Debbie Finney

My Mortehoe, My Woolacombe

By Debbie Finney

It all started when my Mum and Dad came here for their honeymoon in the early 60’s. They fell in love with the place and we have been coming here ever since. In the early 70’s my Dad would drive us to North Morte Farm Caravan Park, in his camper van, it would take us nearly all day to travel here. We would hire a caravan for the week and for me this was paradise. The minute we arrived we would pester mum and dad to take us to the beach. Rockham of course, we would run as fast as we could, from the top of the caravan site to the very top of the steps, buckets and spades flailing, paddlers on our feet, only pausing at the top of the path when Rockham would come in to view, we would stand for a while taking in the view, while the view took our breath away and still does to this day. We would wait for my dad, a fit roofer in his day, to take us down to the beach, he would run up and down those steps with kids on his back and bags on his arms, or might have been the other way around! We would spend long hot sunny days on Rockham, eating pasties on the beach, rock pooling collecting winkles to take back to the caravan to eat, scrambling over rocks to reach the ‘drum’ and walking to Bullpoint Lighthouse from the beach. At night I would be wrapped up in my sleeping bag in my bunk bed, whilst the foghorn of the lighthouse would be blasting, although scared of the noise and its eerie echo, which I always thought was another lighthouse, I was secretly reassured as I assumed the lighthouse was protecting us from smugglers and pirates!

We would often take a late night walk to the lighthouse after a curry and a montyfrank hotdog from More-t-eat. I remember walking to the bakery every morning to fetch rolls, pasties, and donuts for our lunch on the beach, always stopping to drop pennies in the wishing well. My older brother often helped out at the bakery with my uncle and he used to help out milking the cows on the farm. All my family loved Mortehoe and we would travel in convoy, grandparents, uncles, aunties, cousins and friends to be in this beautiful place. On our last night, we would always have a meal in the Red Barn, although as kids we were happy as we got to play pinball, secretly we were all sad as we knew it was our last night. I would always cry when we had to hand back our caravan keys and start the journey home. Roll on thirty years, and now I visit with my own family, sometimes only for the day, a four hundred mile round trip! We visit the beach, the pub, and then into Ilfracombe for fish and chips by the harbour. If we stay for longer we always walk from Bullpoint to Mortepoint. I will never tire of this place or the stunning views. In fact last September my husband and I renewed our Wedding Vows at St. Marys in Mortehoe. This place is under my skin, in my bones and in my blood, My wish is to live here one day.Paradise.

If you would like to write about why Woolacombe or Mortehoe means so much to you, please send us a few paragraphs and no more than 10 photographs to

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