Above Ilfracombe

Feeling the need for a walk yesterday, but only having a little time to spare, we decided to explore the low hills to the west of our nearest town, Ilfracombe. Known as the Torrs, or the Seven Hills, they lie along the coast, bracketing the town on its western edge.

Following the quiet residential roads to their highest point on the side of the hills, we finally found the small National Trust car park, which already gave excellent views down over the town.




Following the signposted footpath we descended gently and crossed over the ridge to the seaward side of the hills. The Victorians carved out a zigzag path which is now part of the coast path, leading westwards from the town along the steep hillside. There are viewpoints on every corner, many with benches, which were much needed due to the unrelenting steepness of the ascent.




Leaving the steep cliffs behind, the path finally ascends to the undulating, grassy swards on the top of the Torrs.




High up on one of the seven hills a viewpoint has been built, which gives a lovely panorama down over the harbour to Hillsborough and other hills the other side of Ilfracombe.




A choice of routes lead back towards the town and the car park, but we chose to walk a bit further along the coast towards Lee until we were past the end of the Torrs, where a valley cuts inland from the coast, which led us down a gradual descent back along the landward side of the hills to the car.

We walked for about an hour, but there were plenty of earlier paths leading back to the start, making this an ideal spot for future short walks, with fantastic views, excellent sea-watching spots, and even one place where one could descend down to near sea-level to sit quietly and listen to the waves.


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