North Devon Coast

National Landscape

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Mortehoe and Woolacombe Railway Station

The Station at Mortehoe was the fourth station on the line from Barnstaple to Ilfracombe and was opened in 1874. Serving the popular holiday destinations of Woolacombe and Morthoe, the station boasted a signal box, two platforms, sidings and a small goods yard. Today you can still enjoy the route of the former railway line by bike, as it leads down into Ilfracombe.

The station was 223 miles from Waterloo Station (3 miles from Ilfracombe), 600 feet above sea level and the 1:36 gradient (‘the Slade Bank’) to Ilfracombe and the 1:40 to Braunton (‘the Mortehoe Bank’) were some of the steepest inclines in the country. As a result Mortehoe in the days of steam was a hive of activity, where additional engines, both pilot and banker engines, were attached to help the heavier trains with these inclines.

The station was closed in 1970 and the original station buildings can still be seen opposite the Royal Fortescue Hotel near Station Road.