Explore the history of Hartland Quay and it’s spectacular coastline inside the Hartland Quay Museum. The museum’s many colourful displays tell the story of four centuries of shipwrecks, of the locally based, heroic life saving services, and of the men and ships which traded from Hartland Quay over the centuries.
Open from Easter to the end of October – 11am – 4.30pm daily. Entry fee £1. Under 10s free.
Hartland Quay is the site of an ancient and historic port, positioned precariously amongst spectacular coastal scenery. The wild surrounds hint of the wrecking and smuggling which was so much a way of life in this area in years gone by.
Now a very much smaller but picturesque slipway gives local fishermen access to the sea and makes an easy descent to the Quay Beach with it’s wealth of sandy gullies and rock pools.
The old Customs Houses and warehouses have long since been converted to a family hotel which welcomes the casual visitor or walkers from the coastal footpath and produces meals and snacks. The public bar, decorated with souvenirs from local wrecks, is a favourite watering hole for locals and walkers alike.
More recently Hartland Quay has been the location for a number of films. In 1950 it was the backdrop for the filming of Robert Louis Stevenson’s ‘Treasure Island’ starring Bobby Driscoll as Jim Hawkins and Robert Newton as Long John Silver. Other films include Nigel Havers in ‘Element of Doubt’, ‘War Zone’ directed by Tim Roth and ‘Soloman Kane’.
The area is designated as ‘Heritage Coastline’ and as an ‘Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty’. The cliff walks are next to none and with their extensive coastal panoramas and wealth of wild flowers are on a par with walking anywhere in Europe.
The history of the Quay is shown from its beginning in the time of King Henry V111 to its destruction by the sea now more than a century ago. Other exhibits describe the local coastal flora and fauna , bygone industries of the area and smuggling, wrecking and rescues.