2019-05-15 the Tarka Trail, led by Norma

Read Norma’s report  and then view the slideshows of the photos taken on this very well attended walk.
A cool, sunny start and forecast looks good!   Boarding at Paignton, Torquay and Newton, 18 of us set off for our day out. We changed trains at Exeter St.David’s for the Barnstaple shuttle train. The countryside along the Tarka Line is so beautiful…
We had a delay of 20 mins on route but there was lots of laughter – especially when one of ours used the WC, pressed the ‘close’ button but not the ‘lock’ button and had a visitor!
From Barnstaple station we had a 15 min bus ride to Fremington. The first part of our walk followed the creek through the woods, over the bridge and along to Fremington Quay. Adjoining the Cafe, there is an excellent information centre and an upstairs viewpoint in the signal box.
Fremington Quay was once significant in the import and export of many goods. It had railway sidings, cranes, and other apparatus used for the export of ball clay and import of coal. Between the early to mid-twentieth century it was the busiest port (based on tonnage) between Bristol and Land’s End. An abattoir was formerly located here. The quay has been redeveloped as an amenity facility with restaurant and provides wide views over the River Taw estuary. It has been a Conservation Area since 1996.
Because of its stunning location and fantastic weather, the cafe here at the Quay is very popular with both walkers and cyclists. Hence the queue for lunches. But, once ordered, the excellent food arrived quite quickly.
There was just enough seating both inside and out.
After lunch, we walked along the flat 3.5 m trail which follows the Taw estuary. Getting quite hot now..Lots of wild flowers with farmland on righthand side…
As the tide was low, there were great vistas across the sandy estuary to the hills and Barnstaple beyond..beautiful…
We returned to the rail station and back to our final destinations. A great day!

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