Sidford - Knowle House - Fortescue - Sidford

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The walk starts in Sidford. Although not the most picturesque of villages in Devon, it has points of interest. Just past the Spar shop is Porch Cottage which, according to a plaque on the wall, dates from 1574. Local folklore suggests that King Charles II hid here when escaping from Oliver Cromwell's forces after the Battle of Worcester (1651). However, The Monarch's Way, a long-distance footpath retracing Charles' flight from the battle to Shoreham in Sussex, does not pass anywhere near Sidford. Possibly, a bit of tourist teasing is going on.

A little further on is the bridge over the River Sid. Originally there was a ford here, obviously giving the name to the village. A brass plate is dangerously placed on the traffic side of the wall separating pedestrians from traffic. It records that the bridge originates from Norman times. Local history publications suggest it was provided for pack-horses to carry stone for the building of Exeter Cathedral.

The walk continues up a lane, with Snod Brook visible to the left, to the grounds of the Grade II listed Knowle House. Built in the seventeenth century, it is now a residential home. The meadows, on a frosty but bright morning, sparkle with frozen dew. Past the house, the footpath goes through a field, sometimes populated by some fine horses. Then, climbing up to the trees, an excellent view of the valley opens out behind you. There is now some woodland to walk through, carpeted with bluebells in the spring.

Glimpses of Sidmouth town and the sea are seen as the walk dips to the valley floor, crossing a pedestrian footbridge. This is a delightful spot as water tumbles over rocks on its way to the sea; if you are lucky, kingfishers can be spotted. The walk returns to Sidford along part of the Byes, a footpath that is something of a Sidmouth institution. The green areas to the left and right are favourite spots for squirrels, robins and blackbirds.

England - South West England - Devon - Countryside

7/9/2019 - Harry Cook

A very pleasant walk on a beautiful sunny July day. No rain for the previous three weeks so the paths were very compact and easy walking. Great views from the top down to Sidmouth. The path from Snod Brook to Knowle House is overgrown and could be easily missed. This is classified as an easy walk but the climb up the hill from Knowle house to the A3052 is pretty steep and may warrant a 'moderate' category. Notwithstanding the incline a really enjoyable walk.

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Distance away
21.8 Miles
29.9 Miles