Devon - Created for Walking
Devon offers some of the best walking on the British Isles. Whether it’s a sun-filled coastal walk, a magical autumn stroll past quaint hamlets or a moorland wander, there is surely something that’s just right for you! And what is most amazing - the landscape can change in an instant. One minute you might be walking through a light mist, the next you can be looking for miles over Bigbury Bay or rolling countryside.
The South West Coast Path
Walk the edge between land and sea. Over the centuries fishermen, coastguards and smugglers have helped to create this historic path – now Britain’s longest National Trail – stretching over 600 miles. The South Hams element which is part of the South Devon Heritage Coast and an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty boasts some of the most spectacular landscape, seascape, climate and vegetation to be found anywhere in the UK. Full of interest, its 60 miles are sometimes rocky and precipitous, sometimes wooded or grassy, but always a source of fascination and wonder. The National Trust protects 13 miles of coastline on either side of the Salcombe Estuary, from Hope Cove to beyond Prawle Point, as well as pockets of land at Thurlestone.
Starting from Cottage View, explore those miles of fantastic coastal scenery, finding hidden coves and enjoying breathtaking views from dramatic headlands.
The South Hams is watered by five majestic rivers – the Avon, Dart, Erme, Plym and Yealm. These ancient waterways have made this largely rural area especially fertile, and farming is still a main activity, as it has been for centuries. The valleys carved out by these rivers are outstandingly beautiful and ideal for walking and bird-watching. Find ample walking literature and maps in the bookshelves of Cottage View. But also the gently rolling countryside studded with tiny historic hamlets and villages makes for ideal walking. Hundreds of miles of rights of way criss-cross the area offering walks to suit all tastes. In addition, some trails have historic or literary links to give further interest. Coast & Countryside Trail leaflets are available from the Kingsbridge Tourist Information Centre.
Known as the southern gateway to Dartmoor, Ivybridge marks the start of the 100-mile Two-Moors Way which links the two National Parks of Dartmoor and Exmore. The landscape through which the route passes is very varied, including as it does the high moorland of some of the Dartmoor and Exmore sections, but also the deep and wooded valleys on the moorland edges. If you are not that energetic, you may take shorter walks just north of Ivybridge, or access Dartmoor from the east to climb the hills topped by spectacular granite outcrops called ‘tors’. Guided walks and talks, which are invaluable to the visitor in understanding the Moor better, are arranged through the National Park Authority. Find a copy of the “Dartmoor Visitor” newspaper in the bookshelf of Cottage View or at any South Hams Tourist Information Centre or visitor centre on the Moor for full details. And don’t forget to look for letterboxes!
Walking with dogs
There are miles of fantastic coastal paths a mere stone’s throw away from Cottage View, plus many beaches, pubs and attractions that welcome dogs. Dogs are not allowed on Hope Cove’s Mouthwell Beach from May-September but are tolerated by the Harbour Master on Harbour Beach early in the morning and later during the day when families with children have left the beach. But your dog will LOVE South Milton Sands any time of the year. This long sandy stretch is only a short walk along the scenic Coast Path in direction of Thurlestone. Dogs are also allowed on Bantham Beach and on Bigbury Sands (with certain restrictions from May-September).