Colby's walk in the clouds

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Pace: Moderate

  • 4

Intensity: Medium

  • 3

Gradient: Low

  • 2
 NORDIC Adventure Walks

Price: £8.00

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Hosted By:

Bruce Perkins

Walk Description:

Meet at the FREE car park adjacent to the Puffing Billy Café, Great Torrington. Post code EX388JD

We’ll kick start our senses (and our body) with a warm up in the shelter of the road bridge before setting off along the Tarka trail towards Torrington. After just a few yards on our right we will find “Rolle Tunnel”, an archway signposted to Taddiport. We will pass through the archway and follow the path down to the left where we will locate “Rolle Road”. Formally part of the Rolle Canal (A hand-built canal approximately 6 feet wide stretching some 7 miles linking Great Torrington to the river Torridge 3 miles above Bideford; taking 300 workers 2.5 years to construct at a personal cost to John, Lord Rolle the equivalent to more than £3million at today’s costs!! it was officially opened in February 1827 and closed in 1871 and later filled in to create a toll road. You can actually walk along the canal towpath or even on the canal bed. It’s in this part that you can really imagine what the canal looked like. We will follow the tree covered, uneven but well-trodden tow path/canal bed for approximately ½ mile, shielded on one side by a steep tree lined bank and open to the river Torridge on the other while taking in the sights and sounds of Mother Nature.

We will then take in the sights and sounds of a completely different nature as we pass through the old disused Taddiport industrial site (home of the once Dairy Crest creamery, employing more than 100 people), but has been derelict for more than 25 years. As such it has become a haven for graffiti artists.

At the edge of Taddiport we will cross the main road and continue to follow the old Rolle road for Approx. ½ mile before beginning our upward journey via a hard surfaced footpath to the top of castle hill common. Stopping at frequent stages to catch our breath and take in the various views afforded to us as we climb. We continue our journey until upon reaching the summit (just below barley street car park and old castle) we will make the most of the ideally situated view point and soak up the magnificent scenery before us.

As we will all have earned a wee reward for reaching the summit I propose that we make our next stop the 1646 Cafe to the rear of the car park and take on board some well earned carbs.

Following which we continue along the purpose built path and begin our descent to the Waterloo Obelisk which was financed by the ‘’ladies of Great Torrington’’ and erected in June 1818 to commemorate the Battle of Waterloo 3 years earlier in June 1815. The inscription plate is said to be made from a cannon brought back from the battle. We will continue down the common until reaching a track junction with steps that will lead us back to the Rolle road.

We will follow the towpath towards Taddiport until we locate another set of wooden steps that lead us down to the river’s edge where we will join the footpath running parallel to the river. Having once again crossed over the main road at Taddiport Bridge we will continue to follow the footpath along the river and head back towards the Puffing Billy. Along the way we pass a magnificent weir, the rear of the old industrial site, the sewage farm and cross an open field before once again entering into the shelter of the woods with its seasonal flora & fauna and ascending a set of steps back onto the Rolle Road a few yards from where we began our adventure, here we will conduct our warm.