Hartland AONB section

Hartland AONB section

The ‘Hartland’ stretch of the Cornwall Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty is one of the smallest, running from just above Bude to the North Cornish border with Devon. It takes in the famous village of Morwenstow and borders the old wool town of Kilkhampton.

A high plateau of carboniferous sandstone and slate meets the sea here in sheer cliffs up to 475 feet high. Below are striking wave-cut platforms and compressed layers of sedimentary rock folded like a vast pack of cards.

The little church at Morwenstow was once run by the Reverend Stephen ‘Parson’ Hawker - a poet and philanthropist. Inspired by the wild landscape he wrote many poems including the Cornish anthem ‘Trelawney’. Hawker's Hut on the coast is built of ships’ timbers with a turf roof and here the Reverend Hawker reputedly used to smoke opium, compose verse and entertain guests such as Alfred Tennyson and Charles Kingsley.

All down the coast exposed, treeless pastureland runs right to the cliff edge. Further inland medieval fields are enclosed by grassy banks or stone Cornish hedges.

There are several deep river valleys with woods of ash, willow, oak and beech and also rare water meadows known as the 'Culm grasslands'. The area is sparsely populated with isolated farmsteads and a few single track roads weaving up the valley sides. Buildings are mostly of local slates and sandstone or cob but, in some of the hollows, ancient thatched cottages remain.

The AONB section ends below Menachurch Point just to the north of the town of Bude.

Facilities

  • Facilities
  • Countryside/Rural

What’s nearby

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