Chulmleigh - (Challacombe, Dodyard, Beara and Horridge Moor)

You should not need a map for this shorter walk, which will reveal the attractions of the local scenery.

It starts at the Pump in Fore Street leading east out of town past The Hill and Davy Park. The old building on your right was the Boys School until 1936. Turn left down a footpath which joins the road by the Congregational Church (1710). Go down the hill, noticing on the right the "Evacuee Seat". Carry on up to a footpath sign on the left. Cross the field to the gate opposite, continue forward to gate in the fence, follow right hand fence, crossing a small stream to another gate in the hedge. Through this gate and up steps to a wire fence; do not cross. Ignore a footpath signed right. Cross a stile and climb half right for 50 yards to a gap in the hedge. Head diagonally up hill aiming for a gap in the hedge, follow this side of hedge through several gateless gaps until you reach a metal gate.

Below you is the 17th Century Brookland Farm an unusual three storey thatched building. Cross stile and aim for gap in hedge opposite. Here cross the stile and follow left hand edge of field to road. Cross road and over stile heading directly across two fields to far bottom of next field. Cross stile and then footbridge and head up to road, over stile. Turn up hill (1 hours).

At Challacombe Farm T junction turn left up hill. Attractive Lower Dodyard Farm is on your left. Carry on forward following the direction of this lane. Before you reach the end of the field you will see on your left a signpost indicating the gateway to the new footpath in the valley bottom. (2 hours). Cross a shallow stream (using a new bridge).

Up the track opposite to a surfaced farm road, turn left here and follow to the end, South Beara, a 19th Century house with a vineyard, (Beara means a clearing). Go along a grass lane to a gate, drop down across this field heading towards the tallest trees! You should pass a waymark and water trough where a hedge appears to stop. Go through the gate ahead and head uphill right, passing a solitary waymark on a pole. Now aim for a gate in the wire fence ahead. Go forward climbing gradually to a gate in the hedge. Here you join the road (2 hours). Head towards Chulmleigh arriving at Beacon Cross. From here both Exmoor and Dartmoor are normally visible.

Turn down to Chulmleigh and arrive at Parsonage Cross (The present Parsonage Farm replaces the original one which until 1823 was the Rectory). Turn left for 50 yards and take the footpath signed right. Aim for Chulmleigh church until a stile is visible. Cross this stile and six more in quick succession until you reach the road. Turn left here and right at the main road, completing your circuit (3 - 3 hours).


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