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7 of the best autumn walks in Devon

PUBLISHED: 13:00 01 September 2017 | UPDATED: 16:08 01 September 2017

Dartmoor National Park in Devon © Helen Hotson, Shutterstock

Dartmoor National Park in Devon © Helen Hotson, Shutterstock

Archant

One of the best ways to explore Devon is on foot, so here’s a round-up of 7 pretty circular strolls…

1. Halsdon Nature Reserve

This way marked walk is eight miles around and sends you along the River Torridge through the ancient trees of Beaford Wood. Starting three miles from the village of Winkleigh, there is plenty of wildlife to spot from woodland birds or even a kingfisher to otters in the river. The stunning Tarka trail – which is named after the otter-cum-protagonist in the novel Tarka the Otter by British writer and naturalist Henry Williamson – leads you back to the start through grassland and over historic bridges.

2. Andrew’s Wood

Situated just five miles north of Kingsbridge, Andrew’s Wood is truly a woodland haven for flora and fauna. You may even find one of Exmoor’s beautiful ponies. This walk is 5 miles long, an ideal length for those looking to get out and explore nature without embarking on a long trek. On your peaceful walk through the Avon Valley you will come across wildflowers, woodland birds, ancient hedge back and old walls. Andrew’s Wood is known for being the home to rare heath lobelia, a vibrant purple/blue flower that grow in Devon and Sussex; these tend to crop up at the end of summer until September.

3. Plymbridge Woods

Wrap up this autumn in walking boots and a cosy jumper to explore Plymbridge Woods. A quick walk at just one mile long, you can take in a snapshot of Plymouth’s stunning nature; this walk takes on average 30-40 minutes; a leisurely stroll for those slow days. As you walk through majestic woodland alongside the River Plym you will be able to look over a canal dating back to 1829 that used to be a form of slate transportation. Spot the sculpture trail and the old sewage line which is now surrounded by beautiful greenery.

4. Black-a-Tor-Copse

This nature reserve is a stunning oak woodland and moorland. While on your stroll try and discover some of the twenty breeding birds around the moors, these may include the ring ouzel and redstart. This reserve was even featured in BBC’s Secret Britain because of its rare high altitude oak woodland status. You’ll be surrounded by hills covered in fluffy moss, which reminds one of a fairytale.

5. Stone Lane Gardens

Located on the edge of Dartmoor’s National Park is Stone Lane Gardens which was first opened to the public back in 1971 when Kenneth Ashburner planted birch and alder trees. As time went on he decided to expand the garden, decorating it with beautiful flowers and shrubs. While walking through this picturesque haven you will be at peace with the trickling of the nearby stream.

6. Combe Martin

This is a looped-route walk, so you begin at Combe Martin’s gorgeous golden sands and make your way up to the hill where you will discover some breathtaking views. The 3.6 mile walk is a route best recommended for those who want a gentle experience to appreciate the beauty of nature. During the autumn you will be welcomed by birds flitting among the hills to feed on insects and seeds on the ground which will be peppered with golden leaves. This is truly a tranquil walk.

7. Seaton to Lyme Regis

The coastal walk from Seaton to Lyme Regis is seven miles in total and features some of Devon’s prettiest beaches. On this stroll you will pass by Axe Valley’s golf course before reaching the cliff top with breathtaking scenery to absorb. This is a perfect walk to bring your four-legged friend along. Goat’s Island is one of the highlights as it is a historic treasure as it was once part of the fields lying on the cliffs but has been left to its natural state for over 150 years. Soak up the sea air and revel in the picturesque scenery that comprises part of this East Devon Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.

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