The wonderful warm days that we keep having just make me want to get outside and soak it up – and the children immediately want to revisit all our favourite water holes so that they can splash and paddle while it’s warm enough.
One of our favourite local rivers is the Otter – there are great walks along its banks from the nature reserve at Budleigh Salterton and from the lovely Otterton Mill. At various points there are good places to view wildlife and great places to paddle or sit for a while.
A go-to spot for us is at Newton Poppleford, reached along the Exeter to Sidmouth road. If driving from Exeter then you can turn right into Dotton Lane before you leave the village, and then turn left into Mill Lane from there. These lanes are narrow and get a bit bumpy as you near the river.
There is free parking in a pull in close to the river, and from here you can join the riverside footpaths that you can follow to Colaton Raleigh in one direction, or back to Newton Poppleford in the other.
For easy paddling and a short walk, it is best to cross the footbridge and follow the path a short way to your left (towards Newton Poppleford). Here you will find shallow beach areas and a good grassy spot for a picnic. Please note that the river can be deep in the middle and therefore fast flowing in places.