Starts/Finishes: Little Haldon Car Park (National Trust), TQ13 0BW.
Time: 1 hour (2 hours with detour)
Distance: 1.1km (3.1km with detour)
Difficulty: Easy (moderate with detour)
Terrain: Heathland hard-packed tracks, grassy footpath.
Little Haldon Heaths Walk
From the Little Haldon Car Park, just off the B3192 from the A380 heading towards Teignmouth, a pleasant, simple loop walk will serve as a good introduction to this vitally important and internationally rare expanse of heathland.
Immediately as you arrive you can expect to see colour from a variety of heathers and western gorse, plus rare fauna including white climbing corydalis and the Devon whitebeam – a lovely, small tree rarely found outside of Devon.
Head out along the main track from the back of the car park, and continue through the trees out into the open heathland. Stonechat, nightjars and yellowhammers all breed here so keep your eyes peeled as you travel.
(1) The main path continues past a turning on your left (this will be from where you return), and past an open expanse on your right. The loop is easy to follow, (2) taking a right at the fork to skirt the full perimeter of the site, (3) eventually cutting back when you near Luscombe Hill road, and then going straight at the crossroads of tracks.
Follow the path back to the junction you passed earlier and you’ll be on your way back to the junction before the car park you already passed.
Fancy an adventure? Head south in search of Lidwell Chapel.
This 13th century chapel ruin has a dark and mysterious history where, legend has it, a local monk lived here who killed travellers passing through, stole their goods and hid their bodies in the well. Until one potential victim turned the tables. The monk’s ghost lived on, taking his seat in mourning atop the well where his riches were never enjoyed.
Take the optional detour from the junction prior to returning to the car park by instead going straight on and following the path (4) around to the right to a road. Cross over and go through the path between the fence, keeping to the right.
After approximately 100m, (5) take a track to the left and follow it as it descends to some woodland. You can enjoy fantastic views from here down towards Teignmouth.
After the track sweeps around to the right, (6) look out for a smaller path on the left going into the woods. (7) This will take you to the chapel. Simply retrace your footsteps to return.
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