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Walking in East Devon

walking in east devon

The Charm of East Devon’s Countryside

Famed for its rolling hills, picturesque villages, and stunning coastline, walking in East Devon’s countryside exudes a unique charm that captivates visitors from near and far. The patchwork fields dotted with grazing sheep, meandering streams lined with willow trees, and the towering cliffs overlooking the sea create a serene and idyllic setting for those seeking a peaceful retreat in nature.

Exploring the countryside of East Devon’s villages and countryside unveils a diverse landscape that showcases the region’s natural beauty at every turn. From the lush woodlands of Blackbury Camp to the panoramic views from High Peak, hikers and nature enthusiasts can immerse themselves in the tranquility and splendor of this enchanting area. Whether wandering along the East Devon Way trail or strolling through the ancient forests of Woodbury Common, the charm of East Devon’s countryside is sure to leave a lasting impression on all who venture here.

trees at blackbury

Exploring the Coastal Paths of East Devon

The coastal paths of East Devon offer a picturesque and serene setting for hikers to explore. With stunning views of the Jurassic Coast, rugged cliffs, and golden beaches, these paths provide a unique opportunity to immerse oneself in the beauty of the natural surroundings. Along the way, hikers may encounter hidden coves, quaint fishing villages, and dramatic rock formations, adding to the charm of the experience.

Wildlife enthusiasts will appreciate the diverse range of animals and birds that can be spotted along the coastal paths of East Devon. From seals basking on the shores to peregrine falcons soaring above the cliffs, there are plenty of opportunities to observe the local fauna in their natural habitat. Keep an eye out for dolphins playing in the waves and rare butterflies fluttering among the coastal wildflowers, adding an element of excitement to your hiking adventure.

dog at jurassic exmouth beach

Wildlife Spotting Opportunities in East Devon

One of the highlights of exploring the natural beauty of East Devon is the incredible wildlife spotting opportunities that await you. From the vibrant birdlife to the elusive mammals that call this area home, there is no shortage of fascinating creatures to encounter along your hikes. Keep your eyes peeled for sightings of iconic species such as the Dartford warbler, red deer, badgers, and even the occasional otter as you traverse the diverse landscapes of East Devon’s countryside.

In addition to the land-dwelling animals, the coastal areas of East Devon offer unique opportunities to observe marine life in their natural habitat. Head to the cliffs and beaches to catch a glimpse of seals basking in the sun or dolphins playing in the waves. The rich biodiversity of the region makes it a hotspot for nature enthusiasts looking to connect with the wildlife that thrives in this picturesque setting.

seals in east devon

Historic Landmarks Along the Hiking Trails

When hiking along the trails in East Devon, you will encounter numerous historic landmarks that offer a glimpse into the region’s rich heritage. From ancient ruins to stately homes, these sites add a layer of fascination to your outdoor adventures. One such landmark is the stunning Powderham Castle, a picturesque 14th-century castle set amidst rolling green hills, providing a historic backdrop to your hike. Additionally, the captivating A la Ronde, an 18th-century sixteen-sided house with intricate shell-decorated interiors, is another must-see stop along the trails.

As you continue your trek through East Devon’s hiking trails, keep an eye out for the impressive historical remnants that dot the landscape. The ancient hill fort of Woodbury Castle is one such site, offering panoramic views and a glimpse into the area’s ancient past. The iconic Sidmouth Observatory, a historic building used for astronomical observations since the early 20th century, presents another interesting landmark worth exploring during your hike. The region’s historic landmarks not only provide a great backdrop for your outdoor adventures but also serve as windows into the area’s storied past.

a la ronde

Local Flora and Fauna to Look Out For

East Devon’s countryside is brimming with a diverse array of flora and fauna waiting to be discovered along its scenic hiking trails. From vibrant wildflowers dotting the meadows to elusive wildlife hiding in the forests, nature enthusiasts are in for a treat as they explore the region. Keep an eye out for common sights such as bluebells, primroses, and foxgloves in the spring months, adding splashes of color to the lush landscape.

In addition to the colorful flora, East Devon is home to a variety of wildlife, including playful otters along the riverbanks, majestic red deer roaming the woodlands, and a myriad of bird species soaring through the skies. Birdwatchers may be delighted to spot buzzards, kestrels, and even the occasional peregrine falcon in the region. With each step along the hiking trails, nature lovers have the chance to encounter these fascinating creatures in their natural habitat, enriching the outdoor experience.

Challenges and Rewards of Hiking in East Devon

Hiking in East Devon presents a blend of challenges and rewards for outdoor enthusiasts. The undulating terrain, including steep hills and rugged coastal paths, can be physically demanding but offers stunning views and a sense of accomplishment. Explorers may encounter unpredictable weather conditions, slippery footpaths, and the need to navigate through diverse landscapes, adding an element of excitement and spontaneity to their journey.

On the flip side, the rewards of hiking in East Devon are plentiful. From encountering diverse wildlife such as deer, birds, and seals in their natural habitats to discovering hidden waterfalls and historic landmarks along the way, each step unveils a new treasure. The peaceful ambiance of the countryside, the vibrant colors of wildflowers dotting the landscape, and the chance to connect with nature in East Devon’s Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) make every hike a rejuvenating experience.


