On a significant date in our history, 17 keen walkers left Totnes to take the riverside path along the Dart, noting the water level was almost at the top of the bank. We followed its course to the Gatehouse of The Dartington Estate.
Proceeding along the road towards the Hall, we took the path through the gate on the right, back down to the river. The going was good, unlike a previous occasion when we encountered lots of mud and water. A casual stroll followed, through the meadows and on to the woods beside The Deer Park, stopping at the picnic area for lunch.
We then carried on to the viewing area, where we saw a family of young deer. Deer were only reintroduced onto the estate a few years ago, following a £1m Heritage Project to restore this medieval park and it’s 18th Century listed stone wall, for future generations.
From there we went on to Dartington Hall. The principle building (grade 1 Listed) was built between 1388 and 1399 for John Holand Earl of Huntingdon and Later Duke of Exeter. The building follows a courtyard plan with a hall range to the South.
Our return route took us to the Dartington Cider Press, where we stopped for coffee before taking the pathway, pausing at the Archimedes Screw turbines, which supply electricity to The King Edward VI College and around 250 Homes. At this point the tide had fallen, revealing muddy banks.
We arrived back in Totnes just after 3 pm, having enjoyed a lovely walk in good weather.