Rockham Bay (Mortehoe)
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.
Type of beach
Sand & rock
Dogs friendly beach?
No dog restrictions.
- Rock pooling
OS grid ref.
SS 4580 4605
Parking available in Mortehoe.
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Rockham Bay (Mortehoe) Reviews
Motehoe loverSep 10th 2023
Sad that the stairs have gone, access is now down a cutting made by a water seam, steep but viable. Being a civil engineer cannot see why steps could not be created over this area rather than the crumbling cliff. Suspect novice engineered the cliff step solution (heard it cost £116k,) simply ridiculous!
With no steps anymore, it’s a steep scramble down to the beach. But great rewards at low tide.
Rockham bay beach
Beautiful scenery..lovely walk from mortehoe….but there are no steps down to this beach anymore…