A circular walk using some of Devon's historic 'green lanes' through Cornworthy, Tuckenhay and Allaleigh. The route passes through the South Devon Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, with views from coast to moor.
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.
The phrase 'green lane' in this description is used to describe unsurfaced roads, labelled on signs as 'unmetalled road' or on waymarkers as 'county road'.
(D/A) Start in the village of Cornworthy. Take the road that leads downhill from the church, past the telephone box, towards Court Prior farm.
(1) Turn right off the road at Court Prior farm, choosing the public footpath to Bow Creek on the right. Follow this path to Bow Creek; you can either follow the path directly or cut into the woods on the right hand side for a short distance.
(2) At Bow Creek, turn left and follow the footpath to Tuckenhay.
(3) Turn left at Tuckenhay onto the 'Unmetalled Road', ignoring the footpath off to the left.
(4) Turn right down the track and then follow the surfaced lane straight ahead as it passes Tuckenhay Mill, which has a clocktower. When the tarmac ends, continue along the green lane to the road.
(5) Turn right, then left onto a tarmac lane signed 'To Unmetalled Road'. Follow the lane straight ahead past Coomery, and continue along with it as the surface worsens. The green lane climbs up through the woods into farmland until you reach the Venices on the edge of Allaleigh. Don't worry: you are not in Italy: the name is a corruption of 'Fernhouse'.
(6) Turn left at the road and go straight ahead at the next junction.
(7) Climb the steps on the right into the field. At this point, the path is a little confusing. Technically the path goes diagonally across the field and through the hedge, but it is easier to follow the hedge on the right towards the stile with a signpost, then turn left and carry on along the edge of the fields, keeping the hedge on your right. Follow this path to Broadridge Cross. On a clear day, your view will stretch right across the South Hams countryside to Dartmoor, including Hay Tor, and all the way to the sea at Torbay.
(8) Cross over the road and enter the field at the gate between the two roads. The footpath goes straight across the field to the gate ahead of you. When you reach the gate, follow the path through two fields alongside the hedge, straight across a third field, then cut across the fields down into the cleft of the valley towards Capton Mill.
(9) At Capton Mill the path crosses a stile into a private garden: keep to the right as the path passes through the garden then turn left and cross the footbridge. Turn right and follow the path to the lane. At the lane, turn briefly right then turn left onto the bridle path to Capton Wood. Follow the path through the woods and meadows to join another green lane at Barberry Water Bridge. Turn right and follow the green lane until you reach a junction.
(10) Turn left at the junction onto Broadgates Lane towards Cornworthy. Cross the old packhorse bridge and begin your climb up the valley. At Broadgates, the green lane becomes a surfaced lane, which you should follow to Longland Cross.
(11) Cross over and take the road towards Cornworthy, continuing downhill until you reach the church and village hall.(D/A)
D/A : mi 0 - alt. 256ft - Cornworthy
1 : mi 0.21 - alt. 200ft - Court Prior Farm
2 : mi 0.59 - alt. 36ft - Bow Creek
3 : mi 1.06 - alt. 26ft - Tuckenhay Bridge
4 : mi 1.16 - alt. 112ft - Junction
5 : mi 1.54 - alt. 157ft - County road
6 : mi 2.77 - alt. 440ft - Venice Cottage
7 : mi 3.13 - alt. 518ft - Steps to footpath
8 : mi 3.52 - alt. 512ft - Footpath at Broadridge Cross
9 : mi 4.18 - alt. 272ft - Capton Mill
10 : mi 5.4 - alt. 135ft - Junction with Broadgates Lane
11 : mi 6.22 - alt. 384ft - Longland Cross
D/A : mi 6.5 - alt. 256ft - Cornworthy
Ordnance Survey OL20 South Devon
There is a pub in Cornworthy and two pubs a short distance from the route in Tuckenhay and Bow.
There are no public lavatories on this walk.
The unsurfaced roads or 'green lanes' along this route are wide and clearly marked, and for much of the route, they are in surprisingly good condition. There are sections which will be muddy after wet weather, but it is possible to get around them. The sections following the footpaths through fields are waymarked with signposts and arrow markers, but the tracks are not always obvious on the ground as the local farmers make little or no effort to clear the paths through their crops.
You will need to park on the road in Cornworthy. The roads are narrow in the village, and you will need to be careful to avoid causing an obstruction. There are working farms in the area, and tractors and milk tankers will need to get past your car.
A limited bus service runs to Cornworthy from Totnes on Wednesdays and Fridays.
Visorando and this author cannot be held responsible in the case of accidents or problems occuring on this walk.
This route follows some of Devon's 'green lanes', which are anomalies in the county's road network. Devon has more roads than any other county - over 8,000 miles in fact. Nearly all were tarred in the 20th century, but a small number were never properly surfaced. These 'unmetalled roads' or 'unsurfaced county roads' are still, technically, open to all vehicles; you will quickly discover that only the brave or foolish would try to drive down them in an ordinary car.
The green lanes are mainly used by horses and foot traffic today, and make a pleasant way to explore the countryside. The green lane from Coomery to Allaleigh is also trodden by more ghostly visitors: monks have been seen heading down the lane in modern times, even though the Priory in Cornworthy was closed in 1536...
Tuckenhay Mill is now a holiday complex but used to be a paper mill which produced high-quality paper for the Bank of England's banknotes.
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