Rick Turner is one of Visit Devon’s directors, and also Director of The Flock at The BIG Sheep attraction in North Devon.
He loves exploring Devon’s coast and countryside with his border collie Bess (who also works at The BIG Sheep!), and here he tells us about their favourite walk.
“To me, this sometimes challenging route is the best walk in the world! It’s best in the spring when the early flowers are in full bloom. Go in the evening as the sun is going down – it’s a truly magical time, with the sun at your back and the light on the bluebells.
“The walk starts at the tiny fishing village of Buck Mills, on the North Devon coast between Bideford and the beautiful Clovelly.
“Park in the car park at the head of the village. Head down towards the sea with the brook on your right. Pass the old fishermens’ cottages, then when you go past Ken Braund’s (The Old Coastguards Cottage), turn right up the coast path.
“There are steep steps as you climb away from the village, and the next ½ mile up to the old Roman Fort on your right at the top of the hill gets the heart rate up. Then it levels out, and the spectacular views to Hartland and Clovelly on your left makes it worth the effort!
“As you enter the woodland there’s about 1½ miles of the most stunning bluebell walk through woods, alongside knarly windswept oaks covered in moss and giant ferns.
“When you get to the second right hand turn (it’s not signposted, but the path heads away from the coast) take it, then go over a style and up across a field. To the right of the houses is a style onto the road. Head right past Sloops cottages, and keep on the road for ½ mile.
“As the road heads back on itself, turn into the drive on the right, and go down the hill to the farm. Then follow the foot path signs which lead back down the valley to Bucks Mills.
“To finish this great walk, head to The Hoops Inn at nearby Horns Cross for some great local beer and food, which will be richly deserved after your walk! They often serve our award winning beer from the brewery at The BIG Sheep – delicious!”