This walk is a winner! I have a little wish list when I’m looking for new walks and it’s rare to find one that ticks all the boxes. My ideal requirements are:
- Free/easy parking
- Dogs allowed
- Off road/traffic free
- Easy to extend or shorten to cater for children
- A loop/circular route so that you are always covering new ground and not retracing your steps.
- Near some form of refreshment/café or pub.
This Sowton circular is perfect – and when I walked it for the first time, the sun shone brightly then set in a beautiful way, sending the sky all different colours and lighting the wheat fields golden. It’s a good’n.
To find the start, take the turning over the A30 (signed to Sowton Village), opposite the Black Horse Inn in Sowton (a fab family pub you could incorporate into your trip) into the village proper. There is on-road parking available near the church and village hall, though the lanes are narrow in places so be prepared to do a 10-point turn if necessary! The walk starts at the signposted footpath beside ‘Court Lodge’ where you follow a surfaced track over 2 bridges through some woods.
As you emerge from the woodland, you catch a glimpse of the impressive Bishops Court ahead. The footpath here goes into field and the path is a lot bumpier and grassier and less obvious, but you are roughly heading to the opposite side, where a large fallen tree trunk (perfect for climbing) and a brick building can be seen.
There can be livestock grazing and there are notices requesting that dogs are kept on lead in the field. As you emerge onto a lane, turn left (away from the Court) and follow the lane for a short while until you reach Fawn Cottages.
Here you take the track that runs alongside the houses (no footpath sign, but it is one!) and go straight ahead through the gate into a field, follow the track straight on again and then head for the opposite left corner of the next field. This is signposted as a footpath and the path then takes you over 2 rivers towards some farm buildings you can see, before emerging out onto the lane you started on.
You can either cross over the road and take the signed footpath up the hill to emerge onto a lane which heads back downhill into the village, or you can turn left and head straight back to the car.