Back in September last year a few of us went on a walk from Fingle Bridge in the hope we would make it to Castle Drogo. However after walking for what seemed like a long time (it probably was) we were getting no where and ran out of time, so we gave up and turned back to the car.
Whilst sat on the Sunday evening of the May Bank Holiday wondering what to do the next day, we decided to try the walk again. We had a lot more time on our hands so could even afford to get lost if it should happen; which of course, it did.
After a few messages sent to friends we had a group of 5 of us and a pooch, ready for a trek the next day.
We met at our house in the morning and despite checking the weather forecast several times it was still showing rain, but we were hopefully that the promise of sun in the afternoon would come true. We packed up our waterproof coats and wellies (Joe had to borrow my coat because he forgot to pack his, leaving me with a bright pink ski jacket!), loaded Buck (the pooch) and the rest of us into Ash’s car, armed with bags of quavers crisps and headed on the road.
Living in Mid Devon has it’s perks as we are quite close to the moors and good walking spots; it took us about 25 minutes to get to Castle Drogo, however on arriving it seemed like everyone else had the same idea, not a single space was free to park; after a few laps we gave up and parked right outside the entrance.
We bundled out of the car and released Buck from the confines of the boot, pulling on our wellies and coats were went on our way. We wandered up the long drive way that leads into the Castle Drogo Estate, trying to work out where we had to go.
We got a little bit lost a long the way and accidentally ended up outside the Castle which is currently being refurbished.
We turned around as it clearly wasn’t the way we were supposed to go, not only that but we hadn’t paid to be there either! Tut, Tut! We quick marched pack up the pathway, trying not to look at too much, seeing as we hadn’t paid our way. Eventually we found the pathway that took us where we wanted to go, turns out we walked right past it on our way to find the toilet! Anyway on we went, we were met with a few different coloured posts that took you different ways; I think we ended up following the red path, much to my husbands disappointment, he was happy to just have sat in the cafe for the afternoon.
The first part of the walk was fairly easy going and we passed several young families and older couples along the way. It then started to absolutely pour down making things a little miserable and a little harder as the ground became slippery under from and also start descending down into the forest. The view from where we were walking would have been absolutely stunning, had it not been so wet and misty.
As we went further along the pathway, following the signs as best we could, we heard some noise through what sounded like a tannoy speaker system, the further we walked the louder it got. The path started to descend making things even harder, it was quite stoney and slippery from the rain, I’m not ashamed to say I did need a hand in case I fell and landed on my butt! We walked a little more and then realised that what we were actually a lot closer to Fingle Bridge than we thought, the way we had walked had taken us along the top and down a slop towards the car park. Once we finished descending the slope and waked through the car park we discovered that the chap making all the commotion on the tannoy was talking about duck race that was happening at the pub.
We stopped off for a little while, but because it was so busy there was no where to sit inside or out, we found a picnic bench with a view of the duck race and perched for a little while. We ordered a few bowls of cheesy chips and warmed our bellies with tea. We were absolutely soaked so appreciated the warmth they brought us!
Once we had finished our chips and had enough of listening to the muffled words of the chap commentating on the duck race we made our way back to the castle. The way back was a bit harder than the way down because most of it was up hill, we definitely felt it the next day in our legs! As we slowly pulled our way up the hill the rain subsided and the sun finally made it’s overdue appearance, it dried us off a little bit so we weren’t so soggy but we were all still desperate for a hot shower, Buck even more so! The sun made for a much nicer photo so it was it all in the end.
With a soggy Buck in tow we eventually got back to the car and mad our way home. The walk didn’t take us as long as we were expecting, we probably got from the Castle to Fingle Bridge in about 45 mins and a little quicker back. It was a nice walk but I would highly recommend taking good foot wear, I wore my wellies but I think walking boots would have been a better idea.
On the way back in the car, we made plans to go home and shower and treated ourselves to a lovely homemade chicken and leek pie. A good day had by all, despite the weather!