This was a pleasant and most historic walk that especially appealed to those of us who like to wonder about the past. It wound it’s way through the narrow lanes so typical of Devon, passing through what would have been extensive orchards at Waddeton.
What is now an upmarket residence was once a traditional scrumpy farm well used by the local lads. Kevin recalls his misspent youth cycling down to the farm and lugging home barrels of the knock out liquid on the back of his bike. Going back slightly further in history, (only slightly!) to 1688, it is said that William of Orange held his first parliament at Parliament Cottage (see photo) after he landed at Brixham. One wonders what happened to his army of 14,000 while William was inside sorting out his reign of England!
On arrival in Stoke Gabriel, some of us investigated the 1000 year old yew tree in the church yard. However, nobody attempted to walk backwards seven around the tree for good luck. As we passed through the orchard, a play on the new playground equipment was too tempting a treat to miss.
We had a restful lunch at Stoke Gabriel Creek listening to the laughter of children following in the footsteps of their parents, grandparents and great grandparents as they happily dipped their nets and lines into the murky water hoping to fill their buckets with crabs. I have to say that in my opinion, this is the best place for crabbing in England.
After lunch we headed for Aish and into one of the most ancient tracks I have come across. The mind can’t help but wonder who used it. How often this now deserted track must have been frequented to become so deeply entrenched between the banks on either side. Indeed, it leads down to a mill close to a once thriving but now overgrown creek on the river Dart. The prettiest of cottages now stands alone, in an isolated but quiet spot.
The final leg of our walk was the most challenging as we passed this cottage and prepared to trek the long incline towards Totnes. This part of the walk can be very wet after long periods of rain so we were glad of our sturdy, waterproof boots.
On arrival in Totnes, we walkers benefitted from a new path leading from the newly built estate on the outskirts of the town directly onto the banks of the Dart.
Many thanks to all who came and especially to Wanda for back marking.