3 Summer Walks in Devon
by Alice on 10 August 2012
Enjoy some of the best walks in England and fun countryside summer holidays with these three wonderful routes around Devon.
Best for: Familes
The Secret Garden @Canonteign Falls
If you're looking for child friendly walking holidays in Devon, this easy but scenic walk is the perfect diversion for an afternoon. Situated in Dartmoor National Park, the falls tumble down through woodland for some of the most beautiful scenery and walks in Devon.
Kids will love the Falls Nature Walk (marked in red), which is simple to follow and passes through the Secret Garden. Climb 90 steps to the summit of the falls for Buzzards View and panoramas over Dartmoor. With the deep shade, cooling waters and overhanging rocks, the Secret Garden is a great spot to rest and admire the nature and peace.
The walk takes about 1 hour 30 minutes and trainers or good shoes are recommended.
Where to Stay
Great Cummins Farm, Exeter
On the edge of Dartmoor National Park and just a few miles from the falls, Great Cummins Farm is ideal for child friendly holidays in Devon. Set in a 16th century thatched farmhouse, Great Cummins is packed with character.
The family-friendly farm is a fun place for kids, who'll have a great time collecting eggs and bottle feeding lambs in season. Guests can also bring dogs, although they can't sleep in the bedrooms. Family rooms start at just £75 per night.
Christow Pub Walk
Best for: Ale lovers
The Manor Inn, Lower Ashton
This fun six mile walk is a countryside summer holiday with a difference - you can sample local ales along the way like a mini pub crawl! Start out from the car park in Christow and head through the village, past the church to Coombe & Reed. Cross the B3192 to Ashton and you'll find the first stop, The Manor Inn, for a pint.
After a refreshment, turn right along the lane to Higher Ashton and continue steeply uphill. After the cross road, there's a footpath on the left hand turn through a small copse and across the fields to a pond. Follow the path to the field boundary and then take the track to the lane, turning right. Follow the lane about a kilometre to Trusham and the Cridford Inn.
Indulge in a pint or two, then take a left and the first right to go down a footpath between two buildings. The path continues across the fields and downhill through the farm at Rydon and along the old dismantled railway track. Follow the tracks to the lane at Lower Ashton by Spara Bridge and retrace your steps from the B3193 to Christow. The Artichoke Inn awaits for another well deserved drink.
Where to Stay
Yeos Farm, Exeter
An easy walk or cycle ride down country lanes from Christow, Yeos Farm is the perfect stopover if you've enjoyed a few too many ales along the walk. Surrounded by 241 acres of its own farm land, you can't get more rural than this lovely farm B&B and wonderful scenery and beautiful views over the valley can be glimpsed at every turn.
This is a hiker and cyclist's paradise, with some of the best walks in England all around. Rooms start from £45 per night.
Best for: Adventurers
Taw Estuary @Chris Cardew
One of the more challenging walks in North Devon, this route is for those who enjoy adventurous countryside summer holidays! The paths aren't particularly easy to follow or well used so make sure you take an up to date OS map along with you. The views over the Taw Estuary, however, more than make up for any challenges.
Start at the village car park in Braunton and pick up the Tarka trail from Saunton Road. Follow the footpath to the ruins of St Michael's Chapel and then continue along the lane to a road junction and a sharp right downhill. Look out for the next path on the left before you reach a milking shed, leading you across the fields to a lane into Ash Barton.
From here, the path heads into the woodland and goes over stiles, footbridge and a stream as you cross the open countryside - this is where that map comes in handy! Go along the stream and at the field gate follow the path through some houses back to the road. Turn left and you'll come back to the village centre and the car park.
Where to Stay
The Hamptons Hotel, Ilfracombe
Just along the coast lies the pretty town of Ilfracombe and The Hamptons, a beautiful boutique B&B where you can relax in luxury after a strenuous walk. Whether you're looking for hazy summer days, bracing coastal walks or a romantic summer countryside holidays, Ilfracombe and The Hamptons are the gateway to exploring North Devon.
Situated in an elevated position a short walk from the beach, the B&B boasts commanding views over this stunning stretch of coastline. Rooms start at £69 per night.
Cover image @Sue Hasker