Mortehoe Things to Do Tips by johngayton
Mortehoe Things to Do: 5 reviews and 14 photos
Having had one pint in the first pub, two in the second then it seemed de rigeur to have three in the third!
As so happened the Chichester comes across as the drinker's pub in the village. With its pool table, jukebox and big TV this is obviously aimed at the local trade and with a decent selection of beers suited me perfectly as a spot to while away the hour or so before my bus home.
I opted for the local Ilfracombe Ales' "Mother-in-Law" which was in perfect nick but I did note that maybe I'll have to report Mortehoe pubs to the Monopolies Commission as this too was £3.20 a pint!!
Directions: Just off the main street heading towards Woolacombe.
After my couple of hours walking I'd worked up both a thirst and a hunger and so it was time for some more rehydration and a bite to eat.
For those that know me it'll come as no surprise that as soon as I saw the fishcakes on the "Specials Board" I didn't need to bother with the rest of the menu.
This is much more of a food pub than a drinkers den but the Otter Ale (£3.20 a pint) was in perfect nick and when I mentioned to the friendly barman that I had intended to eat outside but the front patio was full he pointed me to a table in its own little sun trap of a patio at the side of the pub, overlooking the church.
That was perfect for me and when my fishcakes arrived I was suitably impressed to find that these were the real McCoy - proper homemade patties with loads of chunky bits of smoked haddock and a nice simple, but substantial, side-salad with lashings of home-made coleslaw.
At £9.50 this was particularly cheap but then it's a short season up here in North Devon and so I can forgive that. The beer was in fine fettle and relaxing in the afternoon sun resulted in me dehydrating again and so required a second which was just as good as the first.
Address: The Square, Mortehoe
Directions: Next door to the church.
As I mention in my intro one thing that definitely endears me to Mortehoe is that it has three excellent pubs. Each has its own character and so attracts a slightly different type of clientele which is exactly as it should be.
The first pub you come across if arriving by bus, and getting off at the Post Office, is the Smugglers Rest. The bar here is what I would describe as homely, a bit like sitting in someone's front room, but none the worse for that. Service was friendly and the beer spot on - I enjoyed a pint of the Devon Brewing Company's "Pale Ale" which at £3.20 wasn't particularly cheap but, as I was to find out, is in fact the norm for the village.
I was particularly impressed with the decked patio out the back (for obvious reasons - cough! cough!) and the fact that it is covered provided ideal shade from the noonday's sun as I rehydrated following my 3 hours on various buses.
As well as decent beer the pub also serves what looks like reasonably-priced bar food and the inn has half-a-dozen en-suite letting rooms with doubles starting from £50 per night (winter prices).
Address: North Morte Road
Directions: On the corner, opposite the Post Office.
Even though I'm not particularly interested in bird watching I'm always fascinated by birds of prey as they hover and soar whilst hunting then dramatically dive once their prey is targetted.
I can never tell one species from another but I'm reliably informed that North Devon is home to Kestrels, Sparrow Hawks and Buzzards, amongst others.
Here's a couple of pics from Morte Point which I think are of a Kestrel who had me transfixed for about ten minutes.
Coast Path Towards Bull Point
The South West Coast Path (MAP) follows the promontory's cliff edge here with dramatic views downwards to the jagged rocks jutting out into the Atlantic - according to the SWCP website in 1852 five ships were wrecked here. Inland too, once you crest the cliffs, you are treated to the rolling, largely untamed, moorland and along the coast a series of sheer cliff faces and coves.
An ideal circular walk from Mortehoe is to start from the tip of the promontory, Morte Point, and follow the cliffs round to Bull Point and its lighthouse. This is quite a strenuous section of the SWCP as the footpath ascends and descends about 500 plus feet several times over the couple of miles and if you fancy a dip in the sea there is an accessible beach at Rockham.
From Bull Point you have the option of continuing along the coast via Lee Village (from where you can catch the Ilfracombe bus during the summer) or head inland back to Mortehoe over the moors following one of several footpaths or the single track road.
In the latter case this is about four miles in total and should take about two hours, including stopping to take advantage of the stunning views.
Then you have three pubs to chose from!
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