Tarka Trail


Bishops Tawton

Chichester Arms pub in Bishop's Tawton

Photo: ©David Corke


Location: Bishop’s Tawton
OS map: 139 Bideford, Ilfracombe & Barnstaple
Length: 6 km/3.7 miles
Length of Tarka Trail section: 2.25 km/1.4 miles
Time: 3 hours
Sat nav postcode: EX32 0DQ


  • Spectacular views stretching from Hartland Point to Braunton Burrows and inland along the river valley
  • Tranquil walk along a wooded river valley


Bishop’s Tawton is a small village in the valley of the River Taw, about three miles south of Barnstaple. The church dates from around the 14th century and the farmhouse by the church was a residence of the Bishops of Exeter until the Tudor period.

The Route

Walking conditions vary from tarmac country lanes to muddy woodland paths and gravelled paths over Codden Hill.

This walk takes you from Bishop’s Tawton along a partly wooded valley, past a quarry and back over Codden Hill for one of the best views in North Devon.

On a clear day you can see Lundy, Hartland and Morte points on the coast and Exmoor and Dartmoor.

At the top of Codden Hill there is a monument to Caroline Thorpe, wife of ex-MP Jeremy Thorpe, who died in 1970 aged 32.

The walk starts and ends at the Chichester Arms pub, which dates from the 15th Century and has kept much of its original character.

Head up Sentry lane and then along the path marked Tarka Trail which will take you through fields and broad leafed woodland.

The path follows a tributary of the river Taw where, if you look carefully, you can see evidence of the industrial works associated with the lime kilns active in this area until the late 1800s.

When you reach Higher Venn, turn right up the hill towards Higher Bableigh. You then take the unmetalled road up to Codden Hill car park. From here you follow the path past Codden Beacon and back to Bishop’s Tawton.

Bishops Tawton
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