Things to do

Welcombe has two wonderful beaches and idyllic walks in the beautiful Devon countryside. Beaches, historic buildings and walks are shown below.

Make sure you check the weather before starting out and tide times if you are visiting one of the beaches. Both can be found below.

The Land meets the Ocean

Welcombe Mouth

Welcombe's serene, secluded beach. The perfect place to watch the sun set over the Atlantic ocean. The beach is best in the summer and accessible from mid to low tide. As the sea goes out it exposes amazing rock formations.

The beach has a car park but the track down can be a challenge. Walking is a safer option. The path to the beach is steep and the final steps can be big depending on how angry the ocean has been in recent days. Even if you cannot get down to the beach, the view from the cliff is breath taking.

Welcombe Mouth is open from dawn to dusk. At this time it is appreciated if non-National Trust members could leave a donation for parking in the cairn. Also no overnight parking or camping is allowed.

Make sure you follow the road on the map page to the beach. Satnavs will take you down a tricky road.

There are no toilets or lifeguards at the beach. Get some advice from locals before surfing and watch out for rip-tides.

Marsland Mouth

Just south of Welcombe Mouth is the quieter beach of Marsland Mouth. Marsland marks the border between Devon and Cornwall. The beach has less sand than Welcombe Mouth but it beautiful nonetheless.

Just to the south is Gull Rock - also known locally as the sleeping giant.

There is no parking, toilets or lifeguards at this beach. You will need to park and walk down. Like Welcombe Mouth, it is less accessible approaching high tide.

You can walk between Welcombe Mouth and Marsland Mouth at low tide. At higher tides, walk between the two using the coastal path which passes Ronald Duncan's hut.

Ronald Duncan's Hut

Ronald Duncan (1914-1982) was a productive West Country author whose literary career encompassed journalism, fiction, poetry, film scripts and plays. He converted an old Admiralty hut after WWII and used it to write many of his poems, scripts and plays. The hut was extensively renovated by his daughter, Briony, and local builder Tim Neville.

Today the hut is furnished with benches, as well as a table and chair and a visitor’s book full of appreciative entries from passing walkers. Many of them are return visitors who know the history of the place, but for those who come across it unexpectedly the wall displays provide some background information.

The adjacent hillside is a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI). Unusual insects and birds flourish here, and it is grazed by rare breeds, Hebridean sheep and Galloway cows.

Marsland Valley Nature Reserve

This wonderfully remote area of woodland, heathland and maritime grassland was first turned into a nature reserve by chocolate magnate Christopher Cadbury. Its variety of habitats supports a wide range of birds and mammals, including the rare and elusive dormouse. In summer the woods ring with birdsong, and the abundance of wildflowers draws many kinds of moths, butterflies and dragonflies.

Due to its sensitive wildlife a permit is required to access some parts of the reserve. However, visitors do not need a permit to use the public right of way through the reserve. Dogs should be kept on a lead in the reserve.

Keep a look out for Pearl-bordered Fritillary, Small pearl-bordered fritillary, Dipper, Emerald Damselfly, and Spotted Flycatcher.

Click here to read about Marsland on the Devon Wildlife website.

Historic Buildings

St Nectan's Welcombe

St Nectan's was originally a medieval chapel in the parish of Hartland. It was raised to parochial status in 1508, when the church was enlarged by the addition of the north and south transepts. It contains the oldest rood screen in Devon, an 11th century font and 16th century pulpit.

The bell tower has six bells, four cast in 1731. Possibly in bell park which is adjacent to the church.

The 13th century vestry door was know by Rev. Stephen Hawker as the 'Devil's Door' - "it was thrown open at every baptism, at the Renunciation, for the escape of the fiend; while at every other time it was carefully closed."

Rev. Hawker was vicar of Morwenstow in Cornwall but crossed the valley by horse each Sunday afternoon to celebrate a service here in Welcombe. He is best known for creating the modern Harvest Festival and writing Trelawny which has been adopted as the Cornish anthem.

For more information on the church and services click here.

St Nectan's Well

St Nectan's Well can be found down a quiet road called The Gorge which is opposite the churchyard entrance. The Well dates back to the 14th-15th century and is dedicated to Nectan a 5th century holy man who lived in Hartland.

Nectan was the eldest child of King Brychan of Brycheiniog (in south Wales).

Legend has it that he helped a swineherd recover his lost pigs and in turn was given a gift of two cows. Nectan's cows were stolen and after finding them he attempted to convert the robbers to the Christian faith. In return he was attacked by robbers who cut off his head. He picked his head up and walked back to his well in Hartland before collapsing and dying. Tradition says that wherever Nectan's blood fell, foxgloves grew.


Walking Welcombe

The best way to enjoy Welcombe's beauty is on foot. It gives you the time to appreciate the beautiful rolling countryside and dramatic Atlantic coast.

We have prepared some walks to get your started. They can be found in 'A Welcombe Guide' which can be picked up at the Old Smithy, Welcombe Pottery and the Community Shop. You can download it by clicking here.

Alternatively the walks are available for Google Maps or ViewRanger via this page on the website.

Walking maps for the coastal path and OS maps can be purchased in the Community Shop. OS Explorer 126 - Clovelly and Hartland covers Welcombe and the surrounding area.

Way2go4 Walking Holidays

Based in Welcombe, Way2go4 Walking Holidays and have been offering walking and hiking tours in England for over 10years. Guided walks in the local area with transport, accommodation and meals are available as a complete package as well as independent self guided walking along the South West Coast Path from Westward Ho! to Tintagel.

You can find out more at or call us on 01288 331416


Docton Mill Gardens

9 acres of stunning gardens surrounding the existing Mill House { Saxon origin, still in working order}, Mill Pond, Streams and Leat. View the garden or just pop in for a light lunch, sandwich or cream tea. Plant sales available with over 300 varieties of herbaceous perrenials, some unusual, some old favourites. Open March 1st to October 31st 10am-6pm.

Contact Lana and John Borrett: 01237 441369