Talaton to Payhembury and back

A Lanes Walk from Talaton to Payhembury and Back

Map OS Explorer 115 – Exmouth & Sidmouth. 1:25000.
Time: About 6 miles. 2-3 hours
Grade: Easy, following quiet country lanes with one long stretch of glorious green lane and a wonderful (avoidable!) ford.
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Start from the Talaton Inn (GR069 995) and move uphill away from the Inn to Bittery Cross (Bodies hung here rather than hanged !) Left and follow the road for some 11/2 miles, passing Blue Anchor Cross and Tale Common Head Cross.

Take the unmetalled road off right and now wend your way down a wonderful – yes, slightly muddy at times – track. Carry on until you come to the River Tale in all its glory. This spot is actually classed as a ford and on horseback it is with a Devon County road running off left or diagonally right but the first number of yards on both ways is under water and must be forded. Unless you are happy to wade or have a horse it is better to return a few yards back up the lane and look for the footpath and gate on your left (as you are walking back up the lane ). Through here and follow the field edge across to a small wooden bridge over a drainage channel. Move along further to a second bridge that crosses the Tale. Onwards just a little further and cross left over a plank bridge to rejoin your main track. Right and again follow the wonderful open track , taking time to look back at the views. At Haskins Cross turn right and wander along the quiet road into Payhembury.

Now, decisions! Depending upon your inclination and the time of day, you could turn left at the junction and wander through the village to the Six Bells Inn for light refreshment or you could stick to the route and turn right at the junction. If you opted for the Six Bells then hopefully you will eventually come back down the road and continue on to Tuckmill Cross. Here, turn right and look out for Tuck Mill. On up the hill to meet the Talaton road at Blue Anchor Cross. Left and re-trace your route back to Talaton.

Chris Harwood. Revised February 2012.