Exeter Holiday 2023
Everyone got there despite all the transport issues. The views after dinner from the balcony at the University Campus meant that all the troubles were worthwhile.
View from balcony
Intended to be an easy day following the promenade from Teignmouth to Dawlish Warren with a climb over the cliffs at Holcombe. But it was hot, hot, hot and drinks and ice cream were a necessary order of the day.
A coach trip to the National Trust land around Castle Drogo in the beautiful Teign Valley. The House and Gardens provided much interest and great views for those who did not join the 4 mile walk. Those who did were rewarded with a stop at an idyllic pub before climbing back up.
The walk around Castle Drogo, with a very nice pub
Castle Drogo gardens
The views towards the rugged scenery and tors of Dartmoor became closer on the scenic train journey to Okehampton, one of the newest rail stations on the network. It is high above the attractive town and therefore the climb up to the edge of the moors was not long, but was steep for those who made it along the side of the babbling brook. there were more great views to enjoy in cooler circumstances, and sheep and ponies made an appearance. Those who did not join the climb enjoyed a walk through a park down to the town in the morning before the rest of the group met up after lunch to take everyone on a pleasant route back to the station.
Back to the seaside by train to Exmouth, a traditional holiday destination with boat trips along the beautiful estuary and around the coast. Some found their own favourite attractions and some walkers found shorter routes, but the main walk was 8 miles heading inland through a park to a (slightly too long) stretch of disused railway line. The route became more woody and increasingly attractive reaching the sea views and coastal path back to Exmouth. A very large holiday camp provided a lunch stop. The wonderful beach adjoins a military firing range, where the red flags warned of some very lod noises before we ate. Fortunately the aim seemed good and certainly our group reached the safety of Exmouth. The final stretch could have been a pleasant stroll along the beach, but again the heat added time and used energy so that drink and ice cream were back on the itinerary.
There is a very complicated bus service to Crediton which may be one reason why Saint Boniface chose to walk regularly back to Exeter Cathedral visiting a number of interesting small churches en route. Those currently in charge of the definitely large Crediton Church have published a walking trail which covers his potential journey including the chapel on the Campus where our group stayed. All the members of our holiday group made it to the lunch stop which followed the second church visit. The afternoon walk to Newton St Cyres was the last of our planned outings, but our final dinner together and last goodbyes to the balcony views awaited.
Window in Crediton Church
Homeward bound for most, but Exeter and its surrounding Devon coast and countryside has much to offer other than our walks.