Colyton - River Coly - Parehayne Hill - Colyton

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From the beautiful little Devon town of Colyton, walk beside the small but very pretty River Coly, crossing fields for about 3.5km before taking a narrow lane up to Rockerhayne. From there tracks and bridleways take you up to Parehayne Wood and Hill. Enjoy stunning panoramic views across Devon and Dorset as you make your way back along more tracks towards Colyton. Take in the sea view in the distance and the little town itself nestling amongst the hills.

From early occupation by Bronze Age tribes through Roman times to the present day, Colyton's fine river valley has provided a perfect place to settle. Powerful families related to the Kings of France came over with William the Conqueror and became Lords of the Manor.

In the 15th Century, Colyton was the fourth richest town in Devon, having gained wealth from agriculture and the wool trade. In 1539 Henry Courtney fell foul of Henry VIII and was beheaded. His Colyton estates were confiscated. In 1549 a group of local farmers and merchants marched to London and negotiated the return of the lands to their safekeeping. Thus was born the Chamber of Feoffees which became the first form of local government responsible for endless social improvements. The Chamber has met almost continuously to this very day – over 455 years!

Colyton, Devon's Most Rebellious Town, had always been independently minded and anti-papist. It rejected outside interference whenever possible. During the Civil War from 1643, much of Colyton's population supported Parliament. Many street skirmishes took place, which led to the burning down of Colcombe Castle.

In 1685 the Duke of Monmouth sought to take the English crown. More men from Colyton rose up in support of Monmouth than from any other town in Devon. The failure of this rebellion had disastrous consequences for the community; men were flogged, hanged and transported into slavery.

Located within a conservation area, Colyton has stone and thatch buildings of great character and charm. The street pattern is circular, based on the original Saxon settlement. Today you will discover a town with a village atmosphere. The shops are traditional and independently owned - this is no boring high street.

Colyton has a wonderful level riverside walk in two directions. Look for heron, buzzard, egret, mallard and maybe kingfisher.

The Seaton Tramway offers travel with a real difference, an experience not to be missed as the tram passes along the Axe Valley through two nature reserves and an estuary teeming with wildlife. The Colyton terminus is a short walk from the town centre.

England - South West England - Devon - Countryside


Birds, Butterflies, Cafe, Church, Flowers, Food Shop, Gift Shop, Great Views, Hills or Fells, Pub, Public Transport, Restaurant, River, Tea Shop, Toilets, Wildlife, Woodland
12/24/2022 - victoria fox

We completed this walk on 24th December 2022, the going was generally good underfoot. The bridleways were wet but still passable even after so much heavy rain. This is a very dog friendly walk as all of the gates/bridges & stiles are passable for dogs both small & large. Lots of places to sit along the river & enjoy the view, on a fine day the views on the way back looking across to sea would be brilliant sadly the sea mist came in. Great opportunity to buy eggs & jam at the holiday cottages towards the end of the walk.

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Distance away
28.6 Miles