In Top 10sNature

With the nights coming in and the air turning colder, it’s tempting to stay inside as we start to welcome the colder seasons, but autumn is a perfect time of year to blow away the cobwebs with a cool sea breeze and brisk walk or kick up the leaves as you amble along in one of South Devon’s many enchanted forests.  With that in mind, we have compiled a list of some of the best walks South Devon has to offer. 

Stover Country Park & Nature Reserve

Stover Country Park and Nature Reserve is located in Newton Abbot and is amass with plenty of tracks and wooded areas for you to explore. Take a relaxing walk through the trees and find the scenic 4 hectare lake nestled amongst the dense woodland.  Surrounded by autumnal colours and vivid scenery, you can enjoy spotting the local wildlife that the park and lake have to offer. 

Start Point

Following the path from Start Point Car Park down to Start Point and the Lighthouse, this is a short, easy walk along the South West Coast Path that beholds truly breathtaking views across Start Bay and beyond. Absorb the crisp sea air and the ragged coastline as you meander toward the towering lighthouse which stands prominent on the edge of the cliffs.

Hembury - Blackdown Hills AONB

Hembury is an Iron Age hill Fort in the Blackdown Hills Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. It is home to impressive ramparts and encased with magical beech trees, offering an educational and thrilling walk. The ridge upon where Hembury Fort sits is worth the climb to view the great fort and the surrounding area is fantastic to experience the vast views of the Blackdown Hills AONB. You can access the Fort from the public footpath off the A373.

Bowling Green Marsh - Exe Estuary

Situated in Topsham and bordering the east bank of the Exe Estuary, Bowling Green Marsh is a beautiful spot for bird watching in South Devon especially during the autumn and winter months. Park up in nearby Topsham and enjoy a lovely rural walk to the wetlands through country lanes and be greeted with a stunning panoramic view of marshland and the Exe Estuary. 

Cann Woods (Plym Forest)

Cann Woods (known locally as Plym Forest) is based on the east side of Plymouth and is an immense area of woodland perfect for those autumn walks with family or friends. The paths are spacious and blanketing around 230 hectares there is boundless opportunities to explore. You can enter the woods from the main car park and is also a good place to bring your mountain bikes if some of your party would prefer ride rather than walk.

Wistman’s Wood – Dartmoor

Wistman’s Wood is a beguiling and ancient oak forest in the heart of Dartmoor. To get there, you can park in the old quarry opposite Two Bridges Hotel and take the man-made track signalled by the footpath signpost. Once along the short track you will come out onto the staggering moorland and can follow the path to the left down towards the woods. Drenched in moss, the gnarled archaic oak trees provide an eerie setting where you can also find a druid stone. 

Church Green & Farway - East Devon Way

Beginning in the hamlet of Church Green, head to the car park outside the church and take a leisurely, short walk in the Coly Valley. Embrace the natural, Devonshire farmland and enjoy the curious village of Farway with its thatched cottages.  

Maidencombe Village and Beach

Parking at Watcombe Beach car park, there is a varied, moderate walk, including steps to the charming village of Maidencombe and on to Maidencombe beach.  The walk itself passes through captivating woodland as well as offering some snippets of dramatic coastal views and is part of the South West Coast Path. Although, a little more challenging than some of the others (mostly on the way back), there is a real diverse range of scenery, including a secluded picturesque cove.

Haldon Forest

With so many marvellous walks and trails at Haldon Forest, Exeter, it’s difficult to pinpoint one in particular. Haldon is the perfect destination for either a brisk walk through the forest or choose one of the longer trails and make an afternoon of wandering through the altitudinous trees and make for the one of the many clearings to soak up some splendid views. 

Dartmouth Castle

Starting in Dartmouth, the walk up to Dartmouth Castle is a moderate journey, with the wonderful treat of the stunning artillery fort which has guarded the Dart Estuary for over 600 years. Upon arriving at the castle you will be greeted with a magnificent vista across to Kingswear. For those who wish to extend the hike, you can meander down to Sugary Cove, a quiet, hidden gem that lay around the corner from the castle gazing out to sea. 

So what are you waiting for? Grab your coat, put on some comfortable footwear and get outside into that fresh West Country air!

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