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.

Alan Carter

We were sad to hear that Alan died on Thursday 31st January from a long-standing chest infection..

Alan and his wife Daphne were for many years our group’s Walks Coordinaters.
Jenni and I first met Alan on a walk from Beesands to Start Point in May 2005 and right from the start he made us feel most welcome.
Alan showed a keen interest in my taking photographs during the walk and encouraged me to start a website for the Group which as you know has existed ever since.

Our thoughts are with Daphne at this sad time and wish her well