This walk is a really decent circular route with fantastic views in every direction. It’s probably around 6km but there are options for making it longer. Whilst the paths the whole way round would be OK for a big-tyred buggy, there are stiles and gates that would make this hard work.
Start at the fabulous Knights Farm shop at Lower Cotley Farm in Fluxton (on the road from Ottery St Mary to Tipton St John), where there is a car park for customers and a wide enough verge to leave your car safely. The farm shop not only sells local meat, fruit and veg, it has also has gifts, treats and very importantly, a cafe service with cakes and hot drinks!
Leaving the cafe behind you on your right, wak up the lane a little way, passing Higher Cotley Farm on your left (great PYO in the summer!) heading towards Ottery. You will soon reach a footpath sign and stile on your left.
Take this turn and head up the decent looking track into the countryside. Take a moment every hundred metres or so to turn round and view the Otter Valley spread out behind you!
Keep to this track as it narrows into a footpath and then opens into wider avenue again. At the moment there are beautiful autumn leaves carpeting the path! Don’t turn off this track until you emerge onto the tarmac Lower Broad Oak road.
You emerge from this path onto Lower Broad Oak Road. Turn left here. There are cars on this quiet lane but you have good sight and will hear them coming.
Follow this lane as it heads round a bend and into a dip before passing equestrian premises on the left and rising very steeply uphill (signposted towards Metcombe and TSJ). On your right you will pass a gate into a small woodland known as Broad Oak Plantation that’s worth an explore!
You will eventually reach a T-junction where again you turn left for Metcombe, but after turning left you need to leave the road and take the footpath ahead of you, signposted ‘unmetalled road’. (If you stay on this road and follow it you can extend the circuit and end up back where you started by heading left at each junction – this is good if running!)
This lane is traffic free but is surfaced if rough and muddy. There are several dips and cimbs but the views are simply spectacular!
Continue on down the track as it descends steeply. (There is an option to take a right hand footpath near the bottom to extend your walk – be warned this track is very very muddy! To make a bigger loop head left at each junction if you take this route).
You will reach a cluster of houses known as Mount Stephen Farm and here you need to turn left onto the lane that will take you back to Knights Farm, and your car, and some cake!