Starts/Finishes: Hunter’s Hill, Culmstock, EX15 3HL (GR: ST101143)
Time: 1 – 1.5 hours
Distance: 2.5 miles
Elevation Gain: 190m
Terrain: Quiet lanes, field footpath, rocky and muddy tracks and footpaths. Suitable footwear required
Parking: Free small car park or parking on the roadside on Hunter’s Hill
Culmstock Beacon Circular Walk
(1) Head up Hunter’s Hill, taking the lane on the right and continuing uphill for 150 metres. (2) Then, follow the public footpath signposted track on the left. You’ll get your first view of the beacon from here.
(3) Go through the farm gate, being respectful of owners and careful of any animals, then head around to the right before turning left through another gate. Follow this track through the farm uphill for a short distance until you reach a dead end with two field gates either side of you.
(4) Exit through the gate on the right, but keep left to hug the hedge as you climb up through the field. Round the corner near the top and continue through the gate in the corner.
Here you can marvel at the remains of a very old classic vehicle which has been almost completely reclaimed by nature. (5) Continue up the footpath then turn left at the junction at the top.
Follow the track along to a road junction and a farm building. (6) Turn right here, to follow the lane uphill further to a wooden gate. There is limited parking here if you wanted to make a shorter walk with less climbing but still access the beacon viewpoint.
(7) Go through the gate and follow the rocky track uphill. Ignore the sign to the beacon and instead take the second right for a chance to see a tranquil pool, reflecting the surrounding woodland.
(8) Follow this path through the heathy grassland, keeping right, to reach Culmstock Beacon.
Stop and admire the far stretching views across Mid Devon, East Devon and the Blackdown Hills from this intriguing old beacon hut, built approximately four hundred years ago. This effective warning system alerted dwellers of imminent threat from the Spanish Armada by lighting fire beacons in a line of sight leading from strategic coastal lookout points.
A trig point, used for hill top map making for the Ordnance Survey after World War II, can also be found here with more information about both it and the beacon.
(9) Take the path to the left (when standing in the direction you came) before taking the short but steep track on the right which turns 180 degrees. This path cut into the side of the hill will descend to a wooden boardwalk section and then to a gate.
(10) Turn left out of the gate and down the track until you a reach a road junction. (11) Turn right and follow the lane back to Hunter’s Hill.
Enjoy a rest in the Culmstock Community Garden and playpark. If you’ve worked up an appetite, the welcoming Culm Valley Inn offers delicious, seasonal pub grub and a cosy place to get warm.
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