A while back Nik had a commissioned shoot in this area of Plymouth and ever since he has been raving about how beautiful it is there. So with that in mind, I set about looking for a site somewhere near so that we could go and properly explore. Having found several sites to our liking we’ve been waiting for the weather to cheer up. This week it was about as good as it’s been for the past month so we grabbed the opportunity. We picked a site on an organic farm in a part of the area that looked like it was in walking distance to a few pretty fishing villages. Noss Mayo and Newton Ferrers.
Having found several sites to our liking we’ve been waiting for the weather to cheer up. This week it was about as good as it’s been for the past month so we grabbed the opportunity. We picked a site on an organic farm in a part of the area that looked like it was in walking distance to a few pretty fishing villages.
Once we left the A38 it was about half hours drive along small lanes all the way to the site, and the sun was in our eyes the whole way, so we did arrive somewhat worse for where. However, the sun was shining and the dogs needed walking so quickly set up and got ourselves out and walking. A quick check of the map told us that if we continued on past our site down a little dirt track we would get to Noss Mayo and Newton Ferrers, two small fishing villages beside the estuary.
Newton Ferrers and Noss Mayo are said to be among the most attractive and un-spoilt villages in Devon. Set along the edges of an offshoot of the River Yealm called Newton Creek and are set in A Special Area of Conservation and Site of Special Scientific Interest.
Whenever we go somewhere new we put the dogs on leads for the first walk to give us a chance to assess the area and make sure it’s safe for them to be free. As we were on farmland this was doubly important and thank goodness we did. It’s almost pheasant season and in the lane just outside our site there seemed to be hundreds of them milling around. The dogs were somewhat put out that we wouldn’t let them chase. So we walked all the way to the end of the lane with dogs trying to get at pheasants that refused to move.
We walked to the end of the lane and found a most fantastic view of Noss Mayo and Newton Ferrers sitting along the end of the estuary, it was a bit hazy but we could see we were going to have fun if the sun came out on Thursday. At this point we had to follow a fairly steep track through the woods to get to the town, it looked much steeper than it actually was, which was a godsend considering we would be using the track for the next few days. We only had a quick look at the little harbour once we reached the village as it was getting quite late and we didn’t want to see it all on our first night. It was a lovely walk that cleared our heads nicely.
We woke up to stunning bright sunshine, so full of excitement we got ourselves dressed and breakfasted as quick as we could, packed a lunch and set off for a day of exploring. We’d decided that, as Newton Ferris was the bigger of the two we would explore that side of the estuary for the day and hopefully be able to get some good photos across the water of Noss Mayo. Unfortunately, it was far too hazy so the photos didn’t happen, hey ho.
It was a day of hills as the villages are in a valley leading down to the water, none were too strenuous though. Our first discovery was Holy Cross Church, which is set near the top of the village. Nik and I like to visit the churches wherever we go as not only are they pretty, they are also full of history. We also like to pay our respects to those that have gone before us and read the old headstones. You get a good idea of the sort of people that lived in the place back in the day. It’s always very interesting, or at least we think so. Anyway, this particular churchyard had a few very high ranking military men resting there, which Nik especially found very interesting as an ex-army man himself.
After the church, we wandered on down into the main part of the village and found they had a co-op, pharmacy and an estate agent, which we weren’t expecting. At the bottom of the village near the water is The Dolphin public house, which looked very pretty with outside seating looking over the water and serves food.
After this, we followed the coast path as much as we could with the odd diversion to look at things of interest as we passed them. Usually, this was yachts on the estuary. The path took us past some of the most stunning houses which Nik and I spent a great deal of time gazing at. We found several we would like then laughed at ourselves because the area is too built up and there’s no way we’d want to live there even if we could afford to. Pretty sure you’d need millions to live along this stretch of the estuary.
We eventually came to Newton Woods, which also followed the coastal route so we let the dogs off the lead and let them have a run around until we came to a point where we thought we should turn around and walk back. In real terms, I don’t think we walked overly far, but we were walking all day to get to this point and it was now half four so definitely time to turn back. We’d had a lovely day looking at the wonderful scenery and returned to Daisy just before sunset thoroughly happy with our day.
It was overcast on Friday and a little bit chilly, but the weather report had said it wasn’t going to rain until half five so we happily set off for an explore of Noss Mayo. This is a much smaller village and looking at the houses this was the poor side of the estuary. This little village has two public houses, The Swan Inn, which also served food and had a little area overlooking the water with seating and The Ship Inn on the other side of the village, serves food and looked stunning, again with views over the water, this pub can be reached by either going all the way around the village or when the tide is out by crossing a little causeway. The church, St. Peter’s, was given to the village in the 1880’s by the 1st Lord Revelstoke, Edward Charles Baring. The original village church of St. Peter The Poor Fisherman, can be found by following the coastal path to Stoke. We didn’t get to stoke on this visit, as we got too distracted on route. We did visit St. Peter’s though, which is a very pretty church at the top of the village and of course we found it by walking up a lot of steps from the bottom of the village. We never take the easy paths.
There are no pavements through the bottom half of the village but traffic is low so it’s not a problem. The estuary curves slightly here and only goes on in this direction for a small way. Noss Mayo is built up around this little finger of water, at its farthest point cars park to go to the Ship Inn. From a distance, it looks like the cars are parked on the estuary but in reality, the water probably only gets that high during spring tides. It’s very picturesque, especially when the tide is in.
You can find public toilets beside the car park and also a little honesty stand, where one of the locals is selling homegrown vegetables. We would have bought some of their rhubarb but it had all gone before we got there. Shame, Nik loves rhubarb crumble.
We followed the coast path out of the village into Ferry Wood. This side of the estuary has quite a few things more to visit that we hadn’t realised. Until we’d reached a part of the village with a map on the wall of the Village Hall. By following the coast path you can take a circular route that is marked out for you. This takes you past two lookout points with views out to sea, Cellers Beach, Brakehill Plantation, Warton Beach, Old Lifeguard Cottages and much more before leading you back inland to Noss Mayo. Or keep following along the coast path to Stoke and visit the Church of St. Peter the Poor Fisherman. Nik and I walked to the second lookout place, which gave a most stunning view across the water before turning back. We would have loved to have walked the coast path all the way back to our site. Unfortunately, the weather was looking like rain and we knew the quicker route was through Noss Mayo, so we turned around at this point. We did get rained on a little bit but managed to get safely back to Daisy before the heavens opened.
We had a thoroughly enjoyable two days here and what we discovered was that two days just isn’t enough to thoroughly explore the area. So we will definitely be going back, probably no until next summer, as Nik wants to get sunny pictures.
Ending on a funny note.
The morning we left we decided to walk the dogs in the opposite direction to the South West coast path, mainly so we could see how easy it was to get there. It turned out to be very easy; access to the coast path was through a field, which usually holds cows, with electric fencing forming a sort of pathway down the middle for farm vehicles. Nik wanted to get a picture of this path with the view. We all know what electric fencing looks like and not to touch it. For some reason, my husband decided that because the animals weren’t in the field that it would be turned off. Ha-ha-ha-ha. You should have heard his excuses for why he thought it would be ok to lean his leg against the fence. I’d like to say, “he won’t do that again”, but this is now the second time he’s touched electric fencing this year, so I don’t think he’ll learn.
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