North Devon

Introduction

Times of high water

Clovelly: High water is 5 hours and 24 minutes before high water at Dover

Lundy: High water is 5 hours and 30 minutes before high water at Dover

Appledore: High water is 5 hours and 20 minutes before high water at Dover

Ilfracombe: High water is 5 hours and 25 minutes before high water at Dover

Lynmouth: High water is 5 hours and 15 minutes before high water at Dover

Minehead: High water is 4 hours and 50 minutes before high water at Dover

Tidal streams

To the north of Widemouth Bay: The north going stream begins at 2 hours after high water at Dover. The south going stream begins at 4 hours before high water at Dover. The flow reaches a speed of 3 knots at springs. Flows are inconsistent, and only reach these speeds at exposed headlands.

Off the north and south points of Lundy: The east north-east going stream begins at 5 hours and 30 minutes after high water at Milford Haven. The west south-west going stream begins at 30 minutes before high water at Milford Haven. The flow reaches a speed of 5 knots at springs. Significant races form off both points. It is sometimes possible to avoid these by paddling near the shore.

On the east side of Lundy: The flow runs south at up to 1 knot for 9 and half hours, starting 5 and a half hours after high water at Milford Haven.

Off Hartland Point: The east north-east going stream begins at 1 hours and 20 minutes after high water at Dover. The west south-west going stream begins at 4 hours and 40 minutes before high water at Dover. The flow reaches a speed of 3 knots at springs. A race forms extending well offshore to the north west. This can be mostly avoided by rock hopping close to shore.

Between Morte Point and Lundy: Those making this crossing will wish to consult more authoritative sources of information. The tidal stream atlas is useful, as the charted streams are not near the path of the crossing. Oddly, French (simulated) tidal flow data may be useful! The east north-east going stream begins at 6 hours after high water at Port Of Bristol (avonmouth). The west south-west going stream begins at 30 minutes before high water at Port Of Bristol (avonmouth). The flow reaches a speed of 1.6 knots at springs.

In Bideford Bay: The north-east going stream begins at 5 hours after high water at Dover. The south-west going stream begins at 40 minutes before high water at Dover. The flow reaches a speed of 0.5 knots at springs. The tidal stream has an irregular rotary pattern. Only the north-going stream is noticeable along Saunton sands.

Off Baggy Point: The tide flows north and south. The flow reaches a speed of 4 knots at springs. Overfalls form.

Mouth of Taw and Torridge Rivers: The south south-east going stream begins at 40 minutes after high water at Dover. The north north-west going stream begins at 5 hours and 20 minutes before high water at Dover. The flow reaches a speed of 5 knots at springs. Rough water when the ebb meets a swell.

Morte bay: There is little flow in the bay.

Off Morte Point and Bull Point: The north-east going stream begins at 5 hours and 10 minutes after high water at Port Of Bristol (avonmouth). The south-west going stream begins at 50 minutes before high water at Port Of Bristol (avonmouth). The north-east going stream reaches a speed of 2.9 knots at springs. The south-west going stream reaches a speed of 3.2 knots at springs. The flow tends to flow north here on the flood and west on the ebb. Large tide races form between the points on the ebb, whilst smaller races form off Morte Point on the flood.

Between Bull Point and Ilfracombe: The east going stream begins at 5 hours and 40 minutes after high water at Milford Haven. The west going stream begins at 25 minutes before high water at Milford Haven. The flow reaches a speed of 3 knots at springs.

Between Capstone Point and Beacon Point: Between these points to the north of Ilfracombe, a west-going eddy forms on the east-going stream, such that the west-going flow starts much earlier than it does to the west of here. The east going stream begins at 5 hours and 30 minutes after high water at Milford Haven. The west going stream begins at 3 hours and 55 minutes before high water at Milford Haven. The east going stream reaches a speed of 1.5 knots at springs. The west going stream reaches a speed of 2 knots at springs.

Highveer Point: The tide flows east and west. The flow reaches a speed of 4 knots at springs. Flows elsewhere on this coastline reach 1.5 knots on the flood and 2 knots on the ebb. Eddy currents may be encountered inshore.

Foreland Point: The east going stream begins at 5 hours and 40 minutes after high water at Port Of Bristol (avonmouth). The west going stream begins at 30 minutes before high water at Port Of Bristol (avonmouth). The east going stream reaches a speed of 4 knots at springs. The west going stream reaches a speed of 4.6 knots at springs. A major tide race forms here and the waves break heavily in windy conditions. Smaller races form off Hurlstone Point and Minehead Bluff.

Off Minehead: The east going stream begins at 5 hours and 30 minutes after high water at Port Of Bristol (avonmouth). The west going stream begins at 40 minutes after high water at Port Of Bristol (avonmouth). The east going stream reaches a speed of 1.5 knots at springs. The west going stream reaches a speed of 2 knots at springs.

Notes

Access/Egress

Lundy Landing Beach: (SS 144 438) g The landing point for Lundy is, unsurprisingly, The Landing Beach. Be aware of the significant tidal range here. Ask the wardens where to leave boats. Camping need to be pre-booked - 01271 863636 or online.

Hartland Quay: (SS 223 249) g Land on a stony beach to the north of the buildings and carry up a ramp to the car park.

Clovelly Harbour: (SS 319 249) g Limited parking by a pebble beach, accessed down a steep single track road. The harbour is accessible 2 hours either side of high water, but landing should be possible at other times unless these is significant swell, although this is less likely as Clovelly is one of the most sheltered points along this section of coastline.

Bucks Mills: (SS 354 237) g Long carry up a narrow paved path to a turning area, where it may be possible to load. Car park further up the hill. Better options are likely available!

Westward Ho!: (SS 434 298) g Small and busy car park at the southern corner of the beach. It may well be better to park on the long stretch of roadside grass to the north, even though the carry will be slightly longer.

Bideford: (SS 456 269) g Access river left near the park entrance. Usable 2 hours either side of high water. There is a slipway further down, but this can be used at fewer states of the tide.

Appledore: (SS 465 308) g Churchfields long stay car park has a slipway.

Lee Bay: (SS 480 465) g Lee Bay. Carry to the sea across rock slabs may be long at low water. Small car park nearby.

Barnstaple Castle Key: (SS 554 333) g Slipway at Castle Key. If parking is not available here, there are several large car parks nearby. Usable at least 2 hours either side of high water.

Ilfracombe: (SS 525 478) g Slipway in harbour, with car park nearby. Alternatively, parking near the car park at the Aquarium, with steps down the harbour wall.

Hele Bay: (SS 536 478) g It may be possible to drop boats near the beach and slipway, although the car park is close by.

Combe Martin: (SS 575 474) g Park at the Kiln Car Park and carry down a steep path (and awkward corner) to the beach.

Lynmouth: (SS 722 496) g Limited parking on the Esplanade near the harbour and slip. Best near high water when paddling into the harbour is possible. At low water, the carry will be long, and a reef may cause surf.

Porlock Weir: (SS 865 479) g Large car park by the pebble beach.

Minehead: (SS 970 473) g The Quay West car park will have a shorter walk at low tide than across the beach and is close to the drying harbour, usable 2 hours either side of high water.

Suggested trips

Back to index