SIMONE STANBROOK-BYRNE selects some Devon Life walks to enjoy over the Christmas holiday. Grab the relevant map and off you go!
Walking with altitude on a high-climbing walk in Mid Devon. Quite a bit of lane walking avoids winter mud.
From the town centre walk out along West End Road then take the footpath heading (initially) north-west off West End Road. Follow the waymarked footpath through Great Coombe and Caseberry to Yarde Down Lane. Head north up the lane for a massive view when you reach the top: Dartmoor, Exmoor and the sea are all visible from here, along with many other landmarks.
Then follow the road generally east to Beacon Cross. Here turn north on the road as far as the footpath going south east and follow this path back into Bradninch.
Pick a clear day for this fabulous Exmoor walk where you might see red deer and Exmoor ponies as well as magnificent views.
From the village centre cross the bridge and join the Coleridge Way heading east. Stay with this, through Ashton Cleave, until you reach Malmsmead (en route you stray briefly into Somerset).
From Malmsmead follow the bridleway through Southern Wood to reach the road. The easy (and equally pleasing) option is then to follow the road back to Brendon but if you need extra exertion take the bridleway south-west up through the woods towards Southern Ball. There are options on bridleways to bring you back to rejoin the road into Brendon, from which it’s a nice amble back to the inn. Start point: Brendon Village Hall car park (with honesty box) opposite Millslade House. Nearby postcode: EX35 6PS. Grid ref: SS765481 Map: OS Outdoor Leisure 9, Exmoor 1:25 000 Distance: 5 miles/8km – can be lengthened
A beautiful, not too challenging walk on the western fringes of Dartmoor – but it can be wet and muddy! From the church follow the footpath heading north-east through farmland. When you reach the moorland near North Plantation join the West Devon Way heading generally north west and follow this all the way round to the point shown as Bucktor on the map. From here follow the combination of bridleway-lane-bridleway to return to Buckland Monachorum. Residential roads bring you back to the church.
A great walk for bird watchers – but it involves a tidal road so you must check the tide times on the website (aveton-gifford.co.uk/ local-info/weather-tides-surf) before starting out and allow enough time to cover the distance so that you are finishing the walk away from high tide. Exciting!
Just to the west of the car park follow the network of footpaths heading north towards Waterhead Bridge, then join the Avon Estuary Walk to Were Down. Follow lanes through Foxhole and on to Bigbury. Beyond Bigbury Court take the footpath south, then east past Doctor’s Wood and back down to the River Avon, enjoying tremendous views. The tidal road brings you back into Aveton Gifford. Start point: Car park near roundabout on edge of Aveton Gifford. Nearby postcode: TQ7 4JL. Grid ref: SX691472 Map: OS Explorer OL20, South Devon, Brixham to Newton Ferrers 1:25 000 Distance: almost 4¼ miles/6.8km
Full details of all walks available on the Devon Life digital archive at devonlife.co.uk