERE

The days’ Photos
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