A Little in Love

 

I have fallen a little in love with Devon, though in truth, if you walk through any part of the countryside at this time of the year, it’s difficult not to be smitten when everywhere is green and verdant and the hedgerows and verges froth with blossom and wild flowers.

 

Devon Coast to Coast Path near Wembury

 

Bill had a big birthday to celebrate this year and as he decided how best to celebrate, he remembered a conversation we had last year on the West Highland Way when another walker enthused over his recent walk along the Devon Coast to Coast Path. The path runs between Wembury Beach on the south coast and Lynmouth on the north, passing across Dartmoor and Exmoor, so we decided to walk part of this and also look around the area where the Wheaton family came from.

 

coins in tree trunk 2 Moors Way

Despite the rain, Devon was glorious. We found the farm where Bill’s family farmed nearly two hundred years ago and walked just over a hundred miles through the Devon countryside. We found sculptures on river islands, tree trunks embedded with coins and a giant photo of a family tree hanging in a tree.

 

Exmoor 2 Moors Way

 

I’m glad I walked through the wilds of Dartmoor with its granite tors and boggy ground (I managed to sink my foot below the top of my boot in a wet muddy patch) though rather like The Fens, I don’t feel the need to walk any part again. In contrast, Exmoor (above) seemed less harsh than Dartmoor with easy to walk wide open ridges and steep sided combes covered in trees.

 

Mid Devon on 2 Moors Way

My favourite part of the walk was the middle section where we could stand on a hill and look across the patchwork of fields and woodland. We walked alongside rivers and down lanes banked with wild flowers that led to tiny villages with thatched cottages so different in design to our steeply pitched Essex thatch.

 

Lynmouth from 2 Moors Way

With the exception of our diversion into Widecombe, which was a big mistake, the joy of this walk was the quietness and feeling that we were miles and miles away from everyone and everything for so much of the day. No traffic noise or planes flying above. No phone signal or public transport.

Having visited the area where Bill’s Great Great Grandmother was born, I think that when I reach the grand old age of 60 we should visit the place that my Great Great Grandmother was born. It seems only fair don’t you think? Especially since she was born in South Australia.

Lynmouth

If you’re interested in walking The Devon Coast to Coast Path (Two Moors Way), go for it.

27 thoughts on “A Little in Love

  1. Sam says:

    I love Devon. It’s somewhere I’d happily live. Your walk sounds like a fine way to celebrate a birthday and I’m glad you had a good time. South Australia hey? Now, that would be an adventure.

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    • Anne Wheaton says:

      Devon is lovely at this time of year, though I’m not sure I’d be happy driving down some of the lanes in winter. A South Australian walk would certainly be an adventure.

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  2. andreamynard says:

    Looks gorgeous Anne, I could easily fall in love with that countryside too – although I feel like that about the English countryside generally this month, May is the loveliest month isn’t it.

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    • Anne Wheaton says:

      We took eight days. It’s quite a difficult walk to divide into equal length days for accommodation and transport as it’s so rural in places. We met someone going the other way who was camping each night and hoped to do it in a week or less but he looked like a serious walker.

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  3. kaydeerouge says:

    I did enjoy reading this – especially as we used to live in Devon! We moved to Northumberland for the peace and quiet here …… 🙂 The truth is Devon is a very big county, and bits are wild and quiet and beautiful, and other bits are just as populated and busy and noisy as the rest of the south of this country. I’m so glad you had a special holiday for Bill’s special birthday, and I think you should definitely go to for South Australia for yours!

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    • Anne Wheaton says:

      Maybe we should walk in Northumberland for even more peace and quiet! Usually when we walk, we come across little crowds of people within a mile or so of towns and remote car parks, but we had none of that in Devon apart from Widecombe and the Tarr Steps. I’m sure that if we walked the SW Coast Path we’d find it much busier than the wilds of Dartmoor.

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  4. rusty duck says:

    I’m glad you enjoyed Devon. I do rather like the ruggedness of Dartmoor but can quite understand that Exmoor would be easier to walk. 100 miles of either terrain is good going in 8 days, well done. You are either supremely fit or now completely knackered.

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    • Anne Wheaton says:

      One of the things I enjoyed about the walk was the contrast in the landscape and I enjoyed the ruggedness of Dartmoor. I thought of your precipitous bank on several days as we negotiated our way.

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  5. kaydeerouge says:

    I am very dozy these days! – it’s taken me a couple of days to realise that I used to work for a firm called Wheaton’s in Devon! They were educational publishers and printers on the industrial estate just south of Exeter, and they had a nice little bookshop in Exeter’s Fore Street. The parent company to Wheaton’s (when I worked there) was Pergamon Press – that’s Robert Maxwell’s company, of course, and he used to come and interfere etc. I didn’t work there long – just a couple of years in the late 70s, and I’ve no idea what happened to the company afterwards – but they were certainly a good enterprise when I worked there. Is this the same Wheaton family as your Bill?!

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    • Anne Wheaton says:

      Small world isn’t it? It’s quite likely that it is the same familly as Bill’s, albeit it distant as there seems to have been a large concentration of Wheatons in Devon all originating from two or three families a few centuries ago.

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  6. Julie says:

    Hi Anne, I had not twigged before that you had a walks section, we have been dipping into the SW coast path and feel just like you, that a day without a walk is a disappointing day. Your trip looks wonderful, another walk to add to our growing list of walks we would like to undertake.

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      • Julie says:

        Hi Anne, most recently our favourite is the coast path in Northumberland a first visit for us and we were blessed with good weather. We are planning at some point to walk the Ridgeway and the Icknield Way is very close by to us – (your link to Ivinghoe to Whipsnade isn’t working) we walked that section a couple of weeks ago. We have a trip to the Pembroke coast path in July and later in the year another section of the SW coast path. Walking has to be the most relaxing thing we do!

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  7. anna warren portfolio says:

    What a glorious spring walk! Do come to Australia, there are many dramatic walks in South Australia, in the Flinders Ranges and up as far as Central Australia. But come in winter, when the days are mild and the nights are cold!

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  8. e / dig in hobart says:

    gosh, I can feel and hear the wind whip about me. amazing photos – amazing landscape. and to have that silence! extraordinary.
    and I’d say a trip to south Australia should definitely be on the cards 🙂

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