As we head into winter, you might be tempted to hide away under a duvet in the warm but don’t be fooled into thinking you have to spend the next few months indoors. Sidmouth looks delightful whatever the season and there are a whole host of winter walks you can enjoy, particularly along the South West Coast Path which you can easily access from the town centre.
Here are a couple of walks that you can enjoy this winter, the South West Coast Path is the UK’s longest national trail and has a variety of different routes you can explore. The scenery along the way is picturesque, even in the winter – it is a chance to really enjoy the drama of the Jurassic Coast and there is plenty of heritage, wildlife and geology to see along the way.
If you’re up for a challenge, the Mutter’s Moor and Lower Otter Valley Walk is a good choice. It’s an 8 mile route and has a few steep moments so it isn’t suitable for everyone, but if you want to challenge yourself, it is very rewarding. The route takes you through thousands of years of history, including Iron Age hillforts.
On foot, head to the Victoria Hotel and follow Peak Hill Road and the South West Coast Path to the top. The path takes a short cut through the trees when the road starts moving to the right. At the top of the hill, walk across the car park to the route’s start.
Alternatively, you can drive to the Mutter’s Moor Car Park and this will cut out some of the steep aspects of the walk.
- From the car park, head to the road and turn right and then walk downhill until you come to the signed path.
- Follow Seven Stone Lane uphill, this will lead you to Mutter’s Moor.
- On the moor, turn left and follow the path until you come to the edge of the forest. The track will curve to the right and take you along the edge of the Otterton Hill Plantation.
- There is a path on the left which takes you downhill through the trees. Follow until you come to a left, follow this and continue downhill until you come to a narrow green lane, follow this down to where it meets the road.
- Turn left and follow the road until you come to Burnthouse Farm.
- Take the footpath on the right that runs beside the farm towards the River Otter. Cross the river using the footbridge and follow the path to the left along the river bank.
- The path will follow the river, when you come to a footbridge by a weir, cross the river and then turn right following the footpath past Otterton Mill into Otterton.
- Turn left when you come to the road
- Follow signs for Fore Street and then onto Bell Street. Bear left onto Ladram Road.
- There will be a track on your right, turn onto it and then follow the left fork, signposted Lower Ladram Road, this will take you to the top of Ladram Bay holiday park. Turn left and then right to follow Bay Road which goes around the park and then down to the South West Coast Path.
- Turn onto the Coast Path and follow it. This will take you up to High Peak.
- The path continues through woods and ascends to 157m.
- Carry along the coast path, it will descend and then go back up towards Peak Hill. You can get back to the Mutter’s Moor Car Park by following the path to the left or you can continue on the path and it will bring you back into the town centre.
If you’re on the hunt for a more gentle walk, there is another route near Mutter’s Moor that might suit, the Mutter’s Moor and Peak Hill Walk. This walk is just under 5 miles and offers some amazing views and lots of open spaces. There aren’t as many steep tracks on this one, so would be a good choice for anyone exploring with children.
Again, if you’re on foot, you will need to follow Peak Hill Road and onto the South West Coast Path up to the car park. Or you can park at Mutter’s Moor car park and start the walk from there.
- From the car park, head north and pick up the track alongside the forest and follow it.
- Keep going straight on, walking until you come to the end of the moor and continue over the golf course. The track will bring you to the woods on Bulverton Hill. Turn left here and follow the path along the edge of the wood.
- Turn left onto the bridlepath and then take the right turn, this will bring you to the wooded side of Mutter’s Moor.
- The track will bear left, follow it, this will bring you to the original track. Follow the second right which will bring you back to the carpark.
There are loads of great walks to enjoy around Sidmouth by following the South West Coast Path. Just make sure to have sensible shoes on and to take some water with you. Why not grab a Visit Sidmouth water bottle to take with you? Find out more on our shop here.