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 in West Down 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 07866 804788

 2019 Spring/ Summer Walks

March 14th       Hunter’s Inn to Woody Bay – this is our old favourite for the start of the season.  5 miles along the coastal path and returning by the old   carriageway – Lunch at The Hunter’s Inn

March 28th     Lynmouth, Watersmeet and Countisbury – From Lynmouth we follow the wooded gorge of the River Lynn before climbing up towards Countisbury eventually  joining the coastal path for the return route. 5 miles with a steep climb.  Lunch at The Rising Sun, Lynmouth.

April 11th         Combe Martin and Hangman Hill – this 5 mile walk starts with a long ascent but the views are worth it and there are benches that offer respite if needed. Lunch at The Globe, Berrynarbour

April 25th         Whitfield Down and the Tarka Trail – a 5.3/4 mile walk through undulating terrain with some breathtaking inland views and snippets of history along the way. Lunch at The Poltimore Arms

May 9th         Trentishoe Downs and Heddons Mouth Cleave – this 6.3/4 mile walk crosses the Trentishoe Down and follows the spectacular coast before descending into the Heddon Valley. Lunch at The Hunters Inn

May 23rd         Ilfracombe, Lee Bay and Borough Valley – starting from Slade the route takes us to the coastal path to Lee and up through the Borough Valley eventually joining the Tarka trail for the return journey to Slade. 6 miles in all.  Lunch at Weatherspoons, Ilfracombe

June 13th        Arlington and Luxhore  – explores wooded valleys, parkland and the Yeo Valley and takes us through the hamlet of Loxhore.                           Lunch at The Pyne Arms, East Down

June 27th         Buttercombe Barton, Buttercombe Woods, Spreacombe Bridge and West Down – A local walk of about 5 miles.                               Lunch at The Crown, West Down

July 11th          Lorna Doone Country – 8 mile of moorland and woodland tracks starting at Malmsmead and heading up through the valley of Badgeworthy Water and returning over open moorland.  Lunch at the Staghunters Hotel

July 25th         Berrynarbour and Widemouth Head – A climb out of the Sterridge Valley and a gentle decent into Hele followed by one of the least strenuous stretches of the coastal path back to Barrynarbour. A total of 7 miles.  Lunch at the Sawmills Berrnarbour

August 8th       Exford and Room Hill –  A 6 mile walk starting from Exford the route follows the Exe valley to the south of the village before climbing Road Hill and Room Hill then descending to cross the river at Nethercote and returning by the banks of the Exe.  Lunch at the White Horse Inn Exford

August 22nd    Brendon – A circular walk of 4.5 miles heading eastwards towards Malmsmead and back along the East Lynn Valley.  Lunch at the Beggars Roost

Sept 12th         Withypool and Tarr Steps – 8 miles along one of the finest walks in Exmoor including some of the loveliest stretches of riverside walking in the country.  Lunch at the Royal Oak Inn

Sept 26th        Parracombe and Challacombe Common – an 8 mile walk across the high open country near the western fringes of the old wild Exmoor.  Lunch at the Black Venus

Oct 10th          Bampton and Morebath – just under 6 miles via fields and green lanes to the little hamlet of Morepath, starting from Bampton.                    Lunch at the Swan, Bampton

Oct 24th          Winsford Hill – a 7 mile walk from the prettiest village in Exmoor to the summit of the hill 1400ft and a descent along the ridge of the Punchbowl. Lunch at the Royal Oak Hotel, Winsford

Nov 14th         Croyde and Georgeham – 7.5 miles through a variety of scenery from surf washed sands and rocky cliffs to flower stren paths (perhaps not in November) and green fields.  Lunch at the Thatch, Croyde

Nov 28th       Great Torrington and Furzbeam Hill – a 6 mile ramble around what was known as the English Jerusalem.  Lunch at the Black Horse Inn, Torrington


Further walks being planned to take us through to the latter half of 2019.

Current Walking Club Contacts

Ashley Daly                             01271 814988     

Chris Dee                                 01271 870130     

David Maidment                   07840904304    

Eric Philipson                         01271 865480     

Ian Rothwell                            01271 871018     

Paul Robbins                           01271 865712     

Roger Parry                              01271 855678    

Tony Stafford                          07866 804788   



Photos from past memorable walks

Greater Hangman and Combe Martin


Great day for walking up the Greater Hangman which is the highest point on the South West Coastal Path at 1043ft above sea level with cliff face of 800ft which is the highest in England. Its a fair old slog to get up there but worth the effort with the spectacular views on hand.




Too early in the season to encounter Countisbury Hill so a leisurely walk from Lynmouth to Ash Bridge was well received on a sunny (but cool) day









Hunters Inn to Woody Bay



After some wet weather the waterfall at Woody Bay was in full flow











Dunkery Beacon



A great walk today – if great means that tortuous final climb up from Horner Water!!

As I said to my Aussie friends ……. UK  6 ….. Australia 0








Chittlehampton, Pitt Wood and Umberleigh



…..into the fairy woods.








Monkleigh, Tarka Trail and Frithelstock





Clifton – East Down – Bugford


North Pole….here we come




David Pepper tying Eric up in knots in the Pyne Arms






Pop-Up Walk – Lee


… and guess who’s Compo !!!







Hawkridge and Anstey Common

“One boot Eric – muddied and bloodied” – “Roger, Eric, Ian and Chris … the long hard road”










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