Devon woodland walks: 10 of the best places to go
PUBLISHED: 11:00 09 May 2017
Looking for a great day out? Get outdoors for a nature walk through the trees at some of the beautiful Devon woods and trails
If you go down to the woods today, you can improve your health, get up close to nature and generally soak up some of the best scenery Devon has to offer. Teddy bear picnics aside (although feel free to bring them along) we are spoilt for choice when it comes to trudging through falling red and golden leaves on a crisp November afternoon.
“There is so much variety down here,” says Kirstie Smith, spokesperson for the West England district of the Forestry Commission. “There are some beautiful forest trails which will suit people, whatever their ages and abilities. Being out and about in woodland is great. There is that real sense that you are getting away from it all.”
Experts say forests and woods are important places to de-stress and relax and were included in the top three nature destinations people visited last year. So what are you waiting for? Get your wellies on and head out on one of these wonderful woodland walks:
1. Halsdon Nature Reserve, nr Dolton, North Devon.
This Devon Wildlife Trust reserve provides the perfect place to see nature on a walk through oak woodland to the River Torridge and its surrounding water meadows.
If that’s not enough, there is a point along the walk known as ‘the top of the world’, with views across to distant Dartmoor.
2. Haldon Forest Park, near Exeter
The Discovery Trail here is designed for everyone. There are fun features along the route for children, regular resting points and some stunning views.
3. Plymbridge Woods, Plymouth
Start at Plymbridge Woods car park and head off on a walk that takes you past the ruins of railway cottages, onto a viaduct where you might be able to see peregrine falcons at their nesting site, before heading back along the glorious River Plym.
There is also plenty of off-road biking to be done here.
4. Bellever Forest, near Postbridge, Dartmoor
Trail is perfect for a peaceful meander through the forest, where you will stumble across silent hut circles and a few grazing ponies.
5. Fingle Woods, Teign Valley
This ancient woodland stretches out between Castle Drogo and Steps Bridge.
The trail takes in long-forgotten sights including an Iron Age hill fort at Wooston Castle and the Hidden Valley at Halls Cleave.
6. Bovey Valley Woods, Lustleigh
It’s three woods for the price of one here. Follow one of the several networks of paths to see oak woodland, bog habits and meadows.
7. Hardwick Wood, Plympton
This is ancient woodland, referred to in the Domesday Book as ‘a grove of fences’.
Take one of the narrow paths that criss-cross the site and explore the wildlife that has made it a Site of Special Scientific Interest since 1954.
8. Core Hill Wood, Sidmouth
This woods sits on a hilltop, so expect a great view out to sea. The paths will take you past a varied mix of alder, sycamore, beech and oak trees.
9. Combe Wood, near Honiton
Try the one-mile circular walk here and look out for the Hazel Glue Fungus, as well as nesting birds, such as the nuthatch.
10. Andrew’s Wood, nr Kingsbridge
Once an area of open, boggy moorland, Andrew’s Wood is now an established haven for a wonderful collection of ferns, mosses and beautiful wildflowers.
There are two circular way-marked trails to help you to explore this nature reserve.