“The Tarka Trail is 180 miles long and follows in the footsteps of the character Tarka the Otter from Henry Williamson’s famous novel. The Trail splits into 2 loops centred at Barnstaple and is a great way to explore the world class environment of North Devon’s UNESCO Biosphere that stretches from Dartmoor to Lundy and Exmoor to Hartland.” – Tarka Trail Circular Routes
When last staying with Simon’s parents we spotted their copy of Tarka the Otter and decided to borrow it. Whilst the descriptions of the Devonshire countryside are beautiful, it is quite a laborious read. The most exciting thing we took away from the book was learning that in Devon Hedgehogs can also known as vuzz-pegs! Very sweet and appropriate!
A couple of Sunday’s back we decided to take a trip up to Meldon Reservoir which is just outside of Okehampton. The reservoir is 900 feet above sea level and sits next to Meldon Quarry. Apparently there used to be a circular walk around the reservoir but now only the path along the southern shore is open.
Last weekend we went to stay with Simon’s parents who live in Exmouth. The weather was warm on the Saturday and we decided to go for a walk. Simon’s dad looked on the local area OS map and decided that the Budleigh Salterton to Exmouth stretch of the South West Coastal Path was just the ticket; lovely sea views and not too long for me, the walking newbie.
We parked one car in Exmouth on a hill behind the beach and then all drove together to Budleigh. We had a bit of a false start thanks to a sign post pointing in the wrong direction. We picked up the path at the west end of the beach and began to climb the famous Jurassic Coast red cliffs.
1. It rains. A lot.
2. Your car is not as wide as you think it is.
In our “Fairly Easy Walks on Dartmoor” book there are details of a walk in the stunning Teign Valley which goes from Fingle Bridge to Dogmarsh Bridge and back. A couple of weekends ago we decided to try a variation of this walk that takes in Hunters Path and Castle Drogo.
There is a National Trust car park at Fingle Bridge next to the Fingle Bridge Inn – a quaint pub nestled at the bottom of the woody gorge, right on banks of the river. We crossed the pretty stone packhorse bridge and turned right at the notice board which displays a map of the area.
This was our very walk as local residents. I fell off a stile. Good start. Anyway, it was a very pretty riverside walk with some very impressive stepping stones.
We had trouble finding the car park for the start of this walk using the directions in “Fairly Easy Dartmoor Walks” book. We missed the turning at the end of Fatherford Road as it was quite tucked away. After asking at a farm to no avail, and driving a mile or so in the wrong direction, we eventually doubled back on ourselves and spotted the car park from the other side of the road.