The West Downers Men’s Walking Club

We are a club for reasonably active blokes who enjoy a morning ramble for a few hours followed by a pint or two in an inviting hostelry.

We walk fortnightly during the second and fourth week of each month usually on a Thursday.

Please meet at 09.00 a.m (unless stated otherwise) in the Parish Hall car park where we can share transport.

If you would like to join us and for more information please contact Ian Rothwell on 01271 871018 or Tony Stafford on 01271 871712


Walks for 2017

Jan 26th (Pop Up) – Fullabrook Circular 6 miles – meet at Parish Hall 10.00am – Lunch at the Crown Inn West Down

Feb 16th (Pop up) – Spreacombe Circular 6 miles – meet at Scrumpy Cottage, Buttercombe Barton 10.00am.


March 9th       Hunter’s Inn and Cherryford Hill – our bracing start to the walking year with a 6 mile ramble over high rocky headlands and into ancient hanging oak woods and over Martinhoe common

Lunch at The Hunters Inn

March 23rd      Kingsley, Kipling and a Horizontal Cliff Railway – a 6 mile walk from Westward Ho! past Abbotsham with superb views towards Clovelly

Lunch at The Thatched Inn, Abbotsham

April 13th         Hurlstone and Selworthy Beacon – a 6 mile circular through much of the Holnicote estate (just west of Minehead) on a splendid and outstandingly attractive walk

Lunch at The Royal Oak, Porlock 

April 27th         Berrynarbour and Widmouth Head – 7 miles around this delightful village, climbing out of the Sterridge valley and a lovely return along the coast past Hele

Lunch at The Sawmills Freehouse

May 11th         Brownsham and Clovelly – a return to the lovely coastal views around this popular spot and the bonus of the bluebells flooding the wooded coastal path – 7 miles of heaven!

Lunch at The Bell Inn, Parkham 

May 25th         Dolton and Cherbeer – a fairly gentle 7 mile country walk along quiet lanes past medieval Stafford Barton and Dowland Moor.

Lunch at The Rams Head, Dolton

June 8th          Trentishoe Down and Heddon’s Mouth Cleave – this 7 mile walk crosses lofty Trentishoe Down and follows the spectacular coast before encountering the sessile oak woodlands of the Heddon Valley – POSTPONED TO 17TH AUGUST

Lunch at The Fox and Goose, Parracombe

June 22nd       Iddesleigh and War Horse Valley – a 6 mile ramble through Ruby Country and the local area of author Michael Murpungo

Lunch at The Duke of York

June 29th       Lundy – a leisurely ramble around the island coupled with an excellent birding commentary by our resident ornithologist.  Arrive at Bideford 8.30am (SS Oldenburg dep. Bideford 0930, arr. Bideford 2100)

July 13th         Simonsbath and the River Barle – a delightful walk of just over 7 miles downstream along the river-bank with the return high above the valley giving superb views all the way

Lunch at The Exmoor Forest Hotel

July 27th         Arlington Court and Loxhore – this undulating 7 mile route explores wooded valleys, parkland and the Yeo valley along quiet lanes and hedged tracks

Lunch at the Pyne Arms

August 10th     Wills Neck and Triscombe Combe – a trip to the Quantocks for a 6 mile ramble to see the English landscape at it’s very best (early departure at 08.30)

Lunch at the Blue Ball Inn, Triscombe

August 17th     Trentishoe Down and Heddon’s Mouth Cleave – this 7 mile walk crosses lofty Trentishoe Down and follows the spectacular coast before encountering the sessile oak woodlands of the Heddon Valley

Lunch at Hunters Inn, Heddon Valley

August 24th     Parracombe and Challacombe Commons – an 8 mile walk across the wide, high, open country near the western fringes of the old, wild Exmoor

Lunch at The Fox and Goose Parracombe

Sept 14th        Winsford Hill – a 7 mile walk from the prettiest village in Exmoor to the summit of the hill at 1,400 feet and a descent along the ridge of the Punchbowl.

Lunch at The Royal Oak Hotel, Winsford 

Sept 28th        Little and Great Hangman – a stiff ascent out of Combe Martin on this 5 mile walk is rewarded by the spectacular views from this majestic rocky coastline.

