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Typically Devon. Thatched cottages, colourful gardens, church and small green. Oh so tranquil. A place where time appears to have stood still.
Set out from the church, keeping the green and the large tree (planted in 1935 to commemorate King George V Silver Jubilee) to your right. Swing left along a quiet lane that deteriorates into an unmade track and where residents’ grass cuttings are tipped in huge amounts.
Pass through a gate, follow the right hand boundary, cross a footbridge then keep close to the left hand boundary. Pass through a gate at the top left hand corner of the field.
Now cling to the right hand boundary and pass a private garden gate. Follow the boundary round to the right to a gate hidden in the corner. Turn left along the road for 200 yards.
Leave the road on the right at Sherman’s Farm building (signpost) crossing a stile soon after. Turn right across the field, aiming between two old trees towards a gate and a thatched cottage.
Through the gate, turn right to walk along an enclosed green lane (which may be muddy) for a mile. Halfway along you will pass a gas pipe marker pole on your left. When eventually confronted with a gate (associated with Bowhay Farm) follow the same line to cross two fields and a road. Continue along an enclosed track until it curves right.
At that spot (before reaching Fenny Bridge), cross the stile to your left and walk on the higher bank of the River Otter past another stile. Ascend some wooden steps and turn right to cross two stiles. Walk along the right hand edge of the field towards another stile. Pass through a gate on the left and go up a tree-clad lane, rising into the village of Alfington.
Follow the lane (Mill Lane) to the junction with the B3177, which can be busy. Turn right down the road, passing Rock House on the left. Continue through the village. Pass the bus stops, then a few paces beyond Patteson Close (on the right), cross over to enter a wide lane on the left, by the brook.
The lane (known locally as Summer Lane) rises continually from the outset. Follow the upward route for a mile, ignoring all side exits.
Entering a wooded area, the path curves left and rises more steeply. (The seemingly easier right turn option has to be forsaken.) Once at the top, walk forward (ignoring the paths left and right). Passing to the left of a (fallen) signpost, a dozen paces will take you to a road. Turn right along the road for 250 yards.
Turn left down an (unsignposted) road and enjoy the peaceful, downward, surroundings of Bellevue Plantation. Continue down the road to pass Catshayes Farm and continue into Gittisham. At the end of the road, turn left to cross the brook and return to the church.
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