2019-06-12 Dartington to Totnes – Led by Val & Neil

Val writes:-

On a cold, grey, overcast day – more resembling winter than “flaming June” Neil and Val led nine walkers on Tony and Jenni’s walk from The Cott Inn, Dartington, along lanes to Copland Meadow path – a small hardcore path leading into a muddy track – grass mound in the centre with ruts either side.
All was going well until we reached a very large muddy lake – stretching for some distance.  How deep was the water?  Off went Shirley – the only one with Wellie Boots – the water well above ankle deep and that was walking on the grass mound which was not visible and quite slippery.
All was not lost – the leaders produced bin liners!
After an hilarious balancing act the group formed “a crocodile” to get to the other side and join Shirley – no mishaps thank goodness.
The path took us through lovely flower filled hedgerows with glimpses of Totnes and past some local allotments.  Crossing the main Kingsbridge Road we headed up through the cut towards Totnes Castle built by the Normans after the Conquest of 1066; through the cobbled area between The Guildhall built in 1533 on the site of the medieval priory and the Church of St Mary – coming out into the lower part of Totnes High Street – heading to the old bridge and descending the steps picking up the woodland path following the River Dart.
Time to take in the wildlife and the boats moored on the River.
A brief stop at Totnes Weir to view the Archimedes Screw  generating clean renewable energy for Totnes before heading through Dartington Estate – past the Waterwheel back to the Cott Inn to meet up with Tony and Jenni together with Chris and Malcolm for lunch.
Lovely food served by the welcoming staff.  An eventful walk – it didn’t rain and the sun was trying its hardest to come out.
This walk; in the past, would certainly have made it into “Ernie’s Black Book”

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Photos above are by Wendy, click here to see hi-res originals.

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Photos above are by Norma, click here to see hi-res originals

Click here to see Norma’s video of binliners in action

2019-05-29 Stover Country Park Led by Christine

Christine writes:-
Ten of us enjoyed a walk through Stover Country Park, despite the weather. It was drizzling when we set off, but fortunately it eased off.  Not much activity on the lake, just one lone swan. We walked up the boardwalk to watch the birds feeding on the feeder, and the squirrels feeding on the ground below. We continued the walk heading towards Teigngrace.  We admired the memorial to the Canadian Forestry Commission, commemorating the Lumberjacks, who came over here during WW1. We walked through a field to Teigngrace road, walked across the railway line. All of us walked through the field with cows! We walked along by the river and watched the sand martins flitting about. We returned to our cars and six of us enjoyed a pleasant lunch at The Welcome Stranger Pub, where we were joined by Maureen and David.

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Click or tap here to view Norma’s photos (above) at original resolution

 

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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2019-05-01 Holcombe & Teignmouth led by Shirley & Ann

Anne and Shirley led this walk. Norma and Wendy took the photos.

Shirley reports:-
Nine walkers set off from the Castle Inn at Holcombe. The weather was misty but not too cold. We went down Smugglers Lane and along  the sea wall through Teignmouth where we met Neil, Anne and  Jean.
After continuing to the Point we walked back and up through Mules Park. We walked across the  main road to Minidab and then up to the Castle Inn where we were joined for lunch by 4 more members.
The first slideshow of photos (below) is from Wendy:-

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Two more slideshows (below) from Norma:

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2019-04-17 – Haldon Forest Park – Led by Helen & Jo

Helen writes:-

A very foggy, chilly and damp start for the 11 walkers who took part in today’s walk in Haldon Forest. However it was lovely to see the new growth starting on the trees and on the ground and to hear some beautiful birdsong.

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Photos by Norma – click to view at full resolution

We followed the Discovery Trail for a short distance and then took the Butterfly Trail unfortunately missing the Birds of Prey Viewpoint, though the fog would not have helped the birds or the observers!

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Photos by Norma – click to view  at full resolution

As we went on the fog started to lift and at the bottom of the walk found an area of bracken that the butterflies use as their habitat – but none to be seen as it was too cold with no sun when we passed through it. We finished the walk up a long gradual slope – observing some younger humans ‘Going Ape’ on a wire above us. The sun started to shine!

A good lunch was enjoyed by all at the Sandygate Inn at Kingsteignton.