Wayward Wanderers Walking Group


December 05, 2010, prb, Comments: 0

This was a straightforward and mostly flat walk along the east bank of the River Exe designed to get us out from by our firesides in near-zero temperatures.   After assembling at the Puffing Billy in Exton, we walked down to the station for a look at the river, ......

.................and then turned onto the recently completed Exton-Lympstone length of the Exe Estuary Trail.  This is part of Devon County Council's ongoing project to create a walker and cyclist-friendly route around the Exe from Exmouth to Dawlish, and it will form part of the National Cycle Network.

Today, though, deterred by the cold, and possibly by the threat of ice, cyclists were fairly few in number, which made it better for us walkers.  We therefore enjoyed a quick and uninterrupted amble alongside the railway, past the Lympstone Marine Commando base, and down to Lympstone, pausing here and there for some photos of the river.   We walked through the picturesque centre of Lympstone village, admiring some of the interesting architectural features we passed.  

On the south side of the village we came to the river's edge, but left it almost as soon as we arrived, and soon after joined the older  part of the Trail.   This part of the Trail was put in place  maybe 2 years before the northern section, and has matured a little more as a result.  Both include sections of boardwalk, seats and viewing points.   The views across the river can be stunning in the right conditions, and conditions today , although a little hazy, were pretty good.

We continued on, passing the old mock gothic mansion of Courtlands on our left, and eventually came to the end of the purpose-built trail where it runs alongside the railway.   Here the group split.   Those that wanted to go into the centre of Exmouth and catch the train back continued on.  Those who wanted to continue walking started on the return.  Unusually for our group, this entailed following the same route back since, except for a short length in the vicinity of Lympstone, there is no reasonably convenient inland alternative.

The temperatures were already starting to fall and in places the path underfoot was beginning to ice up, so a fast return was the order of the day, although on our way some photos of the disappearing sun were taken.  

This is the trail information board at Exton.

Our thanks go to Sheila for setting this walk up.  Those who did the return on foot covered about 6.3 miles.   The route has been uploaded to GPSies and can be found at:


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