Budleigh Salterton to Ladram Bay Cliff Top Circular Walk

Sep 21, 2018 | Featured Articles, Strenuous, Walks


Starts/Finishes: Near Pynes Farm Shop, EX9 7AY. (GR: SY075830)

Distance: 3.4 miles one way or 5.5 miles circular

Time: 2-3 hours

Difficulty: Moderate/Strenous

Terrain: Coastal footpaths and tracks – expect some steep sections

Parking: Free!

Budleigh Salterton to Ladram Bay Cliff Top Circular Walk

Sep 21, 2018 | Featured Articles, Strenuous, Walks

This day walk starts at the coastal town of Budleigh Salterton, named after the 33 salters who made their riches panning for salt, before taking you to the halfway point of Ladram Bay and then circling back around to Budleigh Salterton along the River Otter.

Starting from the parking pull-ins near Pynes Farm Shop, you can instantly enjoy the reed beds and salt marshes alongside the Otter Estuary – home to a variety of bird species including Kingfishers, Great Spotted Woodpeckers and Reed Warblers who fill the air with their song. Look out for swans who can be found just near the road bridge. From here, walk towards the shop and take the clearly marked coastal path on your right towards Sidmouth and Ladram Bay.

After a short while you’ll begin to see the mouth of the Otter Estuary, and the pebble bar that juts across from Budleigh beach, as you make your way past the iconic line of pine trees that sit on the cliff edge. After admiring the view, continue along this rolling coastal route. This stunning section of the south west coast path is designated as an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and lasts approximately 3.5 miles, offering views all the way along the coastline to Sidmouth, Branscombe and beyond.

Approximately two miles along this path you’ll reach the remains of Brandy Head Observation Hut alongside the gunnery research range. Opened in 1940, this building – equipped with blast walls and a seaward viewing balcony – and adjacent gunnery research range was used for World War II weapons testing where aircraft including Typhoons, Hurricanes and Spitfires would test their mounted cannons. Prior to this, Brandy Head was known for its frequent smuggling activity; the most common being brandy.

Continue along the last mile of the coastal path as you admire the striking red rock stacks of Ladram Bay as you descend down into the holiday park. The park is very welcoming of walkers. Here you can stop for some lunch in the café, grab fish & chips and spend some time on the beach or stock up on some supplies from the shop for the continuation of your walk.

Once suitably refreshed and ready for the next leg, continue up the main road out of the holiday park (passing the shopping parade on your right) before joining the footpath running parallel to this road as it climbs uphill. This path is littered with loose rocks so be careful not to twist any ankles! Just before you reach the concrete steps, follow the path to the left, containing two short but strenuous climbs, as it winds through narrow hedgerows and comes out onto the tarmac lane. Turn right here before immediately turning left towards Otterton, taking care to avoid passing vehicles travelling to and from the holiday park. Otterton was once a thriving village of industry and agriculture, with Otterton Mill still in use for visitors to see how things once were.

Take the next left onto the tarmac lane for 200 yards before crossing straight over at the crossroads onto Behind Hayes. Continue along this lane for roughly half a mile until you reach the end. Turn left onto Jacketts before taking the next right along Park Lane where you’ll see a road ahead closed sign.

Continue along this colourful lane, lined with hedgerows full of Purple Buddleia and Lords-and-Ladies, for just under a mile before you reach two brick pillars and a public footpath sign leading you down to the right. Here you’ll cross a metal bridge over the River Otter before turning left and continuing to follow the river for another mile, now keeping it on your left, to the mouth back at Budleigh Salterton.

Along this peaceful final stretch you’ll be much closer to the river so use this time to rest on the many benches and enjoy watching the ducks gliding up and down along the water. Dogs will love being able to cool off in the shallow water here too! Once you’re done playing in the river, simply continue on the path as it leads you back to where you started.

For information on bus routes if you’re looking to only walk this route one way, visit www.travelinesw.com

See more like this

Burrator Reservoir Accessible Walk

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

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