Ready to ramble?

There are collections of walks around Chard, Hemyock, Stockland and Upottery, walks in the north eastern and south western Blackdown Hills.

We also have a collection of routes for cycling and for horse riding.

  • See our collection of walking, cycling and horse-riding routes below
  • Look out for guided walks in our events calendar.
  • Pick up an Explore the Blackdown Hills leaflet, at venues throughout the Blackdown Hills

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28 Routes found in the Blackdown HIlls AONB

Chard to Chaffcombe

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Medium Difficulty. Distance Distance: 4 miles (6.5 km)
An easy-to-follow walk through some attractive and interesting countryside. There is one hill to climb, but the subsequent view is outstanding. The route starts from the nature reserve car park at the end of Oaklands Road. One of six circular walks in and around Chard - walk 1

An easy-to-follow walk through some attractive and interesting countryside. There is one hill to climb, but the subsequent view is outstanding. The route starts from the nature reserve car park at the end of Oaklands Road.

Grid reference: ST337094

Nearest postcode: TA20 1HU

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Chard to Wambrook

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Medium Difficulty. Distance 5 miles (8 km)
A constantly undulating walk through typical Blackdown Hills scenery. Most of the route is on footpaths and bridalways, with small sections of quiet lanes. One of six circular walks in and around Chard - walk 2

A constantly undulating walk through typical Blackdown Hills scenery. Most of the route is on footpaths and bridalways, with small sections of quiet lanes.

One of six circular walks in and around Chard – walk 2

Grid reference: ST326087

Nearest postcode: TA20 1EP

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Chard to Nimmer

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Medium Difficulty. Distance 5.5 miles (8.5 km)
This route is fairly flat throughout and features a pleasant combination of town and country. One of six circular walks in and around Chard - walk 3  

This route is fairly flat throughout and features a pleasant combination of town and country.

One of six circular walks in and around Chard – walk 3

Grid reference: ST 326 087

Nearest postcode: TA20 1EP

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Combe St Nicholas to Whitestaunton

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Hard Difficulty. Distance 6.75 miles (11 kilometres)
This triangular route, is reasonably demanding, but rewards the walker from start to finish with a range of delightful scenery and some superb wide views. Starts and ends at Combe St Nicholas. One of six circular walks in and around Chard - walk 4

This triangular route, is reasonably demanding, but rewards the walker from start to finish with a range of delightful scenery and some superb wide views. Starts and ends at Combe St Nicholas.

One of six circular walks in and around Chard – walk 4

Grid reference: ST303114

Nearest postcode: TA20 3NF

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Chard to Combe St Nicholas

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Medium Difficulty. Distance 7.5 miles (12 km)
Please do not be put off by the length of this walk. It is an absolute pleasure, combining many footpaths and quiet lanes. The scenery and surroundings are attractive throughout and the hilly sections are not too demanding. The route is described from the starting point of Chard Museum. One of six circular walks in and around Chard - walk 5

Please do not be put off by the length of this walk. It is an absolute pleasure, combining many footpaths and quiet lanes. The scenery and surroundings are attractive throughout and the hilly sections are not too demanding. The route is described from the starting point of Chard Museum.

One of six circular walks in and around Chard – walk 5

Grid reference: ST319085

Nearest postcode: TA20 1QW

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Chard to Chardstock

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Medium Difficulty. Distance 6.5 miles (10.5 kilometres)
The walk to Chardstock is delightful and contains a wide variety of scenery. The return, on quiet lanes, provides good views in all directions. The route is described from the starting point of St Mary's Church, Chard. One of six circular walks in and around Chard - walk 6

The walk to Chardstock is delightful and contains a wide variety of scenery. The return, on quiet lanes, provides good views in all directions.

The route is described from the starting point of St Mary’s Church, Chard.

One of six circular walks in and around Chard – walk 6

Grid reference: ST 324 083

Nearest postcode: TA20 2AS

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Hemyock, Uffculme and Culmstock

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Medium Difficulty. Distance 11 miles (18 km), with an optional shorter route of 7 miles (11 km)
A leisurely ride, with a climb near the start. On your way you'll see Coldharbour Mill, a yew tree growing out of a church tower, and the beacon house on Culmstock Common. One of eight cycle routes in the Blackdown Hills AONB - Route 1

A leisurely ride, with a climb near the start. On your way you’ll see Coldharbour Mill, a yew tree growing out of a church tower, and the beacon house on Culmstock Common. One of eight cycle routes in the Blackdown Hills AONB – Route 1

