Our walk today started from Otterton in East Devon. The village of Otterton is mentioned in the Domesday Book as Otritone. It is very picturesque with several houses dating from the 17th and 18th centuries, mostly of cob and thatch.
In slightly overcast weather 14 Torbay Ramblers set off from the Main Street, now a designated conservation area.
On the left as we travelled towards the bridge over the River Otter, is the recently restored and still working Old Mill, which is also listed in Domesday. Once over the bridge, we joined a riverside path, which meandered for about a mile and a quarter, before reaching Colaton Raleigh. The route here traversed a disused railway track, then followed an enclosed path between hedges of wild flowers, before emerging onto fields, and eventually returning to the riverside. Here it was necessary to cross a footbridge over the river, where a coffee break was taken as we watched a number of Martins swoop over the river catching their lunch.
We then followed a track to a lane passing by Ash Tree Farm and then Northmostown Farm, derived from Northmost-tun, the most northerly Farm in the Otterton parish. A certain member of the group, who will remain anonymous, was very pleased to pose for a photo outside the aptly named ‘Smiths Farm’. Shortly after this we took a right turn, and the way headed to Back Lane, which climbed steadily for some distance before reaching Bulverton Hill. Here, at the top of the rise, we found Keble’s Seat, which is named after John Keble ,a noted theologian and founder of Keble College, Oxford. It is said Keble often rested here, as did Alfred Lord Tennyson. Though it was quite breezy, the views from here are splendid, so we stopped to admire them whilst recovering our breath and to have lunch.
Onwards then with coniferous woodlands on the right. Shortly after this the route divided, and as the right hand track afforded more varied views, we ventured in that direction which led us over Mutters Moor. After a sweeping U-turn left we eventually rejoined the more direct path into the car park at Peak Hill. Soon after going through a kissing gate and over a field, we reached the coast path. The way then led us under High Peak where 8 of our group ascended to the top for sweeping views along the coast and over the countryside. Thence we descended to Ladram Bay. From here the track took us up an old lane to Sea View Farm. Here we picked up the County Road, then a permissive path, before taking an enclosed track to a road. Soon we crossed fields to a stile leading to another enclosed path, which descended to the Kings Inn in Otterton, then back to the village Green, where a George VII postbox was spotted, and the starting place of our walk of 10 miles.
Welcome Refreshments were taken at Otterton Mill where we wished one of our group a happy birthday for that day, and a second member for Wednesday 1st May.
Barry & Sal H