Family-Friendly Hiking Routes in the Area

Families seeking leisurely hiking experiences in East Devon will find an array of picturesque routes to explore. The serene Woodbury Common offers gentle trails perfect for all ages, with opportunities to spot wildlife and enjoy panoramic views. For a beachside adventure, the South West Coast Path from Sidmouth to Branscombe provides a scenic route with charming seaside villages along the way.

Additionally, the Otter Valley Loop near Ottery St Mary is a pleasant circular walk through lush greenery and along the tranquil River Otter. Families can also opt for the East Devon Way, a multi-day trail showcasing varied landscapes from rolling hills to woodlands. With its diverse terrain and captivating vistas, East Devon caters to families looking to immerse themselves in nature’s beauty.

Hidden Gems Off the Beaten Path in East Devon

Nestled amidst the rolling hills and lush valleys of East Devon lies a treasure trove of hidden gems waiting to be discovered by intrepid explorers. From secluded beaches with panoramic views to ancient ruins steeped in history, the region offers a diverse range of off-the-beaten-path attractions that will captivate adventurers of all ages. Venture off the main trails and immerse yourself in the beauty and tranquility of these lesser-known spots, where you can connect with nature and uncover the magic of East Devon’s countryside.

One such hidden gem is the enchanting Putts Corner a peaceful wooded area that is perfect for a relaxing stroll or a picnic surrounded by nature’s symphony. For those craving a coastal adventure, the dramatic cliffs of Branscombe offer a rugged backdrop for exploration, with hidden coves and charming thatched cottages adding to the area’s appeal. Further inland, the mysterious Blackbury Camp Iron Age hillfort provides a fascinating glimpse into the region’s ancient past, while the secluded Salcombe Hill near Sidmouth offers breathtaking views of the Jurassic Coast. Experience the allure of East Devon’s hidden gems and create unforgettable memories in this picturesque corner of England.

blackbury camp view

Tips for a Safe and Enjoyable time walking in East Devon

When venturing into the stunning landscapes of East Devon for a hike, it’s essential to prioritise safety and ensure an enjoyable experience. One key tip is to always check the weather forecast before setting off on your hiking adventure. Being aware of any potential rain, fog, or strong winds can help you prepare adequately with the right gear and clothing.

Another important aspect to consider is informing someone of your hiking plans, especially if you’re exploring less frequented trails. Providing details of your route and estimated return time can be crucial in case of emergencies. Additionally, carrying essentials such as a map, compass, first aid kit, water, and snacks is imperative to stay safe while out in nature.

Connecting with Nature in East Devon’s AONB

When exploring East Devon’s Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB), the opportunities to connect with nature are abundant. Amidst the rolling hills and lush meadows, hikers can marvel at the diverse wildlife that calls this region home. Keep an eye out for red deer, buzzards, badgers, and a variety of butterflies fluttering amongst the wildflowers.

In addition to the captivating wildlife, the AONB is also a haven for plant enthusiasts. Walkers can admire the vibrant colors of bluebells, primroses, and foxgloves dotting the landscape, while also keeping an eye out for unique plant species like the rare lady’s slipper orchid. Engaging with the local flora and fauna in East Devon’s AONB provides a serene and enriching experience for nature lovers of all ages.

east devon aonb

Other Attractions in East Devon

When you have finished your walking in East Devon, you shoud think about visiting some of these places:

  • World of Country Life – Interactive museum in Exmouth giving an insight into rural life. Meet farmyard animals, enjoy tractor rides and falconry displays.
  • Escot – Family-run estate near Ottery St Mary with farm animals, adventure play areas, maze and gardens. Woodland walks and deer park.
  • Crealy Adventure Park – Adventure and theme park near Exeter with over 60 rides and attractions like rollercoasters, water rides and a petting farm.
  • Killerton House– National Trust estate with an 18th century house, formal & woodland gardens, parkland and walking trails leading to a 15th century church.
  • Seaton Tramway – Nostalgic narrow-gauge tram which runs along the picturesque East Devon coast between Seaton, Colyton and Colyford.
  • Pecorama Pleasure Gardens – Gardens with model railways and trails in Beer near Seaton. The world in miniature! Ride mini trains through tiny landscapes.
  • Donkey Sanctuary Sidmouth – Charity sheltering rescued donkeys. Meet and feed the donkeys and learn about their care on a guided walk. Lovely grounds and cafe.
  • Bicton Park Botanical Gardens – Stunning gardens and arboretum in East Devon with events and children’s play areas. Home to Bicton College.
  • A La Ronde – Quirky 16 sided 18th century house with eclectic craft and objects collected by two spinster cousins from their European travels.
  • Otterton Water Mill – Historical working flour mill from the 19th century which still operates. Guided tours explain the milling process.

Walking in East Devon Map and Guide

east devon map

This OS map is the perfect companion for a walking in East Devon – whether you are following the South West Coast Path, the East Devon Way or just having a family potter.

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A very helpful guide to walking in East Devon along the Jurassic Coast, with information about the walks, the rocks and follils that you may find and where to get a drink at the end of the day.

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jurassic coast

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