Grid reference: ST 135 132

Nearest postcode: EX15 3RF

 

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Hemyock, Blackborough, Broadhembury and Sheldon

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Medium Difficulty. Distance Main route 22 miles (35.5 km); shorter routes 7 miles (11 km) or 12 miles (19 km)
A moderate to challenging 22 mile ride, with two optional shorter routes. This route takes in a 16th century village, Devon's finest prehistoric hillfort and evidence of whetstone mining. One of eight cycle routes in the Blackdown Hills AONB - Route 2

A moderate to challenging 22 mile ride, with two optional shorter routes. This route takes in a 16th century village, Devon’s finest prehistoric hillfort and evidence of whetstone mining. One of eight cycle routes in the Blackdown Hills AONB – Route 2

Look out for:

  • Broadhembury: probably the most complete 16th century village in Devon.
  • Hembury Hillfort: the finest prehistoric hillfort in Devon with massive defensive ramparts. Access via the public footpath off the A373.
  • Blackborough: whetstones used for sharpening tools were mined here in the 18th century.

Grid reference: ST137132

Nearest postcode: EX15 3RF

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Membury, Chardstock, Wambrook and All Saints

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Medium Difficulty. Distance 14 miles (22.5 km)
This scenic 14-mile circular ride boasts wonderful views and glimpses of the sea. There is plenty of off-road riding through wooded valleys and along hill crests. This ride encounters mixed terrain, several gradients and various styles of gates. There are cantering opportunities at Coyle Acre Lane, Burridge Common and Brinscombe top. Watch out for roe deer. One of five horse-riding circuits in the Blackdown Hills AONB – route 1

This scenic 14-mile circular ride boasts wonderful views and glimpses of the sea. There is plenty of off-road riding through wooded valleys and along hill crests. This ride encounters mixed terrain, several gradients and various styles of gates. There are cantering opportunities at Coyle Acre Lane, Burridge Common and Brinscombe top. Watch out for roe deer. One of five horse-riding circuits in the Blackdown Hills AONB – route 1

Grid reference: ST303068

Nearest postcode: TA20 3EP

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Wellington, Buckland Wood and Hemyock

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Medium Difficulty. Distance 17 miles (27 km); optional easy route 4 miles (6.5km)
A circular route from Wellington town to Hemyock and back, via Buckland Wood. On bank holidays from April to August you can visit Hemyock Castle too. One of eight cycle routes in the Blackdown Hills AONB - Route 3

A circular route from Wellington town to Hemyock and back, via Buckland Wood. On bank holidays from April to August you can visit Hemyock Castle too. One of eight cycle routes in the Blackdown Hills AONB – Route 3

Grid reference: ST138205

Nearest postcode: TA21 8AQ

 

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Dalwood and Yarty Valley

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Medium Difficulty. Distance 9 miles
With two-thirds 'off road' this nine-mile circular takes in miles of peaceful countryside, the picturesque village of Dalwood and various aspects of the River Yarty. There is an optional link at Horner Hill with steep gradients. Cantering opportunity through Yarty Copse. One of five horse-riding circuits in the Blackdown Hills AONB – route 2

With two-thirds ‘off road’ this nine-mile circular takes in miles of peaceful countryside, the picturesque village of Dalwood and various aspects of the River Yarty. There is an optional link at Horner Hill with steep gradients. Cantering opportunity through Yarty Copse. One of five horse-riding circuits in the Blackdown Hills AONB – route 2

Grid reference: ST265015

Nearest postcode: EX13 7HG

 

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Stockland

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Easy Difficulty. Distance 12 miles
This 12-mile circular is a relatively easy ride with few gates, using mainly green lanes and quiet roads which link the hamlets and farmsteads of the Corry and Yarty valleys. This route links up with routes 1 and 2 (see route map) for greater route flexibility. This is one of five horse-riding circuits in the Blackdown Hills AONB – route 3

This 12-mile circular is a relatively easy ride with few gates, using mainly green lanes and quiet roads which link the hamlets and farmsteads of the Corry and Yarty valleys. This route links up with routes 1 and 2 (see route map) for greater route flexibility. This is one of five horse-riding circuits in the Blackdown Hills AONB – route 3

Grid reference: ST231039

Nearest postcode: EX14 9DD

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Luppitt and Upottery

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Easy Difficulty. Distance 12 miles
Wild and remote in parts, this 12-mile ride links some of the most picturesque villages in the Blackdown Hills. Hartridge and Luppitt commons provide a sharp contrast to the valley pastures.  There are magnificent views across the Otter tributaries. This is one of five horse-riding circuits in the Blackdown Hills AONB – route 4

