Criss-Crossing the Clyst

Map OS Explorer 115 – Exmouth & Sidmouth. 1:25000.
Time: – 11/2 to 2 hours
Grade: Easy. Can be a bit muddy in winter – need boots!

Criss-Crossing the Clyst

Park at Marsh Cross. (Just under 2 miles from Talaton on the Talaton to Clyst Hydon road. A few yards from the signpost take the public footpath up the lane to Marsh Farm. Just opposite the farm and just this side of an interesting pool move right through a gate and over a concrete footbridge over a trickling River Clyst. Move straight or slightly right diagonally over an often well re-instated path across the field towards some woods. (Another interesting pool in a copse just off and left of your path). Through two gates – one wood and one metal – and follow the edge of the woods to another gate, left and then via another gate, move diagonally left to Peradon Farm. Curve round into the farmyard, following the ample yellow arrows, past a beautiful farmhouse, under the archway and on to a wide track, following the left hedge, curving left around a modest hill. On reaching two gates at right angles to each other take the left one, pass another small pool, and move straight across the field toward the Plymtree Church (Probably not visible behind the trees !) Pass through the plantation and follow the concrete track to where it meets the highway in the form of Greenend Lane. Worth a potter around Plymtree.

Back down Greenend Lane, ignoring the track you arrived along, to where an old iron gate on your left leads you on to the Public Footpath uphill to a solitary oak on the skyline. Move right of the oak tree and proceed to the fence / hedge running across your path. Take the old iron gate (not serving a lot of purpose!) and move diagonally right passing another old Oak to a wooden gate. Look into the copse to your left for another interesting pool! Now, diagonally left down to a double gate and out into a field. Follow the hedge on your left, crossing a ditch via a wooden plank bridge and on to a good wooden bridge over the old Clyst again.

Now, aim straight across the huge field in front – more interesting following the riverbank but probably not intended! – to a gate or two on the farm track. Keep moving in a straight line but look carefully for a 3–way footpath signpost. Here take the little double gate off right and over a little bridge. Left across a small meadow and over a footbridge over, yes, the Clyst! Aim for the Church and move round it on your left on to the road. Up the road passing a very ancient and beautiful Chelveshayes to a gate on the left, on a bend in the road. Take the path alongside the Church hedge and out into Clyst Hydon.

Move left down the road, passing the school and look for a road to the right, beside seats and a thin river – yes, it’s that one again. After about 300m take a small path through a gate on your left and follow the hedge, slowing to look at the old Manor on your left. Keep walking up to the corner of the field, towards a small house and take the semi made-up road left beside it. This track, soon concreted, leads you past buildings out on to the highway. Move left down the road to a gate on your right (Public Footpath sign) leading into Woodland Trust area. Follow the left edge of this copse to a gate beside yet another pool. Straight across fields, under the pylons and across a muddy track, and passing a solitary struggling oak on your right. Straight on to a gate beside a pool. Again, straight on to emerge through a double gate out on the track to Marsh Farm, which is where you started some two hours earlier. Right and back to the car.

Chris Harwood (Revised December 2011)