Having discovered this beautiful part of Devon, what better way to see it the area than on foot. Whether it be a quiet evening stroll around the village, or a purposeful walk taking in the bracing air that can be found on the higher ground to the south and west, there is always plenty to see.
The parish of Dittisham covers an area approximately three miles by three miles, the western limit of its boundary is Hemborough Post (‘Sportsmans Arms’), and then stretches from the Old Mill Valley on the south side to Mill Creek and the Cornworthy boundary in the north. As well as many signed public footpaths, there are several bye-roads and green lanes which can be used either to see the local scenery, or for the more energetic who want to go further afield to explore such places as Dartmouth, Blackawton and Cornworthy – or even across the river to Paignton.
In many cases you will find that the footpaths cross farmland where some fields are likely to be stocked, so please ‘keep to the path’ and close all gates behind you. By remembering these points it keeps the landowners off your backs and makes for better liaison between landowners and the Parish Council, whose responsibility it is to maintain the paths.
Within the village there are short paths which connect with roads so that one can immediately see the tranquil parts of Old Dittisham and the Quay and foreshore.
If you have perhaps an hour or two on your hands, try climbing up to Fire Beacon where you get a most wonderful panoramic view. This being one of the highest points around, you can see Torbay and the English Channel stretching from east to south and to the north in the opposite direction the vast sweep of Dartmoor on the horizon. Also you have impressive views of the River Dart lower reaches.
To return to the village, walk along the road towards Bozomzeal Cross but turning right before you reach it – this is called Rectory Lane – and on a nice evening with the birds singing, a memorable stroll.
Another shortish walk is to amble through Lower Street, meeting the footpath on the foreshore of Mill Creek. Turn left and walk along the waterside meeting the road again at the Creek end. Carry on along the road and turn left at Bramble Torre, continuing up this road until you reach a footpath sign to Dittisham on your left. This takes you back across the fields and maybe a Welcome pint at the ‘Red Lion Inn’!
For those with plenty of time to spare, perhaps a walk to Capton, a small hamlet some three miles away. Starting at higher Dittisham use the footpath all the way via Kingston, this takes you through a quiet unspoilt wooded valley, before rising to higher grounds as you near Capton. You can return by one of two ways, but if you are thirsty or hungry then the ‘Sportsmans Anns’ at Hemborough Post is an Inn not too distant. Alternately, walk down the road to Capton Mill and take the path through Capton Wood to Coombe and back to Dittisham.
You will appreciate getting back to base, but will feel it was all worthwhile having been amongst typically South Hams countryside.
Perhaps you might fancy a walk to Dartmouth. To do this take the path to Fire Beacon Hill, there follow the road past Bozomzeal, meeting the footpath to Old Mill on the right. When you reach the bridge cross over and climb the other side to Townstal and Dartmouth.
At Old Mill many acres of old woodland have been replaced by pine and Spruce forest which give variation to tricolours of the countryside. If at Dartmouth you feel unable to make the walk back try catching the ferry arriving in time for a drink at the ‘Ferry Boat Inn’ – or even a meal at the ‘Anchorstone Cafe’ opposite.
To get to Churston and Paignton, cross the river by ferry, and from Greenway follow the road- there are also many public footpaths on this side so a little discovery work may reap rich dividends. These are just a few ideas but there are many other scenic walks in the area including the Dart Valle Trail.
Walk 4 Life