Wild and remote in parts, this 12-mile ride links some of the most picturesque villages in the
Blackdown Hills. Hartridge and Luppitt commons provide a sharp contrast to the valley pastures.  There are magnificent views across the Otter tributaries. Easy riding throughout but beware of traffic on the Upottery-Rawridge road. The ford across the River Otter may not be passable at all times. This is one of five horse-riding circuits in the Blackdown Hills AONB – route 4

Grid reference: ST182072

Nearest postcode: EX14 4SB

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Dunkeswell and Sheldon

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Easy Difficulty. Distance 20 miles
At 20 miles this is by far the longest, and probably the most varied route taking in the valleys of the Otter tributaries and the wooded escarpments of the region. Relatively easy riding. Magnificent lengths of bridleways and cantering opportunities. This is one of five horse-riding circuits in the Blackdown Hills AONB – route 5

At 20 miles this is by far the longest, and probably the most varied route taking in the valleys of the Otter tributaries and the wooded escarpments of the region. Relatively easy riding, with some magnificent lengths of bridleways to the west. There are cantering opportunities especially between Knowles Wood and Blackbororough. Keep strictly to the field edge through the gliding club. There is an unavoidable three-mile road section to the south. Dunkeswell Abbey & The Old Inn at Ashill are worth a detour. This is one of five horse-riding circuits in the Blackdown Hills AONB – route 5

Grid reference: ST118054

Nearest postcode: EX14 3LX

 

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Hemyock to Culmstock Beacon

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Medium Difficulty. Distance 11km (7 miles), or shorter option 7km (4.5 miles)
From the edge of Hemyock, through Culm Davey and Blackdown Common, on to Culmstock Beacon and back. The best part of the walk is from Whitehall. One of six circular walks in and around Hemyock- walk 1

Starting from Millhayes as described, this walk is about 11km (7 miles) long. The walk is from the edge of Hemyock, through Culm Davey and Blackdown Common, on to Culmstock Beacon and back. The best part of the walk is from Whitehall; if you start from here, the walk is just over 7km (4.5 miles). There is a place to park cars on Withy Lane about 0.5km west of Whitehall.

One of six circular walks in and around Hemyock- walk 1

Grid reference: ST139139

Nearest postcode:  EX15 3SJ

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Hemyock to Wellington Monument

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Hard Difficulty. Distance 9km (5.5 miles)
A strenuous 9km (5.5 mile) walk, well rewarded with lovely views of the Culm Valley looking west and spectacular views of the Quantocks and beyond from the Wellington Monument. One of six circular walks in and around Hemyock- walk 2

A strenuous 9km (5.5 mile) walk, well rewarded with lovely views of the Culm Valley looking west and spectacular views of the Quantocks and beyond from the Wellington Monument.

One of six circular walks in and around Hemyock- walk 2

Grid reference: ST139139

Nearest postcode: EX15 3SL

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Hemyock to Ashculme and Clayhidon

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Easy Difficulty. Distance 7.5 km (4.5 miles)

A fairly gentle 7.5 km (4.5 mile) walk along quiet lanes and tracks, with an opportunity to visit a nature reserve and a pub.

One of six circular walks in and around Hemyock- walk 3

A fairly gentle 7.5 km (4.5 mile) walk along quiet lanes and tracks, with an opportunity to visit a nature reserve and a pub.

One of six circular walks in and around Hemyock- walk 3

Grid reference: ST139139

Nearest postcode: EX15 3SL

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Hemyock, Madford Valley and Dunkeswell Abbey ruins

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Medium Difficulty. Distance 6.5 km (4 miles)
A 6.5 km (4 mile) walk with lovely views of the secluded Madford Valley and a visit to the ruins of a Cistercian abbey. One of six circular walks in and around Hemyock- walk 4

A 6.5 km (4 mile) walk with lovely views of the secluded Madford Valley and a visit to the ruins of a Cistercian abbey.

