Walks & Footpaths in the Parish of Marldon

Marldon’s Footpaths

Marldon is keen to encourage the public to use its footpaths, bridleways and green lanes and to this end a walks leaflet has been produced which itemises all the rights-of-way in the parish together with a self guided walk - the Apple Pie Walk. Produced by the Environment Group of Marldon Parish Council and published by South Hams District Council Coast and Countryside Service the leaflet has maps, notes about Marldon, Compton and Westerland and historical features which may be of interest whilst ‘out and about’.

The leaflet is available in the village Post Office (Marldon Cross Hill) and Marldon Service Station (Cox’s garage) priced 50p.


The Parish of Marldon includes Marldon, Compton and Westerland


Marldon is an ancient Devon village on the border of The South Hams separated from its coastal neighbourcov Torbay, by a new dual carriageway, the A380. Despite this proximity, Marldon manages to retain a peaceful village atmosphere and environment, and it is in many ways the archetypal village, with it's ancient church and pub overlooking the village cricket field, its old cottages and farms, its 'big house' and quiet lanes and footpaths.

Although it cannot make what seems to have become the essential guide book "claim to fame" i.e. a mention in the Domesday Book, Marldon, whose name was once 'Meargelle Dun' meaning Gentian Hill, has an interesting and ancient history.


Compton Castle is a wonderfully picturesque example of a fortified manor house, and dates from the 14th Century. Secluded in a lush valley, this historical gem was once the home of Sir Humphrey Gilbert coloniser of Newfoundland, and half brother of Sir Walter Raleigh.

After 1930 Commander Walter Raleigh Gilbert and his wife restored the castle from its then state of dereliction. Compton Castle is now a National Trust property but is still the home of the Gilbert family. The Castle has restricted opening times. Please check with Compton Castle (National Trust) for current details.


Westerland was the home of the writer and novelist Elizabeth Goudge (1900-1984) who lived at Providence Cottage, which was featured in her books, for some years from 1939. Much of her writing was inspired by her surroundings at this time and whilst at Providence Cottage she wrote Moonacre Manor, inspired by Compton Castle, Gentian Hill (after Marldon itself), The Castle on the Hill (Berry Pomeroy) and Green Dolphin Country, which was made into a film in America.

The Westerland Valley is a beautiful area of quiet lanes, hedgerows and lush fields, ideal for walking, and is enjoyed by local people and visitors alike at all times of the year.