Section 6. Braunton to Instow - North Devon Coast Path
Distance: 11.5 miles Grade: Easy - What these grades mean
Your walking along the Coast Path is now fast and easy as you join the flat disused railway cutting of the old Victorian Barnstaple to Illfracombe Railway.
Distances can be covered very quickly so there are a range of mileage options depending on how far you want to push on. For those not rushing the route is a bird watching delight with egret, oystercatcher, curlew and flocks of other waders on the estuary as you pass the old railway station at Wrafton to reach Barnstaple.
Crossing the Taw at last on the impressive medieval Long Bridge after exploring the area’s premier market town, continue along the old railway line to the welcome cafe and museum at the Old Station House on Fremington Quay.
Here platforms and station buildings have been restored above a pleasant pill (inlet) on the Taw crossed by an old iron railway bridge. The Quay in its day was a major loading point for Devon Ball Clay, sent from here all over the world.
This is a great spot for finding out more about the prolific birdlife you are passing, as you will find a lookout tower complete with binoculars and notes to cover the main feathered visitors.
Crossing Isley Marsh Nature Reserve you follow a man made dyke into Instow, a popular sailing centre and idyllic location on the banks of the Torridge estuary with its restored level crossing complete with gates. Here the South West Coast Path looks back at you from the other side of the estuary and whilst it’s only a few hundred metres over the water, to reach that point on foot is 8 miles walk for you via the market town of Bideford tomorrow.