One of six circular walks in and around Hemyock- walk 4

Grid reference: ST137132

Nearest postcode: EX15 3RF

 

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Hemyock to Owleycombe

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Easy Difficulty. Distance 4.5 km (3 miles)
A fairly gentle 4.5 km (3 mile) walk with lovely views across to Culmstock Beacon and beyond. This walk can be linked to the Hemyock to Culm Valley route (walk 6) to give a combined length of 7km (4.5 miles). One of six circular walks in and around Hemyock- walk 5

A fairly gentle 4.5 km (3 mile) walk with lovely views across to Culmstock Beacon and beyond. This walk can be linked to the Hemyock to Culm Valley route (walk 6) to give a combined length of 7km (4.5 miles). One of six circular walks in and around Hemyock- walk 5

Grid reference: ST137132

Postcode: EX15 3RF

 

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Hemyock and along the Culm Valley

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Easy Difficulty. Distance 4.5 km (3 miles)
A gentle 4.5 km (3 mile) walk crossing several braids of the river Culm. This walk can be linked to the Hemyock to Owleycombe route (walk 5). One of six circular walks in and around Hemyock- walk 6

A gentle 4.5 km (3 mile) walk crossing several braids of the river Culm. This walk can be linked to the Hemyock to Owleycombe route (walk 5).

One of six circular walks in and around Hemyock- walk 6

Grid reference: ST127128

Nearest postcode: EX15 3RS

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Honiton, Luppit, and Combe Raleigh

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Hard Difficulty. Distance 11 miles (18 km)
A moderate 11-mile ride with challenging uphill and downhill sections, suitable for experienced cyclists with a good level of fitness. Visit Wolford Chapel and Combe Woods along the way. Stop off at St Mary's Church in Luppitt, to see one of the oldest fonts in Devon. One of eight cycle routes in the Blackdown Hills AONB - Route 4

A moderate 11-mile ride with challenging uphill and downhill sections, suitable for experienced cyclists with a good level of fitness. Visit Wolford Chapel and Combe Woods along the way. Stop off at St Mary’s Church in Luppitt, to see one of the oldest fonts in Devon.

One of eight cycle routes in the Blackdown Hills AONB – Route 4

Look out for:

  • Wolford Chapel, the burial place of John Graves Simcoe first Lieutenant Governor of Upper Canada from 1792. The Chapel and gardens are now owned by the Province of Ontario.
  • Combe Woods at Combe Raleigh.
  • St Mary’s Church at Luppitt dates from the Norman period with one of the oldest fonts in Devon.

Grid reference: ST158007

Postcode: EX14 1LX

 

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Churchinford, Upottery and Culm Valley

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Medium Difficulty. Distance 17.5 miles (optional shorter route 12 miles)
A moderate ride with some challenging uphill and downhill sections on main route. There is also an optional shorter route.  Visit Dunkesell Abbey, Otterhead Lakes and Upottery Airfield along the way. One of eight cycle routes in the Blackdown Hills AONB - Route 5

A moderate 17.5-mile ride with some challenging uphill and downhill sections on main route, or an optional shorter route of 12 miles.

Look out for:

  • Dunkeswell Abbey: take a short detour to visit the ruins of the Abbey, founded in 1201 as a Cistercian Monastery.
  • Churchinford: note the seven way crossroads!
  • Otterhead Lakes: a short detour will take you to this former Victorian estate. Now a local nature reserve with a mile of lakes, woodland, grassland and some surviving heritage features.
  • Upottery Airfield: One of three local airbases used by the Canadian and US air forces in the second world war.

Grid reference: ST213127

Nearest postcode: TA3 7QU

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Honiton, Stockland and Upottery

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Hard Difficulty. Distance Main route 20 miles, shorter route 17 miles.
A challenging 20 mile ride or an optional shorter route of 17 miles. Explore the Blackdown Hills countryside, with its iron-age hill forts. There is a railway station at Honiton, so this is a good ride if you're planning to access the Blackdown Hills by train.  One of eight cycle routes in the Blackdown Hills AONB - Route 6

A challenging 20 mile ride or an optional shorter route of 17 miles. Explore the Blackdown Hills countryside, with its iron-age hill forts. There is a railway station at Honiton, so this is a good ride if you’re planning to access the Blackdown Hills by train.  One of eight cycle routes in the Blackdown Hills AONB – Route 6

Look out for:

  • Iron-age hillforts – Stockland Great Castle, Stockland Little Castle and Dumpdon Hill
  • Honiton: famous for lace-making and antiques

Grid reference: ST160006

Nearest postcode: EX14 1LT

 

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Churchinford, Yarcombe, Stockland, Upottery

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Easy Difficulty. Distance 19 miles
A moderate ride with one challenging uphill climb and several moderate uphill sections. Along the way, you'll see a lakeside nature reserve, the seat of a former prime minister, and maybe a pot of gold! One of eight cycle routes in the Blackdown Hills AONB - Route 7

A moderate ride with one challenging uphill climb and several moderate uphill sections.

