December in Beesands is a special time of year , the chilling winds , the clear air making the colours more vibrant than your can imagine and that pleasant exhaustion you feel after a days exposure to the elements and then the satisfaction of the retreat into the warmth of number 1 with its comforting Aga and stocked wood burner.
Full of cold I didn’t know how I was going to leave the sofa last Saturday but flicking through the Saturday Times I came across an article about Chris Packham’s love of trees and their importance ,it then went on to suggest some wonderful woods one being a 3.5 mile walk near Kingsbridge . Just what I needed to give me the boost and a wonderful opportunity to explore an area which we had never visited .
The walk starts in the quaint village of Loddiswell just outside Kingsbridge. You walk up to the left of the magnificent church and follow the lane until it drops down a steep hill eventually arriving at Ham Butts Farm. Then you turn right along the footpath along the side of the stream and eventually cross a small footbridge taking you into a field . Follow the path to the right along river and keeping the river to your right take in the magnificence of this ancient woodland managed by the Woodland Trust ,until you reach the railway bridge . This is part of the old Kingsbridge /South Brent branch line . Cross the bridge and follow this path back along the river until you arrive at Loddiswell Station and the road . Another historical landmark of the times when trains linked Kingsbridge .
At the end of this path , turn right down hill along the road, under a bridge . Keep an eye out for a footpath on the right and cross a field . At the end of the field turn right over a bridge and up a hill. This is where you can take a welcome refreshment or shopping breakhttp://www.avonmill.com . Continue up the steep hill until you reach the second left hand bend at this bend there are 2 roads on your right take the second road signposed Cloverwell Farm. Just before the entrance you will see a track on your left (unmetalled road) follow this track to the top where you can then retrace your steps back to the church .
We will definitely be returning to this beautiful and reinforced my belief that the best things in life are free!