The Parish Walkers
Last year Burrington Parish was chosen as one of 50 villages in Devon to receive funding from "Active Village". The money was to help get parishioners active and the Parish council organised many varied activities for all ages to get involved with, one of which was walking. The Parish Council had looked into Beating the Boundary but felt that impracticable. With the funding available we had some maps printed and laminated and booked the committee room for three Sundays during the summer where the walks would start and end. Three walks where then organised ending with tea and cakes at the Parish Hall. On the last walk it was motioned that the walks were such good fun that it would be pity to see them stopped.
As a result Trudy persuaded one family to open their home to "Tea and Cake" and thus the walk started and ended at Miller Cottage. During tea the next unsuspecting person was suitably encouraged and thus the village walkers had a 2nd venue to continue the walking, eating and drinking. It seems to be working out that we walk on the first Sunday of the month with locations arranged the month before. A really get way to chat with friends make new ones and enjoy some really amazing views and of course a good Cuppa! See you next time.
The July Walk
For the July walk we had a minor problem with that annual tennis thing up in south London. Perhaps we should have realised that they were going to clash with us before we set our date – but maybe tennis was the last thing on our minds when we tucked into tea after the June walk.
Anyway, a very dedicated group of 7 plus one dog set off from Cable Cottage in bright sunshine –the dog huffed and puffed all the way so we always knew where he was. Because of the temperature it was decided to keep the walk short and we headed off to Ball’s Corner and then down through the plantation where the shade from the trees was more than welcome. The heat was a bit of a shock when we emerged into the sunshine at Whitecleave Cross and then at Callards Cross we began that rather steep hill up and north towards Curzland.
The deep Devon banks completely sheltered the lane from any breath of air and there was a certain amount of stopping in patches of shade – Dog needed a watering halt halfway up the hill. With his boiler recharged [and our breath regained] we eventually made the top of the hill and turned down towards Curzland Farm.
We crossed the farmyard with a wonderful view to the South East over the valleys of the Mully Brook and the Taw and well beyond. Then out of the farmyard and along the hedge line [could have done without the thistles!] before going diagonally downhill into the valley and having a pit stop sitting by / on an old hedge. The nearby bridge provided an excuse for another stop – you can’t cross a bridge without leaning over the parapet. Dog was advised to get himself a nice big drink before the next bit (which was up again of course). He ignored this sensible advice and had to be persuaded to get into the stream for a proper cool down.
Question: Does anyone know what the stream is called? Is it the Penny Brook ?
We continued up the hill through the trees where the sun was waiting to ambush us in the field behind The Barton – it was seriously hot and sapped your energy. We struggled on through the village back to Cable Cottage for a patch of shade and a light afternoon tea. Actually light isn’t the right description for those scones that started life “ light” but were then loaded with jam and cream (butter as well in some cases!). Light wasn't the right word for me either after I just HAD to try every home made cake and biscuit that was on offer. We did enjoy light conversation though
The walk was approximately 3.8 kilometres with lots of ups and downs. We took a few [very leisurely] hours including a number of pit stops to allow for the temperature. “New” walkers are always welcome. As ever the splendid tea was a just reward for those of us who bravely shunned our television sets. We definitely didn’t go home wondering what to have for supper.
There will be no walk in August. The September walk will be on Sunday 8th September starting and finishing at Trudy’s place – suggest parking could be in the Parish Hall car park.
See you then?
The June Walk
The June walk [Sunday 2nd June] started from the entrance to the forest near Winswood House and [unlike the April walk] we had a lovely sunny day with a bit of a breeze and, from time to time, some high cloud. Otherwise it might even have been too hot – how good is that?
There were 12 of us plus two dogs and we set off up through the forest towards Bithefin Moor and then went on to Ashreigney. When we got to Bush Corner, we turned northeast along the “ridge” road to Hansford Cross. Exmoor was as clear as a bell on the horizon and that view alone is worth the walk.
After a brief conference at Hansford Cross everyone decided to be brave and go the long way home. That meant going down Ragged Lane [the deep and sometimes rather rough underfoot bridleway that leads down into the Taw Valley] to Bourne. Despite the recent dry weather some sections were surprisingly muddy but there were loads of wild flowers too.
At Bourne we turned north along the lane for about a mile to Bourne Cross where a right turn took us to the end of the bridleway to our destination, Mullybrook Mill. The shade of the trees was welcome but as we got further into the forest the surface of the track deteriorated with patches of surface water and wet clay to be negotiated – interesting but everyone crossed safely. After a particularly wet patch where there’s a blocked gully we escaped from the forest and then continued through the fields, passed Fox Meadow and thence to the east end of Mill Lane.
After the serious bit we adjourned to The Miller’s House at Mullybrook Mill to sit outside in the sunshine for tea [or coffee if you prefer] with an ample sufficiency of cakes and “drop” scones.
The walk was about 7 kilometres and took about two and a half [leisurely] hours. “New” walkers are always welcome. We don’t go very far or very fast, and there’s always tea at the end. Definitely worth a gentle walk.
The next walk will start and finish at Ralph and Jane Johnson’s house, “Cable Cottage” Burrington at 2.30 p.m. on Sunday 7th July.