Rambler’s steps to recovery become walk guide book

Rambler Karen Howes with her guide book

Rambler Karen Howes with her guide book - Credit: Archant

Rambler Karen Howes put her time during lockdown to good use by producing a booklet of historical walks in Paignton.

Keen historian Karen already writes regular walking routes for Torquay Rambling Club, is a trained Ramblers’ Association walk developer and belongs to Paignton Heritage Society.

The mother of three was injured in January and housebound for a month, then just as she was able to get back walking, Covid-19 lockdown came.

Initially, she wrote an article for club members on its website.

Helen explained: “As part of the research and my own tentative steps to recovery, I undertook a lot of local walks when streets were empty.

“It was suggested I turn my notes into a booklet and a walk to be enjoyed by many.”

The result has been a booklet entitled A Walk Through the History of Paignton.

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It is a concise history through parts of old Paignton, medieval Paignton and into Victorian Paignton, the arrival of the Singer Family and Brunel’s railway.

Helen added: “Combining a walk through the town with snippets of information from a local who has known Paignton from childhood seems to have resonated with many others.

“It has been a pleasure to write about my home town and to encourage others to see Paignton with fresh eyes.”

The walk starts at Paignton Library and runs three miles via Oldway to Victoria Park.

There is then a further three mile option to go to the seafront, past the harbour across to Goodrington and back along the railway through the town, to the library again.

The book is A5 size, easy to handle and walkers can dip out of the route to visit cafes, restaurants and other points of interest along the way.

Copies are on sale at Torquay Museum.

A further 100 are on order and will be available via information centres and local outlets featured on the route.

Karen said: “I am donating £1 per book to Friends of Oldway, the creation of the house and grounds are central to the walk and I very much want to see the mansion restored and available for the people of Paignton once again.”