Clyst Hydon to Langford Court and back via College Lane

The Map OS Explorer 115 – Exmouth & Sidmouth. 1:25000.

Time: 2½ hours. Nearly 4 miles.

Very Easy, level, open pasture, incredible views and a wonderful old green lane. Finish along quiet lanes and a wild-flower meadow. No mud – just a bit of long grass!

Clyst Hydon to Langford Court and back via College Lane

Approaching Clyst Hydon (Grid Ref 035015) from the Talaton direction, park before the school, just before the small bridge - or where it’s convenient near here. Walk past the school on your right and just after the Church entrance move right on to the Public Footpath. (Opposite the Old Manor). Keep the hedge on your right and pass the Church also on your right to emerge via a wooden kissing gate on to a good lane. Move left up the road towards the Twynhayes Farm. Pass by the farm and finally the house – The Elms – to go through a wooden gate into open pasture.

Keep the hedge on your left and at the end of the field climb over a wooden stile. Keep straight on, still with the hedge on your left. You will come to an open gateway in a fence and here it’s best to move diagonally right and then just before a concrete bridging over a drainage ditch, move left through long grass (needs more people to walk this !) and following ditch on your right you will come to a couple of railway sleeper bridges. Cross these to come to a Footpath signpost. Left here for about 150 yds. - Bit overgrown again so waggle your feet around to clear it – and look carefully for an opening and slope upwards on your left. There is a solitary metal gatepost visible and a small railway sleeper crossing over a ditch. Cross the “bridge “and up the slope to emerge beside – a lake! Beautiful. Wildlife, flowers and views.

Now, follow the hedge on your right along a grassy track to emerge on to another track at a Footpath sign and … another set of lakes and gardens in front of you. Very nosey, but it’s really lovely here so worth a potter around. Having nosed around move right down the track for a very few yards and then turn left on to a concrete track that leads around the enclosed gardens and ponds. Through a metal gate and follow the concrete track. At one point you will be on a mound of probably illegally dumped earth over the track but fear not – you will come back down to the track. At the metal gate emerge on to lane and move right to meet the road at a triangle.

Bear right on the triangle and follow the road for about 500 yds when you will move left on to the Langford road. Keep going to pass through the village – well, the group of very attractive cottages, - to climb uphill to a road junction at Langford Cross. Now – the gem of the walk … College Lane. A previous walk came down this lane but now you will see everything from the opposite direction! This is a magic lane – wild flowers, trees, birds, views and probably a lot of history. Near the top, bear left, passing under trees, to eventually meet the road. Quite a nice old iron roller here which is an ideal seat for a coffee break.

Left down the road for about 205 yds and then take the Clyst St Lawrence road to the right. Again, a wonderful quiet lane bedecked with wild flowers and with wonderful views. Pass straight by Hoop Cross and the temptation to head off to the Five Bells! Drop downhill to a sharp right hand bend in the road – just after an attractive thatched cottage. Leave the road via the metal gate directly in front of you – not slightly to the left! and follow the hedge on your left. Don’t forget to soak up the views – just incredible and not to be seen from a car. Now, keeping the hedge on your left, pass through three metal gates. Immediately after the third gate, move sharp left and staying more or less in the middle of the pasture rise and then drop down fairly steeply to a narrow gated bridge. At the right time of year this downhill drop is through wonderful wildflower meadow. Over the bridge and straight up and then down to a small metal gate. Follow the hedge on your right for a few yards and then over a small wooden bridge on your right. Over here and follow the hedge on your left for a way, leaving it at a curve to move over right to a metal gate and the road. Right here, soon passing the Five Bells Inn – or maybe not passing it just yet – and then at the One Fir junction move right back to Clyst Hydon and the start of your walk.

Chris Harwood June 2014