Great route that is accessible to all members of the community

The Access for All path follows the Dart at the start of the walk

The Access for All path follows the Dart at the start of the walk - Credit: Keith Perry

Walkabout Torbay with Keith Perry:

Originally part of the Manor of Dartington, Borough Park is now the recreational centre of Totnes and the starting point for today’s walkabout.

Few walks have such appeal as the Access for All path, which runs between the park and the Shops at Dartington as it provides a route that is accessible to all members of the community including frail and elderly people, wheelchair users, blind and partially sighted people, and cyclists.

The walk starts at the car park and runs for two miles alongside the River Dart and by Queen’s Marsh and Bidwell Brook on the Dartington Hall estate. Gradients are very gentle.

The footbridge to the South Devon Railway

The footbridge to the South Devon Railway - Credit: Keith Perry

After passing Totnes railway station and the footbridge to the South Devon Railway, the next point of interest is the Totnes Weir Hydro power plant which was constructed in 2015 and began generating electricity in December, 2015.

Totnes weir and hydro

Totnes weir and hydro - Credit: Keith Perry

It has been performing ahead of expectations with electricity generated being higher than planned for.

The scheme is expected to generate enough clean electricity each year – to power around 300 homes for at least 40 years.

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A  fish pass has been installed adjacent to the turbines to allow more salmon and sea trout to migrate past the weir and spawn in the Dart.

The path through the estate alongside Queen’s Marsh

The path through the estate alongside Queen’s Marsh - Credit: Keith Perry

Shortly after passing the weir, turn right into the Dartington Hall Estate and cross the road to pick up the clearly marked path at Queen’s Marsh, home to a wide range of wildlife, some of which you might be lucky enough to observe from the hide at the entrance.

Entrance to the Dartington Hall Estate

Entrance to the Dartington Hall Estate - Credit: Keith Perry

It's a straightforward walk alongside the marsh and Bidwell Brook until you reach Tweed Mill where a footbridge crosses the brook and leads to the vibrant and eclectic mix of shops and businesses that make up The Cider Press Centre.

Lower Tweed Mill at Shinner’s Bridge

Lower Tweed Mill at Shinner’s Bridge - Credit: Keith Perry

Make your own gin and rum at the Devon Gin School at Shinner’s Bridge shops

Make your own gin and rum at the Devon Gin School at Shinner’s Bridge shops - Credit: Keith Perry

As well as arts and crafts, there is a wide range of gifts available including, of course, Dartington Crystal and an excellent selection of locally-sourced food and drink in the delicatessen.

It's a good time to visit right now as there real buzz about the place as Christmas approaches.

Check in at the Cider Press Centre

Check in at the Cider Press Centre - Credit: Keith Perry

When you’re finished shopping, there are great places for a bite to eat - with family-friendly Bayards Kitchen - boasting a children’s play area - on hand, plus The Green Table Deli for delicious coffee and takeaways.

Bayard’s Kitchen at the Cider Press Centre

Bayard’s Kitchen at the Cider Press Centre - Credit: Keith Perry

Return to Borough Park by the same route.

There are ten benches along the way if you need a breather!

For an extremely detailed audio guide to this walk by local storyteller Clive Fairweather, go to dartington.org and Access for All Path.

Tree house

Tree house - Credit: Keith Perry

Queen’s Marsh - home to a wide variety of wildlife

Queen’s Marsh - home to a wide variety of wildlife - Credit: Keith Perry

View from the hide at Queen’s Marsh

View from the hide at Queen’s Marsh - Credit: Keith Perry

Lime kilns on the estate

Lime kilns on the estate - Credit: Keith Perry