Rockham Bay (Mortehoe)
© Roger A Smith and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence
Rockham Bay near Ilfracombe, known locally as Mortehoe Beach, is a lovely secluded beach in a bay backed by rocky cliffs. The beach needs to be visited at low tide so check tidal tables before setting out. At low tide a sandy beach with rocky areas is revealed. There are some excellent rock pools, teeming with marine life.
There is no vehicular access to the beach, so it is not suitable for persons with mobility problems. Cars can be left in the charming, historic village of Mortehoe. From the village, a scenic 2 km coastal walk, with spectacular views, leads down to the beach. Steep steps (repaired in 2016 after storm damage) make the descent down the cliffs a bit easier than it otherwise would be, but suitable footwear is recommended.
These same cliffs are home to an abundance of wildflowers.
From the beach it is possible to walk over to the headland at Morte Point. In times gone by the rocks and treacherous currents here caused numerous shipwrecks - hence the name, i.e. 'Death Point'. In one year no less than 5 ships were sunk.
In the summer months, the heritage centre in Mortehoe village has displays about local shipwrecks, as well as the marine wildlife. Look out for the graves of shipwrecked sailors in St Mary's church.