Lunch at the Pack o’Cards Inn

Oct 12th          Roadford Lake and Germansweek – the lake is the largest area of inland water in the south-west and this 5 mile walk explores it’s remote hinterland.

Lunch at the Pint and Post, St Giles on the Heath

Oct 26th          Hawkridge and Anstey Common – a 6 mile gallop with a couple of steep climbs on the heights of Exmoor – the views are superb

Lunch at The London Inn, Molland

Nov 9th           The Foreland and Countisbury Common – nearly 7 miles of the finest coastal scenery in North Devon before climbing the extremely steep Old Burrow Hill to whet the appetite for

Lunch at The Blue Ball Inn, Countisbury

Nov 23rd         Dulverton – sparkling rivers, lovely woodlands, open moorlands and memorable views – a short 4 mile ramble as an appetiser for

Lunch at Woods Restaurant and Barx


Any suggestions for 2018 greatly appreciated


Photos from past memorable walks

Winford Hill

Paul, being an old Briton, holds the Caractacus Stone on the top of Winsford Hill whilst we munch our flapjacks.












Wills Neck and Triscombe Combe

Blue skies made for a spectacular walk on the Quantocks. These Hill ponies were very friendly…possibly because Eric had some tasty morsels to share with them!!



Arlington Court and Loxhore

Roger was torn between his jug of gravy and a pint of Exmoor at the Pyne Arms, East Down….the pint didn’t stand a chance!!









Many thanks to Chris and Mandy for arranging a great day at Lundy….their enthusiasm and guided tours made up for some rather drab cold weather…and we all got to see the Puffins!!!



















Dolton and Cherbeer

Lovely day for a walk … and a special occasion as Eric had TWO pints!!












Hurlstone and Selworthy Beacon

Passing some Exmoor ponies near Selworthy Beacon







Hunters Inn and Cherryford Hill via Woody Bay and Martinhoe Common

Another great walk on a very sunny day. The waterfall at Woody Bay was in full flow due to some pretty poor weather in the days leading up to the walk.








Woolacombe to Putsborough returning via Woolacombe Down

Ian and Eric striding out
















Baggy Point and Saunton Down

……… “smilers” !!       






eggesford-1 eggesford-2


Chumleigh and Eggesford Forest

Club members considering whether this mode of transport will get them to the pub sooner…the only problem is the Red Lion doesn’t have a landing pad!!







Dunster Park and Withycombe Hill

Another lovely walk and the Somerset weather didn’t disappoint.

Dunster Castle in the background











Bampton and Morpeth

And our intrepid leader Tony quotes……”Chaps – lovely walk – thank you for the support, criticism, banter and beer!!”













River Barle


Withypool and Tarr Steps

Happy walkers by the River Barle







Woody Bay





Hunters Inn and Woody Bay 

Best of the year so far!! – first walk of the season – after some very poor weather we struck a piece of gold in the sky….this was Devon at it’s best!!






Slade and Borough Valley Walk

“…..walking is Man’s best medicine…..”









Sheepwash Walk – A good 6 mile walk around the village of Sheepwash with David contemplating his next house move!













Lee Abbey


Valley of the Rocks Walk –  Fabulous weather today for our walk along the Valley of the Rocks – here above Lee Abbey.















Exford and Room Hill Walk – Lyncombe HillFlapjack time for Smiler, Truly and Foggy on a lovely Friday morning. Special thanks to Compo for his fine photographic skills.











Lundya lunch break by Gannets’ Rock during a great trip to Lundy Island last Thursday









buck mills


Buck Mills Eric looking a little sweaty half way through our circular walk from Parkham via Buck’s Mills









Dave Wellings


DaveWellings – Dave persuading Eric to have a dip













SkinnyDip – Eric and Dave getting very cold













DunkeryBeacon – Mike Lehan (from Australia), Eric, Tony and Ian reaching the heights on a beautiful September day












CountisburyHill – a beautiful 8 mile walk ending on the Coast path looking towards Lynton













Slim v Tubby – David and Tony sporting their physiques!!













Coddenhill – David, Ian and Eric munching Pippa Stafford’s fantastic flapjacks on Codden Hill