Sunday, 08 January 2012
Walking in Great Torrington
Yesterday, Jon and I went for another Weekend Walk. We decided to head to Great Torrington (via a spot of window-shopping at Atlantic Village) and follow half of a walk in one of our many books on the North Devon area.
We parked in the Commons car park and crossed the road to start walking towards Taddiport Bridge. Soon we found a footpath to the left that was signed to Great Torrington, and we followed this to admire the views down the valley. Eventually the footpath joined another road, and we walked along this until we reached the gate into Rack Park (there is also a Rock Park in Barnstaple, North Devon - where, I wonder, are Reck, Rick and Ruck Park?). A short stroll through the park and we were out on the road again, where we soon reached South Street car park.
We walked through the car park, and discovered the location of Torrington 1646, which I would very much like to visit on another occasion! It is a visitor attraction that allows you to experience life during the English Civil War; 1646 was the year of the Battle of Torrington, when the town's royal supporters were defeated by the Parliamentarians.
We walked around the walls of Torrington Castle. The walls we saw were apparently built in early Victorian times, though the book informed us that Torrington Castle itself was built in 1139 and destroyed in 1228. As we walked along this path, I recognised the landscape and recalled that Jon and I had walked here during my first visit to Torrington, at least six years ago. We continued past a row of seats, where people can sit to admire the lovely views, and made our way to the Waterloo Obelisk. This was built in in 1818 to commemorate the Battle of Waterloo. We took some photos, although by this time the sun was beginning to set, so none of the ones I took capture the scene as well as I would have liked.
We turned left at the Obelisk and walked along until we could see cars driving along a road. Then we took the first path on the right, which looked quite muddy but was easily passable. Eventually we reached a fork and took the left turn to reach a path by the river. This was very muddy in places! I had to be careful not to get my boots too dirty, as it took a lot of time and effort to clean them last time! Jon went first to test the ground for me.
We reached the Taddiport Bridge and turned right. We could have continued up this road to the car, but, as we were both a little thirsty, we decided to see if the Torridge Inn was open. It was not, so we continued along Mill Street until we found an alleyway between numbers 84 and 86. This took us up quite a steep path which eventually led back to where we had started from. We returned to the car park and, it still being too early to get a drink from a nearby pub, drove back home.
I would really like to return later in the year to try the full walk around Great Torrington and the Commons, as detailed in the book, and also to visit Torrington 1646. There are lovely views around here and the history is fascinating! If you find yourself in the North Devon area, why not visit Great Torrington and see for yourself?