Codden Hill

About this route

Codden Hill provides an excellent vantage point from which to see the surrounding features in the landscape that are related to the underlying geology. Rising to over 190 metres, there are views of both the granite massif of Dartmoor, to the south, and the sandstone and shale landscape of Exmoor to the north.


Perhaps the most impressive feature of the landscape, however, is the series of ‘whale-backed’ hills (of which Codden Hill is a fine example) which stretch west to east across the landscape and are visible as far as Swimbridge. They are the dramatic result of Earth movements of tremendous force resulting from the collision of tectonic plates.

Getting Around

There are a number of footpaths that give access to the site and Codden Hill is just a short walk away from Bishops Tawton.

Train: Regular train services are available to Barnstaple.

Bus: There are regular bus services that run through Bishops Tawton from Barnstaple.

Road: Bishops Tawton is situated to the east of the A377, 1 kilometre south of Barnstaple.

Travel Devon

There is permissive access for horse riders, cyclists, and walkers. Grazing has been reintroduced so dogs need to be kept under tight control near livestock and gates need to be left as they are found. Some facilities are available in the nearby village of Bishop’s Tawton. There are two car parking areas; one is south of the site opposite Horswell and the other is south east of the site opposite Hayne
Steep descent
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Interesting information

Below and about 1.5 km to the north of Codden Hill can be seen Venn Quarry, where sandstone has traditionally been worked to provide stone chippings with a high skid resistance for the top surface of roads.

On the summit of Codden Hill, towards its eastern end, there is a nationally important ‘bowl barrow’ with a surrounding ditch believed to date from the Bronze Age.

A small disused quarry [SS 569297] at the western end of Codden Hill near Codden Hill Cross provides a good, accessible exposure of the Codden Hill Chert Formation – the limestone and chert of the Lower Carboniferous period that dominates the local geology.

Photo of fields, woods and hills at Codden Hill near Barnstaple
Codden Hill near Barnstaple

You can explore more in this area

Photo of a clock tower at Barnstaple with the town behind

Bishops and a Saint

This walk uses part of the Tarka Trail from Barnstaple to Landkey, although generally easy and based on the urban
Photo of the top of a waymarking post for the Coast Path and Tarka Trail

Tarka Trail Easy Walk

Entirely traffic free, this part of the Tarka Trail can be enjoyed in sections to suit your group.  This off-road route stretches for