Hele Beach, Combe Martin, Exmoor National Park

Hele Beach, Combe Martin, Exmoor National Park

Sand, stone and rock beach just east of Ilfracombe

Hele Beach is a sand, stone and rock beach just east of Ilfracombe and below the imposing Hillsborough.  It's typical of the many sand, stone and rock beaches that line the North Devon coast between Combe Martin and Bull Point.

There's a car park behind the beach or you can walk in on the South West Coast Path/Tarka Trail.


Location of Hele Beach

Combe Martin sits by the western border of Exmoor National Park in North Devon. The coast runs west to Bull Point. The famous seaside resort Ilfracombe sits between the two. Hele Bay, the small village Hele and Hele Beach are just east of Ilfracombe.

We've positioned Hele Beach on Google maps. Zoom in on the 'Satellite' setting to see its location.


Directions to, and parking at, Hele Beach

If you're coming by car, drive the A399 to Ilfracombe. Hele is east of town.

If you're visiting on foot, follow the South West Coast Path/Tarka Trail.

There's a car park behind the beach. This is visible on Google's satellite imagery.


Hele Beach

Hele Beach is a sand, stone and rock beach. It's great for families, rock pooling and views. There are plenty of benches overlooking the beach and Hele Bay.

'The sea and shore of North Devon is beautiful and unspoilt and it is also a haven for wildlife. This is one reason why much of the area has been a Voluntary Marine Conservation Area (VMCA) since 1994. Hele Bay is situated at the heart of this area and is home to many well known species as well as some rarer ones.' (Source: information board on site)

Hele is a small village on the eastern side of Ilfracombe and the imposing Hillsborough. The latter is a local nature reserve and site of an Iron Age hill fort. We'd recommend following one of the many paths that climb to the top of Hillsborough. The view down to Ilfracombe on the west side of the hill is stunning. There are plenty of local information boards here as well. You'll see Ilfracombe Harbour and Damien Hirst's Verity sculpture on the end of the pier at the mouth of the harbour.

There's a viewpoint just east of Hele Beach. Situated by the A399, South West Coast Path and Tarka Trail, it provides super views of Hillsborough, Hele Bay and the Bristol Channel.


A note on Hillsborough by Hele Beach

Hillsborough is the huge hill on the west side of the beach separating Hele Beach from Ilfracombe Harbour.

'There is evidence that Hillsborough was used in pre-historic [sic] times. The name Hillsborough is a derivation of the name Heles Barrow. By local tradition it was a burial site for local chiefs and a small Bronze Age burial chamber was uncovered in the 1930s.

Hillsborough is the site of an Iron Age promontory hill-fort [sic], which was in use between 300 BC and 50 AD. The remains of the impressive double earthworks which surround the summit can still be seen today. The site is designated as a Scheduled Monument.

In Victorian times, the site was used for army practice and on the east can be seen the remains of a Volunteer Gun Battery which was removed in 1914.' (Source: information board on site)


Beaches near Hele Beach

Beaches on the coastline east of Hele Beach:

Watermouth Cove (Beach)

Broadsands Beach

Combe Martin Newbury Beach

Combe Martin Beach

Wild Pear Beach

Woody Bay Beach

Lee Abbey Bay Beach

Wringcliff Bay Beach

Lynmouth Western Beach

Lynmouth Eastern Beach

Sillery Sands (Beach)

Porlock Beach

Bossington Beach

Minehead Beach

Dunster Beach

Blue Anchor Beach

Kilve Beach


Beaches on the coastline west of Hele Beach:

Ilfracombe Rapparee Cove (Beach)

Ilfracombe Wildersmouth Beach

Ilfracombe Tunnels Beaches

Lee Bay Beach

Sandy Cove (Beach)


North Devon Atlantic facing beaches:

Rockham Beach

Grunta Beach

Barricane Beach

Woolacombe Sand (Beach)

Putsborough Sand (Beach)

Croyde Sand (Beach)

Saunton Sands (Beach)

Northam Burrows Beach

Westward Ho! Beach

Instow Sands (Beach)


Things to do near Hele Beach

Ilfracombe boat trips including Lundy Island

South West Coat Path

Watermouth Cove Holiday Park Watersports/Jet Ski Safari

Watermouth Castle

Combe Martin watersports

Combe Martin Wildlife and Dinosaur Park

Exmoor Zoo

Exmoor International Dark Sky Reserve

Exmoor horse riding


Villages and towns near Hele Beach


Combe Martin