Roundball Wood and Honiton Bottom Nature Reserve
My intention for this post was to visit Honiton Bottom Nature Reserve – which I did. However, lovely as it is, it’s not very big! So my friend suggested a walk and what a cracker it turned out to be. If you are local to Honiton I’m sure you know of Roundball Wood and Roundball Hill, but I didn’t and that’s the whole point of this blog – for me to find great new walks and places to get outdoors and then tell you all about it.
A Short Walk Option
If you don’t want to walk very far and have children then Honiton Bottom Community Nature reserve and Brand Lane play area are great. Lovely chunky play equipment and space to run around as well as being pushchair or wheelchair accessible. The East Devon wildlife team put on events like pond dipping for children to enjoy and we found another organised baby and toddler group enjoying the space. There are places to sit, to enjoy the fresh air and wildlife or even a picnic, knowing you are not too far from civilisation.
The other side of the road is also a flat walk along the River Gissage heading into Honiton Town which would make this short walk a little bit further.
THE WALK TO ROUNDBALL HILL
This is a circular walk lasting about an hour. We started off walking through the nature reserve (away from the main entrance and past the play equipment) and it popped out onto a lane. We headed off to the right (away from the town).
After a minute or two we turned right again onto Roundball Lane and over a little hump bridge (in the top picture). Then off up a hill (not too steep) and there was no traffic which was ideal. At the brow of the hill on the lane we took the little steps on the right and that led us up to Roundball Hill.
WOW! What a View
We were treated to great views looking North over Honiton and East up over the Blackdown Hills and Dunkeswell. It was a bit cloudy (now there’s a surprise!) so the pictures are not too great, but this would be lovely on a clear day. Be warned that from the Spring these fields may have cattle in them so keep your dogs on a lead.
Roundball Wood in Honiton East Devon is a Great Family and Dog Friendly Walk
Here is the view looking back up to the woods just off Battishorn Way. This can be either the start of finish of your walk to Roundball Woods and Roundball Hill.
From the hill we dropped down into Roundball Woods. These are lovely ancient woods. The paths were clearly marked but very muddy, not surprising with all the rain recently. There are some little wooden bridge walkways on the route although they looked pretty slippery as well. You can do a circular walk around the woods and I found this helpful leaflet for you – click here – with more details. If you look on the map in the leaflet, we entered along the blue path by Badger’s Beech and walked round to the viewing platform but I don’t think you will get lost here.
The return back to Honiton Bottom was a steep walk down through the fields.
Overall a really lovely walk and one I will definitely return to. The woods will soon be awash with colour, bluebells, spring flowers and trees in full leaf. It will be really beautiful then. Overall a great walk for anyone who can manage a couple of miles – although if you are not so keen on mud I’d leave it a few weeks! The dogs had fun as well. Please be aware there were styles and steps on this walk.
A massive thank you to my school friend Kathy for showing me the walk – despite living only 10 miles apart we had managed to not see each other for 25 years!
After our walk Kathy and I felt we deserved a nice cuppa. Now we had planned to go into Honiton and I am pleased to say there is a good choice of dog friendly cafes in the town. However the pooches were pretty muddy and may well have not been well received, so we opted for the out of town option of Bartlett’s Farm Shop where we felt we could safely leave the dirty dogs in the car.
The cafe at the farm shop was perfect. Delicious coffee and cake, the scones were freshly baked, a selection of homemade lunches and a few little gifts to browse. There is as the name suggests a shop as well. We didn’t visit on this occasion but it stocks all the usual farm shop food heaven as well as their own meat and sausages, pies etc as well as raw milk, so well worth a visit.
So what are you waiting for – get out and enjoy East Devon at its best!
The walk is on the south side of Honiton. Parking is off road in the residential streets so please park thoughtfully. The postcode is EX14 2FP.
Driving from Axminster turn left at the pink castle house on the edge of the town and follow Waterleat Avenue and Weatherill Road (as if you were going to Tesco). From the other side of town come via Honiton Tesco along Battishorne Way. Look out for Honiton Bottom Road for parking.
You can also extend this walk in towards Honiton town via the area along the River Gissage which is another popular dog walking area and takes you as far as Littletown Road.