Enchanting hidden bluebell woodland in East Devon

Holyford Woods walk. Picture: Contributed

Holyford Woods walk. Picture: Contributed - Credit: Archant

With spring in the air, why not take some time to explore take a look at the bluebells in Holyford Woods.

Holyford Woods walk. Picture: Contributed

Holyford Woods walk. Picture: Contributed - Credit: Archant

Walk: Approx 2 miles.

Time: 45mins

Terrain: Some muddy paths with steep hills through the woods.

What to bring: Wellies are recommended. Dogs welcome but on a lead in the neighbouring fields.

Holyford Woods walk. Picture: Contributed

Holyford Woods walk. Picture: Contributed - Credit: Archant


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Car park: There is no vehicle access to Holyford Woods. Park at the picnic site at the top of Seaton Down Road, Seaton near the Seaton Tower Garage. Nearest postcode EX12 2TF.

The walk:

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Start your walk at the top of Seaton Down Road, where you can park your car in the picnic site/layby. From the layby follow the finger post sign towards Holyford Woods and carefully cross the A3052.

Holyford Woods walk. Picture: Contributed

Holyford Woods walk. Picture: Contributed - Credit: Archant

Pass through the kissing gate and into the field, walk down the steep field, keeping the hedge on your right, into the woods.

Nestled in the picturesque valley between Seaton and Colyton is Holyford Woods, the 1,000th Local Nature Reserve to be designated in England.

Follow the path through the woodland; at the fork take the left-hand path enjoying views over the woods on your right hand side.

The wood is one of the oldest in the area and has a wide variety of tree species including oak, ash and hazel. From April to June the woods are covered in a magnificent carpet of bluebells and filled with the scent of wild garlic.

Holyford Woods walk. Picture: Contributed

Holyford Woods walk. Picture: Contributed - Credit: Archant

Continue along the path and take the bridge over the stream. As you explore the woodland take advantage of the bench which you will find on your left hand side and enjoy the views.

Holyford Woods is home to an abundance of wildlife including birds nesting in the canopy, bats roosting in the hidden crevices and dormice nesting in the tangled roots and dormice boxes hidden around the site.

The path splits; take the lesser used left hand path with steps up a steep hill. At the top of the hill there are two benches you can stop at to catch your breath and enjoy views over the ancient woodland.

Continue along the path, to join the main entrance track, take a sharp right turn and follow the gravel track down to the pond. Follow the path on the bridge and over the stream. Keep to the left and take the track back to the field. Walk up the steep field you started at and safely cross the A3052 to return to your car.

Map © Crown Copyright and database rights 2018 Ordnance Survey 100023746 getmapping

Map © Crown Copyright and database rights 2018 Ordnance Survey 100023746 getmapping - Credit: Map © Crown Copyright and database rights 2018 Ordnance Survey 100023746 getmapping

Holyford Woods is managed by the East Devon District Council Countryside team in partnership with the Holyford Woodland Trust.

Share your photos of the woods with the East Devon District Council Countryside team on social media @wildeastdevon.

Visit wildeastdevon.co.uk or contact the team via email: countryside@eastdevon.gov.uk or phone: 01395 517557 to find out more about East Devon nature reserves.

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