Sunday March 15th 2020 – Hilary and John’s Otterton Walk

There is a not lot to say about this walk except for one word – mud.
Twelve of us started in the rain, from Peak Hill carpark at Sidmouth, walking along the muddy coast path to Ladram Bay. Twelve of us made it to the coffee stop at the top of a hill with lovely views out to sea spoilt only by the rain,  then inland to Otterton (no mud in the village), and along a muddy path beside the River Otter. We crossed this via a state of the art laminated footbridge bridge that was erected last year to replace a wooden one that was starting to rot. The new timber waymarker signposts were a  feature of the walk.  Each one, and there are sixteen, is inscribed with the name of a man remembered on the Otterton First World War Memorial. Eventually we came to the only serious hill of the day at Mutters Moor. Here we nearly lost a few walkers, it just went on and on, and up and up, however we did have lunch at the top, and yeeha, the rain had stopped.
Now we have come to the serious mud walking, through pine forest plantations where there had been recent felling of trees taking place. Deep grey mud for the next two hours was ahead of us with huge puddles that you needed a canoe to traverse. It was amazing fun. We had to climb on the bank for quite a large stretch, which was a challenge for most of us. Two ladies fell into the sticky mud; one was ‘helping’ the other, apparently! Finally we reached a road, where we had a short sharp shower, then another muddy lane and onto the golf course and back into Peak Hill Plantation for the final mile of mud.
I totally enjoyed the day, it was great fun, though we had to take great care where we were putting our feet and my legs did ache.

Hilary B