Brandy Head and the River Otter.

Start. Otterton (Fore Street).

Route. Otterton (Fore Street) - Bell Street - Stantyway Road - Stantyway Farm - Minks Wall - South West Coastal Path - Chiselbury Bay - Crab Ledge - Twopenny Loaf Head - Brandy Head - Black Head - Danger Point - Otter Estuary - River Otter - South Farm Road - Otterton Mill - Otterton (Fore Lane).

Notes. A superb walk above the tan coloured cliffs of the Triassic-era that rise so precipitously from the boiling waters of the English Channel, returning along the seductive unspoiled banks of the River Otter. But first our starting point the charming village of Otterton, cob and brick walled buildings many with thatched roofs line the main street, which is edged by a small stream. Occupying a site on the southern edge of the village Otterton Mill, listed as the 20th oldest business in the world, there's been a mill here for at least 1.000 years, the cafés and gift shops came much later, but are worth a visit.

We parked in the main street, slowly wandered up the road stopping many times to admire the alluring architecture, at the first road junction we turned right into Bell Street, this narrow ribbon of tarmac climbed out of the village, we climbed with it until reaching Monks Wall and, the start of a track that guided us into cow pastures above Ladram Bay. The views along the coast from this large field were stunning, sea stacks and cliffs glowing as the sun painted the sheer rock faces from tan to orange, the only thing spoiling the view was a ruddy great caravan park.

We turned our backs on the tin boxes and stunning vistas, with the coastal path under foot we walked south, above Crab Ledge and Twopenny Loaf Rock before ascending Brandy Head. Brandy Head derives it’s name from the smuggling activities which were once rife along this coast, there’s some seats and a restored observation hut, used in the Second World War to test new aircraft mounted cannon and gun sights. We continued along the coast, after traversing Black Head we descended over Danger Point to the estuary of the River Otter.

From the estuary the coastal path ushered us north in land, once on the lane accessing Pynes Farm Shop we crossed the river to access an excellent path following the east bank of the River Otter. A mile and a half of easy walking followed, the sound of the river our constant companion, on reaching Otterton we left the river, crossed Otterton Bridge to pay the mill a visit and grab some lunch. Lunch over a short but pleasant stroll up the main street followed back to the patiently waiting car.

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Otterton, soaking up the alluring architecture and calming atmosphere of this pleasant village.

Seen from near Monks Wall Ladram Bay and the sun painted cliffs of High Peak.

Taking in the views along the Triassic-age cliffs of the Jurassic Coast, High Peak and the long descent to the seaside town of Sidmouth.

Above Crab Ledge drinking in views over Chiselbury Bay.

Traversing Brandy Head looking back to the Observation Hut.

The fearsome cliffs between Black Head and Brandy Head carry the eye to the tan cliffs of High Peak.

A slice of the picturesque, the cliffs of Black Head plunge onto Coal Beach.

From above Danger Point, views over Budleigh Salterton to the The Floors where West Down plunges into the English Channel.

Descending to the Otter Estuary looking back to Danger Point.

The bewitching beauty of the Otter Estuary.

Sue soaks up the views over this stunning corner of Devon.

Views south up the charming River Otter.

This low aqueduct runs from East Budleigh towards the River Otter across the floodplain. It carries the East Budleigh Brook across this reclaimed land, which previously was all sea up as far as Otterton. When the pebble bar at Salterne was formed, this area became salt marsh until the land was reclaimed and the aqueduct built during the early part of the 19th century, work is now under way to reverse that, to reclaim the land for wildlife.

Weed waves in the current of the River Otter's clear water.

Sue saunters through the streets of Otterton.

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