Walking in Exmoor & North Devon
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The walk starts at Simonsbath. With the Simonsbath House hotel to your back cross the road and turn left. After a
short distance turn right onto the bridleway sign-posted Cow Castle and Picked Stones. After only a few yards the
path divides. Turn right and follow the route towards Cow Castle, the path leading you down through the trees towards
the river. |
The route follows the bank of the river Barle towards Wheal Eliza, a worked out copper mine dating from 1846 which was later panned for iron ore.
Continue along the banks of the river to reach Cow Castle, the path following the contours of the lower mounds that formed the ancient settlement. From the castle follow the path across a little wooden bridge into a wood. The route takes you up through the trees to a field gate at the top, sign-posted Withypool and Picked Stones.
Keep to the path which winds up the hill eventually reaching open moorland. As you climb spectacular views to your right emerge over Landacre Bridge and Withypool Common.
At the top of the hill you reach a sign-post, turn left here and follow the path to Simonsbath and Picked Stones. The route leads you down from the moor then through pasture fields eventually reaching a farm track leading to Picked Stones farm. Here turn left and walk towards the farm. Passing in front of the farmhouse head through a gate in front of you leading towards the top of some woods and continue on with views over Cow Castle to your left.
The path follows a farm track which shortly drops into a small valley. At the top of the other side head towards a hedge with a sign-post showing the way back to Simonsbath. Follow the route along the lefthand side of the hedge row through several gates and finally turning right towards Winstitchen Farm. On reaching the farm driveway veer left and continue along the edge of more fields eventually reaching a gate into the beech woods. Turn left here and follow the path down through the woods back to the start. Go through the gate keeping the hedge on your right through three more gates then bear left to another gate. Follow the path towards the wood descending back into Simonsbath.
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