Six awesome autumn walks!
Love the outdoors? Us too, so we’re thrilled to be launching our first ever Muddy Walk Week! Grab your friends or family and try our pick of the prettiest walks in Devon and beyond - all with dog-friendly pubs nearby.
IN PARTNERSHIP WITH
Feel like stretching your legs over the next two weeks? Us too! Making the most of your precious free time and getting out and about with family and besties is what we love to do on Muddy, so we’ve come up with six brilliant Autumn walks (with pubs en route or nearby obvs) so you can really enjoy your down-time.
We’re proud to say that our Autumn Walks are part of Joules’ Charity Month – 31 days of fantastic fundraising for their five charity partners. If you want to make a small justgiving donation to take part (a quid is great, and doable even for little people) click here. And please do instagram your beautiful walk or gorgeous pub (yes, you can be in it!) and hashtag with #joulesautumnwalks #mymuddywalks, because we’ll use the best images in our round-up feature.
Details of our favourite walks across all 22 Muddy counties are here so even if you’re going away you can stride out. Plus you can enter our Reader Treat and three lucky subscribers and their families can step out in £500 of Joules coats and wellies.
What else do you want, crisp dry days and blue skies? Don’t worry, I’m working on it.
WALK 1 ANSTEY’S COVE, TORQUAY
Distance and difficulty: Moderate – a circular 3.5 mile walk with some not-too difficult ups and downs, taking just over an hour. View walk here.
Good for: Families, amblers, chatters, shell-pickers, fossil-finders, dog-walkers and buggy-pushers.
Why we love it: It takes you through leafy Wellswood with a mix of woods, fields, pavements and undulating coastline so something for everyone. If you’re lucky you might spot a seal or dolphin from your vantage point.
Park on Ilsham Drive, near Kent’s Cavern and among the boutiques and beauty salons at the top you’ll spot the continental style deli-caf Me & Mrs Jones. Tuck into generous home-made tarts and salads – always delish and a great atmos. Plenty of shopping here too, with Sharpham cheeses, sourdough bread, Willy’s kombucha – and covetable bicycle baskets.
WALK 2 BAGGY POINT TO CROYDE, NORTH DEVON
Distance and difficulty: Challenging – a circular 4.5 mile route starting at Baggy Point taking in cliffs and the surfer beach at Croyde along the south west coast path and Tarka Trail. Give yourself around 2 hours. View the walk here.
Good for: stompers and striders, botanisers, binocular-wielders, dogs on leads.
Why we love it: A proper wind-in-your-hair, take-your-breath-away sorta walk, good for getting the old glutes burning with panoramic Woolacombe Bay views as your reward. And where else do you get to see the fossilised bones of a whale?!
Nearby pub: Stop at The Thatch at Croyde for its hearty pub classics and Mexican nachos and enchiladas. Full of olde-worlde character and a fire to warm up your fingers and toes, while channeling a cool surfer dude vibe.
WALK 3 HEDDON VALLEY, EXMOOR
Distance and difficulty: Easy – mostly flat with a few gentle slopes along the River Heddon through ancient woodland to the sea at Heddon’s Mouth, lasting about an hour. View the walk here.
Good for: leg-stretchers, butterfly and wildflower-watchers, instagrammers, dog-walkers.
Why we love it: Think Utterly Butterly ad: a Site of Special Scientific Interest on National Trust land and one of the most wildflower-filled walks I’ve ever been on with beautiful bluebells, otters playing in the river and rare brown fritillary butterflies flitting between the gorse. Lush.
Start and end your walk at Hunters Inn, originally a thatched cottage but rebuilt in the style of a Swiss chalet in Victorian times. It’s got that middle of nowhere feel (and excellent gin), peaceful for a de-frazzling dinner or a good-value sleepover should you fancy making a night of it. You might wake up to a peacock on your windowsill (I did).
WALK 4 WISTMAN’S WOOD CIRCULAR WALK, DARTMOOR
Distance and difficulty: Moderate – a 5-mile walk taking in ancient stunted oaks, granite tors and awesome 360 degree views over Dartmoor. You’ll need walking boots and waterproofs. and allow a good couple of hours. Check it out here.
Good for: families, kids, dogs on leads, forest-bathers in need of a boost.
Why we love it: A witchy walk through wizened old oaks and boulders covered in moss – very atmospheric – bringing you out onto the moors with their vast 360 degrees views and monolithic tors.
Nearby pub: This walk starts and ends at Two Bridges one of those wonderfully laid-back inns which manages to be spacious and cosy, where no-one bats an eyelid if kids and dogs are playing up. Good for a hot chocolate by the fire or a slap-up cream tea.
WALK 5 PARKE, BOVEY TRACEY
Distance and difficulty: Easy-peasy – a fairly level 1-mile potter around a 19th century National Trust estate. Wear wellies as it can get boggy in parts. Allow 30-40 minutes. See the walk here.
Good for: meanderers, period-property fans, toddlers, the oldies and veg-plotters.
Why we love it: A feel-good yesteryear vibe with beehives, a pond with dragonflies, old orchards and a working kitchen garden, lots of natural inspo with something to see whatever the season.
Nearby cafe: Muddy-approved Home Farm Cafe is worth the visit without the walk, a destinations for foodies who love home-made, locally sourced good grub, and the rustic vibe which perfectly channels its location. Brunches, cream teas and a good kids menu – it’s all here.
WALK 6 SALCOMBE AND SOAR MILL COVE
Distance and difficulty: Challenging – a mix of hedgerow lanes, steep rocky cliff paths and stiles, to the aptly-named high point of Soar with a stop at the beautiful beach at Soar Mill Cove and back. 6.6 miles, taking 3 hours. View the walk here.
Good for: families with gung-ho kids and hardy teens, Ten Tors and DoE-ers, buzzard and bird watchers, seal and dolphin-spotters.
Why we love it: What’s not to love about Salcombe and its Mediteranean like golden sands and turquoise blue seas? The palm-filled garden and quirky inventor’s house at Overbecks is en route if you fancy a detour for a seagull’s eye view of the boats on the estuary.
Nearby cafe: Park on the road at North Sands (the car park is currently closed) and start and finish your walk from The Winking Prawn where you can sit under the bunting (or right next to the beach) and scoff on fresh salads, local-caught fishy dishes or a slap-up cream tea. There’s a dressing-up box by the door, and your cutlery and condiments comes in a pink child’s beach bucket. The Mudlets will love it.