Work your way out of this quaint village traversing the rolling hills of the Exe Valley, pockets of enchanted woodland and finishing off at a cosy pub.
Starts/Finishes: Brampford Speke Village
Time: 1 hour
Distance: Approximately 2.5 miles
Terrain: Fields, muddy tracks, woodland paths, wooden bridges and country lanes. Suitable footwear required
Difficulty: Moderate – no particularly steep climbs or difficult terrain sections
Parking: Plenty of spots to park for free around the village
Suitable for dogs?: Yes but must be kept on a lead
This short, one-hour walk begins from the quaint village of Brampford Speke, just north of Exeter, and takes you through fields and woodland to the neighbouring village of Upton Pyne and back where you can choose to take a detour and look at St Mary’s Church made from local volcanic stone!
Starting from The Lazy Toad Inn, make your way south along the main road through the village (passing the entrance to the church on your left) for approximately 200m until you pass the final house on your right just after Stooks Close, also on your right. Take the track on your right marked public footpath that takes you between the field hedge and the back of the houses until you reach a gate into a field.
Continue through the gate, keeping near the hedge on your right, and carry on directly ahead through the field to another gate at the opposite end. This field can get very muddy so wellies or walking boots are advised.
Once through this gate, continue ahead down the lane as it bends downhill to the left where you’ll reach another gate. Go through this and continue following the track as it goes through further fields. The track will soon turn into more of a path and you will find yourself entering into a small area of woodland with little wooden bridges crossing over a number of little brooks as you wind your way through. This area can become very waterlogged and so there is a raised boardwalk that you can walk along during this time – children will love the feeling of adventure!
You’ll begin to go steadily uphill, over more bridges, towards a final gated wooden bridge that takes you out into a field. Bare left and follow the path keeping the hedge on your left as you make your way through one field and into another. Here you can enjoy stunning views of the rolling countryside around you and looks particularly nice during sunset.
Bare left again and onto the tractor lane between two hedges as you steadily descend and soon end up back on a tarmac lane near some houses. From this point you can continue straight ahead and make your way into the village of Upton Pyne by turning left. Otherwise, take the first tarmac lane on the right marked public footpath.
The lane will take you past a house on your right and soon become a farm track once again along the edge of a field and to a gateway into another field. Continue following this footpath around the right-hand side of the field keeping next to the hedge until the track goes through a very small wooded section.
Turn right into the next field and head towards the gate that takes you out onto the corner of Sandy Lane. Turn left and take care following this lane up the hill until you pass some houses on your right and then see a kissing gate, also on your right, going back into another field.
Edge along the right side of the field for a short distance once through and then follow the muddy tractor track crossing the field diagonally into the southeast corner. Go through this gate and continue ahead onto Sandy Lane where you will find your way back into the centre of Brampford Speke village.
Make a visit to St Peter’s Church and climb the medieval tower for astounding views of the River Exe and surrounding countryside before stopping at the waters edge to see kingfishers darting in and out of the riverbanks.
Once you’re finished exploring be sure to stop in for a well-earned pint or meal at The Lazy Toad Inn. This country pub offers an enticing cosiness thanks to a log fire and a quirky series of cosy beamed rooms in which you can rest your legs and refuel.