Sunday was glorious for walking, and twenty one keen ramblers met at Chudleigh to make the most of this perfect Autumn day on Ken’s walk.
There was no one happier than the leader who was returning after a long period out through injury. Ken led the group from Rocklands, on to a footpath past Lawell House, on the right, and Chudleigh Rocks, a popular climbing venue, on the left. The route skirted the grounds of Ugbrooke House, the home of the Clifford family. We had a break near the old Palace Quarry , then followed paths to Kate Bridge and the Chudleigh Sports Ground. Field paths took us to Lower Upcott and on to Kerswell, a hamlet frozen in time, with its thatched cottages, lime kilns, VR postbox (with brushes!) and former watercress farm.
An undulating lane, significant for providing a magnificent view of fallow deer, led us to Bramble Bridge, and along a field path to woods, where items were lost and later found, after steps were retraced.
A steady climb up the russet coloured track led to Trusham and the churchyard with its comfortable sun facing benches – an ideal spot for lunch. Trusham is Devon at its best, with reputedly the oldest pub in the county, and the ancestral home of Charles Causley, the poet. Later we gathered in the centre, close to the house mentioned, to read his poem about the village, of which this is the first stanza.
‘ In this blown house my grandfather was born
And here his father first unshook his bones.
Walking the churchyard as a child, I saw
My slate name on their double page of stones.’
The return was downhill to the Middlepark Nature Reserve, past Deer Park Farm, Northwood and along the sparkling River Teign, the wooded path to the road and our starting point. Later, there was a diversion to the nearby Highwayman’s Haunt for tea. 10 .5 miles.