2019-08-07 River Erme – Led by Ursula

Report by Ursula & Val:
Led by Ursula on a lovely sunny summer’s day eleven walkers set off from the Sportsmans Inn – heading up Station Road to Longtimber Woods. We then followed the “Kings Gutter” leat before a steep descent through woodlands to the River Erme below.
Following the river a stop was made to view the “Tinners Mortar Stone” – a large stone with a bowl carved in it – used by tinners panning the river for fragments of tin in the rock particles.  This was then pounded to a powder to extract the tin.
Further along is the swimming pool with the orginal sluice gate mechanism converted by 2nd World War American Troops stationed nearby.
Nearing the end of the walk you pass under the Brunel Viaduct constructed in 1876 to replace the previous timber bridge.  You can still see the original stone piers which supported the timber bridge built in 1848.
Leaving the Woodlands and the River behind it was a short stroll through Ivybridge back to the pub for a very enjoyable lunch.

Photos were taken by Norma & Helen. Be sure to watch all three slideshows then follow the links to two videos.
Norma comments – “This was a lovely woodland walk today – completely new to me.  I would like to go again in the Autumn when the beech trees change colour…
I tried taking a group photo of all of us by balancing my phone on a post and then we all shouted ‘smile’ to activate the camera…hence the strange faces.!
There wasn’t anyone around to ask as I sometimes do. ..”

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View Norma’s photos above at original resolution

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Norma also took two videos which unfortunately will not upload to this program.
The second video is especially interesting, be sure to look out for the local dare-devil. Click this link to see the two videos open in a new window

2019-07-24 Parke Country Park – Led by Christine

Christine writes:

On a sunny morning eight walkers enjoyed walking around Parke Country Park.
We met at the Dolphin Inn and walked along Station Road, through the town park, under the road to Parke. It was very pleasant walking under the trees along the dismantled railway track and beside the river. We crossed the river via the wooden bridge into Ledge Wood. On the other side there were several steps to climb to reach the footpath.
We stopped at the View Point before returning to the Dolphin Inn, where we were joined by six others for lunch. It was good to catch up with Graham and Jo.

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See originals for Norma’s photos above

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See originals for Norma’s photos above

2019-07-10 Roundham Head – Led by Helen

Helen writes:-
11 walkers set off from Paignton Harbour on a hot sunny day to walk around Roundham Head – part of the coast path and Clennon Lakes.

First we walked to the pier to learn a brief history of it’s construction and uses over time. Then onwards and upwards to Roundham Head where it was good to see that the Council workmen were clearing the overgrown beds. The sea and coastline looked beautiful from our lofty viewpoint.

We were lucky to see the steam train more than once and waved to the passengers! We decided to cut the walk short on reaching the Dartmouth Rd and will hopefully go around the lakes on another walk.

A reasonably priced meal was enjoyed by all at the Inn On The Quay at Goodrington beach.

Photos were taken by Norma

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Click to view Hi-res versions of Norma’s photos above

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2019-06-26 Exminster Marshes – Led by Val & Neil

Eleven walkers set off from the Swans Nest on another cloudy, overcast June day!
Crossing the Exminster Marshes to the tow path opposite Topsham it was disappointing to see all the overgrown reeds and weeds obliterating the view of the canal until we were nearly at Turf Lock.
There were the usual assortment of boats moored up and those that decided to remain at Turf Lock had the advantage of seeing the Stuart Line Cruise boat pass through the lock gates on its way to Exeter Quay.  Following the estuary it was interesting to observe the birdlife and we were lucky enough to see swans with their cygnet.
After a quick stop at Powderham Church (unfortunately closed) it was back along the estuary to Turf Lock picking up the path across the field,  returning through the nature reserve to the Swans Nest – thirteen sitting down to lunch.
Then prior to leaving, some us were treated to a steam traction engine passing through the car park – an unexpected end to the day.

Photos below are by Norma – click to see originals

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Photos below are by Wendy – click to see originals

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More photos from Norma below – click to see originals

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After most of the walkers had left, this delightful steam engine arrived to do a circuit of the car park

 

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