Riverside pub is ideal spot to recover from woodland ramble
- Credit: Keith Perry
Ancient woodlands, picnic areas, river beaches, historical buildings, stunning beauty and a delightful riverside pub - Fingle Bridge has got the lot!
Close to the village of Drewsteignton - about a one hour drive from the Bay - the site belongs to The National Trust and Woodland Trust which bought it in 2013 to carry out one of the largest woodland restoration projects in the country.
Over the years the ecology of the forest had suffered, with conifers the predominant feature of the Teign Gorge.
But the woods are now being returned to their former deciduous glory making autumn a particularly appropriate time to explore the area.
Parking is available just a short walk from the 17th century packhorse bridge which straddles the River Teign at the Fingle Bridge Inn and, from here, turn right along the track that hugs the River Teign on one side and a colourful canopy of autumnal colour on the other.
Eventually you will come to a suspension bridge and across the river you have the option to extend your walk to the country’s newest castle.
Castle Drogo overlooks the Teign Gorge and was designed and built between 1910 and 1930 by Sir Edwin Lutyens, who was also responsible for Cockington’s Drum Inn.
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Drogo is a National Trust property and Covid restrictions have now been lifted meaning it is no longer necessary to book in advance for admission to the castle and gardens.
Alternatively, you can return to Fingle Bridge along the opposite bank of the Teign but be warned that this is a far more challenging pathway with uneven surfaces and steep steps and walkers with small children or mobility issues should return via their original pet-and-pushchair-friendly route.
The Fingle Bridge Inn, open from 11am, is a lovely location to recover from your ramble and offers a full restaurant menu, Sunday carvery and Devon cream teas.
The car park at Fingle Bridge can fill up quite rapidly in fine weather and at weekends so it’s worth noting that you have the option to park at Castle Drogo (£2 for two hours and £6 for the day) and doing this walk in reverse.