While you might associate Devon with summer holidays, it is equally as beautiful in the winter and with its bracing coastal walks, wintery woodlands and atmospheric countryside, it is the best county for walking holidays – whatever the season! If you fancy getting out and about this winter, take a look at our 10 favourite walking routes here.
Appledore and Northam Burrows
Appledore is a cute village in North Devon full of pastel houses and a picturesque harbour. The seven mile route through the village takes you through to Braunton Burrows, an impressive collection of sand dunes, an ancient Viking battleground and an 18th century house as well as the estuary and plenty of scenery.
For a shorter walk that you can easily combine with a good pub lunch head to Woolacombe Warren. Begin at the National Trust car park and follow the South West Coast Path. Once you’ve made your way to the sand dunes, you’ll find Woolacombe Sand where you can find out more about the nation’s various military exercises which took place during the Second World War. You can easily complete this route in around half an hour and be at a cosy pub for refreshments in no time!
This walk across Dartmoor does have a steep section for those of you who want to brave the walk up the tor to see the church. It is worth it – the church is thought to be the smallest and highest complete parish church in the whole of England and has some incredible views from the top. It is still in use too – they hold regular services, so you might be lucky enough to hear if you’re there at the right time of day! Start off in the village of North Brentor, the steep section is at the beginning of the walk so you can avoid it if you like and just continue on to the edge of the moorland for some lovely views.
There are loads of lovely countryside routes through Crediton, for a walk with a difference head to the more historic part of the town where you can watch the trains as you cross the railway and enjoy the many natural features that Mid Devon has to offer.
For some truly atmospheric walks, head to Watersmeet where you can partake in an 8 mile walk full of awe-inspiring views. Along the way you’ll find an original fishing lodge, the East Lyn river and of course the sights from the top of Foreland.
Meadfoot to London Bridge
No, not that London Bridge – not unless you’re up for an incredibly long walk! This one is located in the Torbay and is a lot more natural in origin. The walk from Meadfoot is about four miles and takes you along the coast where you can find plenty of places to stop for refreshments.
There are a number of good walking trails around here too and you can pretty much self guide yourself but we recommend following the route towards the old strip fields where you can immerse yourself in nature and see how many reminders from the English Civil War you can spot along the way. If you walk from town, you’ll find yourself in the valley alongside the River Torridge where there are plenty of places to rest and while away the hours.
South Hams is one of the region’s prettiest areas and by starting out at Little Dartmouth you can really experience the best the region has to offer. Head towards Dartmouth and follow the South West Coast Path, the route will take you past both Dartmouth and Kingswear castles.
Bideford to Westward Ho!
North Devon is known for its beautiful coastline and Westward Ho! has a lovely beach and coastal walks so you can watch the brave surfers and enjoy this charming village. There is a two mile route that takes you around the best bits of Bideford and Westward Ho!
For a satisfying muddy walk head to Oakford and explore the rambling lanes – this is a great route for bird watching and spotting the resident animals enjoying the peace of Devon in winter. There is a lovely four mile walk which ends at a pub – perfect for stopping for a drink or two before home!
Do you have any favourite walking routes around Devon? Let us know!