Look out for:

  • Otterhead Lakes: once a thriving Victorian estate, now a local nature reserve with a mile of lakes, woodland, grassland and some surviving heritage features.
  • Upottery: a fine example of an estate village, former seat of Henry Addington, Viscount or Sidmouth and Prime Minister 1801-04.
  • Robin Hoods Butts: Unusual tumuli with associated folklore. Robin Hood was said to have used these three barrows for target practice. Another legend is that they were formed by giants throwing clods of earth at one another. The largest mound supposedly conceals a hoard of gold, but this is unreachable as any holes dug fill up again!

Grid reference: ST213129

Nearest postcode: TA3 7QX

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Stockland, Yarcombe, Whitestaunton and Membury

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Medium Difficulty. Distance Main route 17 miles, shorter route 12.5 miles
A moderate cycle ride with challenging climbs, and some interesting buildings to see along the way. The shorter route includes an exhilarating downhill section and a steep climb. One of eight cycle routes in the Blackdown Hills AONB - Route 8

A moderate cycle ride with challenging climbs, and some interesting buildings to see along the way. The shorter route includes an exhilarating downhill section and a steep climb. One of eight cycle routes in the Blackdown Hills AONB – Route 8

Look out for:

  • Stockland: a delightful Devon village with many buildings dating from the 15th and 16th centuries.
  • Beckford Bridge: A packhorse bridge over the river Yarty dating from the 18th century.
  • Yarcombe Inn: originally built as a lodge for visiting monks from Otterton Priory.
  • Sheafhayne Manor, associated with Sir Frances Drake and his descendants.

Grid reference: ST245046

Nearest postcode: EX14 9EF

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Godford Cross to a place that belongs to Canada!

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Medium Difficulty. Distance Distance: 6 miles (10 km)
Setting off from Godford Cross, just west of Awliscombe, along a picturesque valley road. Climb into the hills to enjoy the views before returning on a scenic bridle path. One of a series of six walks in the south western Blackdown Hills – Walk 1

This walk starts in a lovely valley road and climbs into the hills, before returning on a scenic bridle path.

Enjoy delightful views across to Hembury Hillfort and you can pay a visit to Wolford Chapel along the way.

Wolford Chapel, burial place of John Graves Simcoe, first Lieutenant Governor of Upper Canada, was donated to the people of Ontario in 1966.  Within the Chapel there area fine examples of Jacobean workmanship.

Park just off the A373 at Godford cross, just west of Awliscombe.

One of a series of six walks in the south western Blackdown Hills – Walk 1

Grid reference: ST131023

Nearest postcode: EX14 3PP

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Blackborough – following the footsteps of the whetstone miners

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Medium Difficulty. Distance 5 miles (8 km)
A lovely varied walk passing the site of some of the whetstone mines and a chapel where many miners worshipped. There are two steady uphill sections and some superb views.

A lovely varied walk passing the site of some of the whetstone mines and a chapel where many miners worshipped. There are two steady uphill sections and some superb views.

Park at the northern end of Blackborough in the wide area of road along the wall of the former churchyard.

One of a series of six walks in the south western Blackdown Hills – Walk 2

Grid reference: ST095093

Nearest postcode: EX15 2HJ

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Broadhembury and North Hill

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Medium Difficulty. Distance 4.5 miles (7 km)
A superb walk with magnificent views and the special atmosphere of this picturesque village. Starts with a climb, then a flat section and finally a good downhill stretch.

A superb walk with magnificent views and the special atmosphere of the picturesque village of Broadhembury. Starts with a climb, then a flat section and finally a good downhill stretch.

Broadhembury is a well-preserved medieval estate village dating from the 13th century, although most of the existing houses date from the late 16th and early 17th centuries. The village has changed very little over the centuries.

St Andrews, Broadhembury’s parish church, was consecrated in 1259. It has a tower dating from 1480. Church Gate is probably the oldest house. It is time it served as the priest’s house, a poor house, a reading room and a schoolroom. There is also an Art Nouveau house, opposite the church, which was built at the turn of the 20th century.

The walk will take you from Broadhembury up North Hill to the Devon and Somerset Gliding Club field, with a chance to enjoy views across to Hembury Hillfort and back towards the village.

Refreshments are available at The Drewe Arms and the local shop and tea room in the old vicarage.

Parking in the village centre.

One of a series of six walks in the south western Blackdown Hills – Walk 3

Grid reference: ST101048

Nearest postcode: EX14 3ND

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