Starts/Finishes: Bickleigh Mill (GR: SS938074)
Distance: 5.5 miles
Time: 2 – 2.5 hours
Difficulty: Strenuous/Very strenuous
Terrain: Quiet lanes, muddy grass footpaths, boardwalks, gravel-packed trails. Walking boots or wellies are a must!
Parking: Free parking available in the overflow car park on the right as you drive in to Bickleigh Mill
Bickleigh to Cadeleigh Circular Walk
Start at the Bickleigh Mill overflow car park and make your way across the Bickleigh Bridge towards the picturesque pub – Fisherman’s Cot. Turn left past the pub, over another small bridge and then take the lane immediately on the right. Follow this lane, taking the second of the signed public footpath routes on your right – along the edge of a field lined with beautiful holly.
As you reach the River Dart expect a lot of mud – walking boots or wellies are essential footwear! From here, enjoy the sound of rushing water and birdsong as you follow the defined path avoiding any exceptionally boggy bits as you go. The boardwalks are your friends here.
Pass through the gate, turning right on the path closest to the river and continue up the path. You’ll soon pass a little waterfall next to a ford to know you’re going the right way.
You’ll soon start your climb and as you rise, the views continue to get more and more impressive. Continue through a small, gated stretch of woodland until you reach a farm. Take the public footpath through the gate on your left up the track through the field as it sweeps around to the left. At the next gate, turn right and follow the footpath signs uphill through this fenced section and through multiple gates. This section of the walk is the steepest and is guaranteed to have you burning off those Christmas calories!
At the top you’ll be rewarded with amazing 360-degree views over the Mid Devon countryside. Have a breather and take it all in before continuing down this narrow, fenced footpath down to the road.
Turn left to follow the quiet lane all the way to Cadeleigh – home of the brilliant Cadeleigh Arms (a previous restaurant feature favourite). A much-needed chance to get some refreshment.
Take the road downhill opposite the pub. As the lane starts to level off, turn left at Cadleigh Court Lane along the concrete farm road. Follow this road continuously, taking note of public footpath signs, as it goes around the farm buildings and passes a lovely orchard. Continue along the marked route before emerging onto a lane. This takes you back to the lane where you started – turn right and follow back to the car park.
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This manageable there and back route offers easy walking and wheeling along the eastern side of the reservoir and to the dams, plus additional access to the wildlife trail in the Burrator Arboretum