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Walks in Devon

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Walk in Devon

Snapes Point, nr Salcombe South Devon 2 miles.

walk in devon A nice off the beaten track walk overlooking the Estuary above sleepy Salcombe. On a sunny fluffy cloud day one really does feel one is on the roof of the world.(SX 739 402). Snapes Point is a spit of land protruding into the Salcombe Estuary, cared for the Nation by the National Trust.

Leave your car or cycle in the National Trust Car Park. Follow the well signed path due East until you reach the Estuary at Tosnos Point with yachts moored in front of you and Kingsbridge in the distance. Continue walking down river for a mile until you reach Snapes Point itself, with the most stunning all round views. After a rest continue to Southpool Creek, crossing the estuary to East Portlemouth with its thatched cottages, hence to Salcombe. Follow the footpath back to your car.

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Bluebell Woods nr Okehampton. Though one can see bluebells in springtime in many of the ancient woodlands of Devon the Bluebell Woods above Okehampton in spring are something special. Stretching frm Meldon Quarry in the west for several miles along the northern slopes of Dartmoor. From the town take the road signed to Okehampton Camp.

Park in the lay-by on your left a quarter a mile up the road after crossing bridge over the A30 dual carriageway. A finger post gives several choices of direction. Why not take the path south down across the field where you may be lucky enough to see new born foals amongst the bluebells? Else take the path up onto the slopes of the Moor, yet more carpets of bluebells, hawthorn and gorse in full bloom. Sheep with very young lambs, cattle with new-born calves. Return along the ridge to your car.

light Crow Point where the Two Rivers Meet nr Braunton 4 miles. This is Tarka Country made famous by Henry Williamson's book Tarka the Otter. Where the Taw and Torridge meet, joining for the last few miles to the open sea. Tidal creeks, wind blown estuaries. Off the beaten track a place to gather ones thoughts. This is a walk that can only be done on a receding tide, where it still is advisable to keep well away from the waters edge and the soft sands.

swan quay To reach Crow Point, when coming from Barnstaple, take the sharp left just before the traffic lights in Braunton. Follow the road , with Braunton Great Field to your right and the creek of the River Caen to your left. At the Toll Gate check the gate closing times before continuing on to Crow Point. The car park is a few hundred yards from the lighthouse, but well worth the stroll. Looking north one is likely to see loaded sand barges, and waiting for the incoming tide. In the distance is Instow and across the Two Rivers Appledore. From the Lighthouse walk down to the high tide line, and the walk proper begins, a walk following the river down to its mouth. As you walk along, at low water you will see the Pulley Bank, a mile long shoal of shingle and mussel bed. Marked by three buoys. Though lit at night they also each have a bell, rung by the rocking motion of the incoming tide.

shipwreck stump A few local people still earn a living from the river, either by setting long lines, by gathering mussels, or laver bread, a local seaweed delicacy. The area of deep water beyond the Pulley Bank is known as the Codpits. In winter codling move in looking for food. After a couple of miles of brisk walking one no longer has Braunton Burrows on your left, just the wide expanse of Saunton Sands, with Baggy Point in the far distance. Sounds of crashing waves of the treacherous Bideford Bar in front of you. and one really appreciates the immensity of the landscape. Unless you have local knowledge it is then best to head back, because these sands can be soft underfoot for the unwary. There is a boardwalk through the dunes back to the Car Park, if one can find it. Else return along the shoreline, taking care to watch for the tide . Dykes. Sheep. Wading birds such as Brent Geese, Oystercather Dunlin and Curlew.

NB Check tide times and the weather forecast before setting out. Beware of local conditions. Tidal estuaries can be dangerous for the unwary.

brentor

brentor-church lydford-castle lydford-gorge Brentor and Lydford Gorge miles. nr Tavistock (SX 696731). Visible for many miles around, the tiny church of St Michael de Rupe sitting ontop of a plug of granite rock. Though difficult to see from the ground , the hill is infact guarded by the remains of an iron age rampart on its south west flank. the church itself believed to date from the 12th century. Even more magical if you are fit and well dressed enough to ascend the steep path after a snow fall, and with the sun shining.

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Start Point lighthouse south-west-coast

nature-reserve Otter Estuary Nature Reserve. Otterton, nr Budleigh Salterton East Devon. Though one of the smallest estuaries in Devon, one of the most pleasant to explore. A walkers and nature lovers delight. Looking at tranquil scene today it is hard to imagine that 500 hundred years ago cargo ships, before the estuary became silted up, travelled as far upstream as Otterton.

east-devon-cottage In autumn and winter an haven for over wintering birds, dunlin and oyster catcher, sometimes if winters are very harsh, teal and widgeon driven south during exceptional cold winters. A delightful and peaceful place. Why not take a circular walk from the car park at Budleigh Salterton to Otterton, and back. 5 miles allow 3 hours along largely level paths. far as Otterton.

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