A meander through peaceful countryside and woodlands. Downstream from Aveton Gifford, the river Avon winds through its beautiful and secluded valley to the sea. This fine walk traces its course, and you are rarely out of sight of the estuary, or its rich birdlife.
Calculated time is computed with the distance, the height difference, and an average speed of 2.2 mph. For an intermediate walker, this time includes small breaks.
(D/A) Walk back to the turning circle by the car park entrance and turn left down to the quay. Take the ferry from here across river (the ferry operates a seasonal service, see the ferry information panel at Bantham or the AONB website for further details).
(1) From ferry information panel at Cockleridge head inland and up steps. Follow field edge up, and then to left, then bear right up road alongside and across golf course.
(2) By a turning bay and waymarker on left, turn right over cattle grid and down drive. Walk through houses at Hexdown, then bear right down footpath. Turn left at the bottom to follow private drive.
(3) Just before you meet road, turn right into field and follow ‘Permissive Footpath’ fingerpost along field edge. Halfway across second field, turn right across field signed ‘Milburn Orchard 1 ½m’.
(4) Bear left over the stile and left again at a fork in the woods. Follow waymarked path along field and terrace, dropping gradually downhill.
(5) Turn left along the foreshore, and then right along tidal road to Aveton Gifford. At low tide jump to point 10.
(Alternative route at high tide: Turn left along foreshore as above, but go straight across at road onto public footpath over stepping stones and through grounds of Milburn Orchard above creek. Turn right along a track, bear right where you meet a fork, and turn right along the road. After 200m bear right up green lane signed ‘Drunkard’s Hill’. At top of rise, bear right onto footpath across fields and down through the dip. Turn left along the lane, then sharp right by Skipper’s Hill Cottage. Cross at the main road and take the path opposite, bearing right onto path above road. At the bottom turn right through the underpass into the car park. Turn left out of car park onto road.)
(6) At mini- roundabout turn right along main road over river. Cross by Bridge House onto permissive path alongside road. Re-join road again over bridge, then path once more, to finally cross the road and follow lane opposite at Bridge End.
(7) At the top turn right along lane. At Higher Stadbury bear left onto footpath and bear left again where you join a further footpath.
(8) Follow path along right hand field edges and then down between fences. Turn right through the gate and follow right hand field edge. Just before the next field gateway, leave the well- walked path and drop down the field to the left. Bear right at the bottom.
(9) Through two gates, cross Stiddicombe Creek via footbridge to left. Turn right through gate then bear up through field past waymarker post. Cross stile into wood and follow waymarkers.
(10) Follow path along field edges above river, through gate on to track. By fingerpost signed ‘Bantham 1/2 mile’ fork right onto the footpath down between stone walls. Go through gate and turn right at gate on to next track.
(11) At road turn right down through Bantham and back to the car park.(D/A)
D/A : mi 0 - alt. 36ft - Bantham Sands car park
1 : mi 0.5 - alt. 26ft - Ferry information panel
2 : mi 1.05 - alt. 318ft - Turning bay
3 : mi 2.4 - alt. 305ft - Road
4 : mi 2.8 - alt. 272ft - Stile
5 : mi 3.62 - alt. 16ft - Foreshore
6 : mi 4.41 - alt. 10ft - Mini-roundabout
7 : mi 4.66 - alt. 13ft - Lane
8 : mi 5.46 - alt. 285ft - Path
9 : mi 6.06 - alt. 52ft - Two gates
10 : mi 6.47 - alt. 138ft - Field edges
11 : mi 7.38 - alt. 82ft - Road
D/A : mi 7.68 - alt. 36ft - Bantham Sands car park
Start : Bantham Sands car park, or Timbers car park, Aveton Gifford.
Terrain : Footpaths and lanes, some unsurfaced paths which can be muddy in wet weather.
Parking : Bantham Sands , TQ7 3AN and Timbers car park, Aveton Gifford, TQ7 4LT.
Public transport : Buses to Aveton Gifford - see www.travelinesw.com For ferry times see link above.
Refreshments : In Bantham and Aveton Gifford..
Toilets : In Bantham Sands car park and Aveton Gifford village
Visorando and this author cannot be held responsible in the case of accidents or problems occuring on this walk.
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