Tipton St John is a beautiful village in East Devon, and there are many , many walks in and around the area – we recently wrote about a favourite loop of ours that takes in Harpford Woods and involves passing (or visiting!) 2 pubs! Check out more info here.
Tipton also offers lots of opportunities to get close to the River Otter and has an impressive ‘beach’ that is accessible from the donations-requested car park situated in the village centre. This walk is great for families with younger children who maybe don’t want to walk too far from the car (and the snacks and small clothes that may be needed!) and those who have dogs that want to join in the fun.
From the car park you will see the play area – which is a lovely way to start and finish your trip and a great place to wait if meeting friends or a group – and the tennis courts, used by the school and local tennis club. Pass these to move into Tipton’s riverside playing field, which is maintained by the local community using donations (so please pay towards parking in the boxes provided), and plays host to many events, including the Otter Run in the summer.
Cross this field to the far right corner, where you will find a hidden kissing gate that takes you up onto the remains of the old Sidmouth-Ottery train line. You will pass over Tipton’s iconic ‘5 arch bridge’ and can head down to your right for a paddle and play on the ‘beach’ and a picnic on the field.
You can follow the river bank round to the old watermill bridge and buildings, and continue on to see the Archimedean screw and then the weir above. At the next kissing gate, rather than passing through and continuing to walk by the river towards Ottery, you can head left to rejoin the old railway avenue and head back along this to the bridge and playing field beyond.
Tipton has a pub – The Golden Lion and a small village shop, so refreshments can be sought before heading home.