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Speke’s Mill Mouth Waterfall – How to get there

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Speke’s Mill mouth waterfall is one of the most popular waterfalls in all of Devon. If you’ve seen photos of it before then it’s not hard to realise why! The waterfall drops a total of 48 meters in three separate steps before the water flows into the ocean. The water pools after the first drop and makes a perfect spot for a wild swim.

The coastline is also lined with some stunning rock formations so be sure to keep your eyes peeled as you walk along the coastal highway. There’s also a smaller waterfall to watch out for just a short walk from the carpark and plenty of wildlife in the area too. This part of the UK is home to some beautiful butterflies and birds as well as a wide range of plants and other wildlife.

Where is Speke's Mill Mouth Waterfall?

Speke’s Mill Mouth waterfall is located just off the southwest coast path, a short walk from Hartland Quay. There is a reasonably sized car park just above the Hartland Quay hotel and the waterfall is around a 4km hike from there (further if you take the longer circular route detailed below). The coastline around this part of the UK is one of the best places to visit in Devon.

It’s hard to miss the striking falls once you get close. The walk along the southwest coast path is one of the most beautiful walks in the area and is perfect for a summer’s day hike if you’re staying in the area or on a North Devon Road trip.

Parking is available at Hartland Quay and there is a small charge during the summer months. From October until April the road down to the quay may be closed for an unspecified amount of time, you can find details of these closures on the Quay Hotel website here.

Hartland Quay is just a 30-minute (16 miles) drive from Bideford and is also close to other nearby attractions such as Clovelly village and Hartland Point.

Postcode for parking at Hartland Quay: EX39 6DB

A view of Speke mill mouth waterfall from the bottom of the first cascade.
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Spekes Mill Mouth Walking route

1 – Starting from the far end of the car park at Hartland Quay, take the southwest coast path in a southward direction, from here follow the path as it sweeps round the back of Catherine’s Tor which sticks up high on the edge of the Devonian coast. There was once a chapel on top of the Tor which was part of the Monastery at Hartland Abbey. As you walk along this coastline take some time to look at the fascinating rock formations and rock faults which are admired by geologists.

2- Once you find the small stream take the steppingstones across this and follow the markers for the southwest coast path. Ignore any paths the head off to the left as these will take you away from the route to the waterfall. Continue southward down the path and follow the steep descent down to Speke’s Mill Mouth waterfall. Enjoy the views and take a dip if it’s warm enough!

3 – At this point you can turn around of head back to the carpark, however if you fancy a longer hike or a bit more adventure then continue down the path southward. The path forks off into two paths just after the waterfall, take a left here away from the coastal path which you previously followed. Bear right a short while afterward and follow the route towards Lymebridge. When you reach the next fork in the path bear right again and walk to the road.

4 – Once you reach the road turn left and follow the road until you reach a crossroads, take another left here and follow the steep uphill road until you find yourself at another crossroads.

5 – At the next crossroads, Kernstone, go straight ahead. The road will head towards Stoke and Hartland. From here follow the path towards Wargery farm, follow the path as is drops down towards the river and then climbs towards the outskirts of Stoke. Continue into the village and you’ll come to another crossroads.

6 – Once in stoke follow the path through the churchyard which is signposted Hartland Quay. At the other side of the churchyard, you’ll follow a path in front of some small cottages, follow the path until you find a right turn which will take you over some fields, this path runs parallel with the road. Once you reach Rocket house you’ll find a path to the left, follow it downhill back to Hartland Quay, back where you started.

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What should you bring with yoU?

When heading out on a hike it’s important to make sure you have the correct equipment to make your walk both enjoyable and safe. Depending on which route you decide to take may influence some of the items you bring with you when visiting Speke’s Mill. As a general rule you should make sure to bring the following with you on your North Devon adventure:

  • Weather appropriate clothing
  • Hiking boots or shoes
  • Food and snacks to keep you going
  • Plenty of water to stayhydrated
  • A map and compass – OS Explorer 139 is the map for this area.
  • First aid kit

Always make sure you tlet someone know where you plan to hike and what time you are expecting to be back at your car / home. A map and compass is always important as relying on a phone to show you directions can have a number of issues.

I hope you’ll agree that the waterfall makes for some beautiful photos and the walk itself is one of the best in Devon. Will you be adding Speke’s Mill Mouth waterfall to your North Devon bucket list?

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1 Comment

  1. February 4, 2022 / 7:05 am

    This looks like a great walk and who can resist a waterfall on a beach!

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