Rod & Maggie’s Mamhead Walk – Saturday 14th July

It was a hot sunny day as 12 walkers arrived at Dawlish railway station for Rod & Maggie’s walk to Mamhead – a round trip of about 9½ miles.
From the station we climbed Strand Hill eventually entering a field. Still climbing up this field we came to the Seven Sisters – a group of trees and a row of benches where we had a drinks break.
There are stunning views in all directions,  over looking Dawlish, across the Exe estuary and back to Torbay. We took a path across a couple of fields to reach the road. Here we turned right and after a short distance we entered Long Lane. Today this lane was dry but I know from experience that it can be very wet in places and requires careful negotiating, but today very dry and easy walking for about a mile.
At the end of Long Lane we paused for another drinks break before turning right downhill to reach Five Lanes junction. Here we took the bridle path to a 5-way junction. Walking straight ahead we began to climb the long hill up to Mamhead and the obelisk.
This was built in 1743 as a navigational aid but today is surrounded by trees which I suspect makes it almost invisible from the water. In fact it is very easy to walk past it owing to the density of the foliage, despite its 30m height. Here we had lunch and marvelled at the views, enjoying the shaded benches today.
After lunch we retraced our steps to the 5-way junction but this time taking the road which followed the valley of Dawlish Water which has its origins at Haldon, flowing through the Ashcombe valley and out into the sea at Dawlish.
At a T-junction with Ashcombe Road we paused for another drinks break by a house and had a chat with two ladies who were working on the garden. We were told that last year they had won the Dawlish in Bloom competition and were planning to open their garden to the public next year.
Turning left here we walked to Dawlish again. This was a new walk enjoyed by the Saturday group, many not having been to the obelisk before.
Rod W