SRC West Hill-based trio complete trail-blazing interior of East Devon run
- Credit: Archant
Three intrepid trail blazing Sidmouth Running Club (SRC) members ventured into the deep interior of the East Devon countryside for another epic long-distance run, writes Hamish Spence.
With the cancellation of so many competitions due to the Coronavirus pandemic, the West Hill contingent of SRC - affectionately (?) christened the West Hill Mafia by club chairman Terry Bewes, again felt the need to do some miles, particularly Dave-ultra-Wright who’s race, the 100 km East Devon Way has been postponed until August.
Joining him was Carine-100-mile-Silver and Simon Hollyer
With the coronavirus hopefully becoming more well known about now and the fact we live in a breathtakingly beautiful area of the UK, which is rightly designated an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, we’ve noticed many more walkers on the trails and not only on the obvious coastal footpaths, but venturing further in land where there is much to enjoy. Coronavirus has led some walkers to be concerned about the presence of runners.
As a result, the trio wanted to explore new, possibly quieter trails. Simon used Devon County Council’s web page: http://app-gisserver.devon.gov.uk/dccviewer/Environment/ to map out a 21-mile route that he could download to his running watch.
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With dry conditions underfoot and dull but warm weather, the three set off from West Hill in very good spirits. They headed in a northerly direction out of the village.
However, it was not the best of starts, as before even leaving the Parish boundary someone informing them that they weren’t on the footpath!
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With a quick consultation of the navigation system they were soon on their way and within 15 minutes they had crossed the great border of the A30. Shortly the group was rewarded with a spectacular view from Willow View Park which is near the Daisymount junction.
A fantastic view right across the Culm Valley towards Exmoor. Following some quiet roads downhill towards Whimple they missed the first trail. This was to be a common theme as Simon’s watch (the navigation system) wasn’t fancy enough to display a map as well as the route.
The watch was, however, very good at telling them they had strayed but only when they were at least a quarter of a mile off course!
From Whimple there are almost continuous footpaths to Clyst St Lawrence, Clyst Hydon and Plymtree all with similar square towered churches.
The landscape is a delight to run through and was almost devoid of people.
From Plymtree they turned back towards home.
This meant a few road miles to Payhembury and yet another square tower church before reaching the trails leading to the parkland of Escot.
Before this they had to pass through a gateway created by two closely growing mature trees and then back over the A30 to West Hill.
There are many other trails to explore up here and it is felt as though there were as many people on these trails as there are churches, (seven in total).