Starts/Finishes: Combe Wood Layby, Clapper Lane, Honiton
Terrain: Woodland trails – can be muddy after rainfall
Distance: 0.75 miles
Time: 45mins – 1 hour
Parking: Limited parking in a lay-by just opposite the entrance of the woods
Combe Wood Bluebell Walk
Revel in the annual display of colour that comes in late spring – the beautiful carpets of bluebells that paint the woodland floors – by setting your sights on the 10-acre National Trust woodland, Combe Wood near Honiton.
Known to some locals as ‘Bluebell Woods’, its hazel and oak canopy offers welcome shade and dappled sunlight as you soak up the colourful peace and tranquillity of this secluded spot. Look out for the wild primroses that grow in bunches throughout the woods, adding an extra splash of colour amongst the bluebells.
A network of criss-crossing paths stretch to and from the perimeter trail, so there’s not too much chance of getting lost. We recommend just exploring all the woodland has to offer, but for an easy to follow route, the perimeter trail with an inward jut should be just the ticket.
From the edge-of-the-road parking, enter the woods through the signposted gate opposite and make your way gently uphill into the trees. (1) At the crossroads, turn to the right and follow the path keeping the road to your right.
Continue towards the steps ahead – these are fairly steep but fortunately there’s not many! Carry on straight ahead on this path passing the ‘fallen giants’ amongst the undergrowth.
(2) The path sweeps around to the left, keeping open fields to your right as you reach the highest point of the woodland walk. Silver birches and luscious ferns adorn this section and glisten in the sunlight.
(3) You will need to cross a channel – certainly not wheelchair or buggy friendly here – but there are ways around this if you cut further into the woods.
(4) Keeping the fields on the right you’ll continue on the path as it turns left. After a short while you’ll come to a fork – take the right fork for a beautiful view back across Honiton and beyond. (5) Otherwise, take the left path at the fork and continue down through the woods to the left side of the channel, still keeping the fields to the right.
(6) You’ll pass a pond on your right as you get towards the lower part of the woods. The path will curve around to the left again and you will reach a fork as you start to climb uphill again. (7) Take the right fork closest to the road to meander through the trees (it’s less muddy too) and make a steady climb towards the path from which you entered the woods to complete your walk.
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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