An intrepid trio of Torbay Ramblers, namely Barry H, John L and Sal H, set out on a dry, if somewhat overcast October morning, to explore this delightful corner of East Devon. As there were only three in the combo, it was decided to extend the original 6.5 mile route, in order to create a future Sunday distance route. The followers of this blog will soon spot that this walk is also an extension of the last Sunday one from Exmouth – its all in the planning!
Initially we strolled a muddy path beside the Nature Reserve, eventually emerging on the road leading to White Bridge. The way then led us alongside the River Otter, where we enjoyed a coffee break, and were fortunate to be able to watch three Mallards feeding. Soon we traversed the river over Clamour Bridge, where on this occasion very few fish were visible in the water, and although we looked carefully as we ambled along, there was a distinct lack of evidence of the Beavers who we are assured frequent this area. The path then wound up steps and through the two red brick columns of Otterton Park, to pick up a Bridleway leading us into Colliver Lane, thence to Colliver Cross.
Here at the top of the rise, we turned onto a track, which led to Stantyway Road, and so on to pass Stantyway Farm. Then we entered a ‘No through road’, admiring an attractive thatched dwelling known as Monks Cottage as we passed. Shortly after this the route came out onto the coast path above Ladram Bay, with magnificent views beyond Sidmouth and over Lyme Bay. The undulating cliff path from Chiselbury Bay, took us on to Brandy Head, Black Head and Danger Point to the estuary of the Otter. By this time the weather had deteriorated, so we were treated to a spell of ‘mizzle’. Trying hard to ignore the dampness, we trudged across muddy field paths, where an abundance of fungi were growing, to arrive by the gate of South Farm Cottage. The path soon joined a metalled road leading back to White Bridge. Then a diversion to the normal route back to the Lime Kiln Car Park was necessary, due to a collapsed culvert on the banks of the Otter.
Consequently, a repeat of the outward section of our journey back to the sea front at Budleigh Salterton was unavoidable. Because the conditions were still inclement, lunch was taken under the ‘Twix’ mural painted shelter, looking across the very pebbled beach. At the end of our trek, a very welcome hot drink was the reward for our efforts, and this was enjoyed in one of the many local cafes in Fore Street. Soon afterwards, a short stroll brought us back to the car, and thus our journey back to Torbay once more.
The alternate walk had covered a varied 9.5 miles, and in 2019, should the weather be suitable on the day, could possibly include a paddle or swim from the beach. It is worth noting that as we meandered past the brightly coloured Beach Huts, we lingered to read the poems which now adorn them. These have been written by the children and Students of Exeter and East Devon Schools and Colleges, all of which are on the subject of Gold. A book of these writings is available from the local Tourist Information Centre. A good day was had, despite the changeable weather, which did not detract in any way from the pleasure gained from our travels.