Chawleigh Walk 2
The walk starts in the village centre.
- Set off along the main street in a northerly direction towards Chulmleigh. At Hollowtree Cross, take the right-hand fork and walk along a country road for approximately 1/4 mile. The village of Chulmleigh can be seen directly ahead. Turn left on to a short track, which will lead you into a field. Keeping to the right-hand side, walk along the edge of the field through a fate and out onto a road. As you walk up this field, take time to pause and look at the views of Exmoor behind you. In late summer, the hills become a purple haze as the heather blooms.
- Cross the road and go through a gate on the right-hand side of a bungalow. Follow the left-hand edge of the field, keeping close to the hedgerow. In front of you there are fine views of the tors of Dartmoor. In particular, you will be able to see the smooth rounded shape of Cosdun (Cawsand) Hill and slightly to your right, the craggy outline of High Willhayes, the highest point on Dartmoor.
- Follow the left-hand hedge downhill taking time to admire the lovely valley and stream as it runs down to join the River Taw. In April and May, the bright yellow of the gorse in bloom can be quite stunning. Behind you is a large house which, for a while, served as the village rectory. Follow the path through a gate and over a stile. Follow the path around the ponds, which in the spring are surrounded by daffodils. You might see some buzzards flying above the valley.
- There is then a steady climb uphill; keep to the right-hand hedge. As you climb, you might hear the trains running along the Tarka Line between Exeter and Barnstaple. The Tarka Line follows the Taw Valley through Tarka Country made famous by Henry Williamson’s story of Tarka and the Otter.
- On the far side of the valley, you should be able to see the ruins of Eggesford House. Eggesford House was built in 1854 by the Earl of Portsmouth. It was sold in 1914 and regrettably fell into disrepair and general decay. Today just the ruins remain of this once fine mansion. It is said that the Earl of Portsmouth insisted that when the railway was built across his lands, he should reserve the right to stop any train at any time for the convenience of himself or his many guests. Honour was satisfied on both sides with the construction of Eggesford Station (2 miles from Chawleigh) – for use by any passenger.
- On reaching a gate, go through and walk across two fields, keeping in between the hedgerow and the trees. An old Devon bank formed the edge of this small copse of trees. It was once much higher and stretched to the top of the hill. Many of the trees are oaks up to 200 years old. The hedgerows are full of wildflowers in spring and summer. Butterflies such as the peacock butterfly are also a common sight.
- Go through the gate at the top of the hill and then straight ahead across the field to reach a road via a stile. This is a quiet lane with good views of the rolling countryside typical of Mid Devon. Turn left. On reaching Southcott Cross, take the left-hand fork and continue along this road for about 1/2 mile. At the road junction, turn left and follow the road back into the village to return to your starting point.
- Dog Friendly
- Family Friendly