Lyme Regis and Uplyme Circular Walks – Exploring Cannington Viaduct
If you enjoy walking then East Devon and West Dorset offer plenty of opportunities from the fabulous Jurassic Coast to stunning countryside rambles.
On a lovely autumn afternoon, a small group of walkers gathered in Uplyme Village Hall car park to explore an area I’ve been meaning to walk for two years. I was prepared with my Ordnance Survey map and rather rusty map reading skills, to lead the group round Cannington Viaduct.
The now disused viaduct formed part of the Lyme Regis branch line, a railway line connecting the seaside town of Lyme Regis with the main line railway network at Axminster. This magnificent engineering structure opened in 1903 and helped bring many new visitors to the town made famous by Mary Anning. Sadly it was closed in the 60s as part of the Beeching Cuts.
Unlike some of the closed lines, the land along much of it has now become farmland and even part of peoples gardens, which means it will never be reestablished as a walking or cycling route.
There are a number of choices of walks around the viaduct including quiet lanes and footpaths. In the winter it may be best to limit the footpaths and this route suggestion includes just two fields to cross.
Walking Suggestion – 2 miles
We parked in Uplyme Village Hall car park. From the village hall find the footpath which takes you across the edge of the cricket pitch in front of the pavilion and into a field opposite. Head up the hill and it meets a lane in the tree line.
Go left down hill along the lane. Once at the crossroads go straight across and after about 50 metres turn right down a lane signposted Shapwick.
Follow this lane as it passes underneath the very impressive Cannington Viaduct.
After passing the Viaduct continue for 100 metres along the the lane. Then turn left just in front of a white house at the footpath sign. Go through the gate and then straight up the field.
Enjoying the View of the Viaduct
Enjoy the view of the viaduct and then follow the footpath along the side of some houses. This brings you out onto Horseman’s Hill which leads onto Cuckoo Lane. For a short walk (2 miles in total) carry on along the lane to meet Whalley Lane which brings you back out into Upylme near the Talbot Arms.
For a longer walk or if the ground is dry look out for a footpath sign on your left about 400 metres along this lane. You can drop back down the hill and join the lane again this way.
Extension to Prescott Pinetum
If you want to walk a bit further or to try this another time the Pinetum is also lovely. You need to find your way back towards the start of this walk again to meet Woodhouse Lane. Head up the hill on Woodhouse Lane from the cross roads and after about 300m you’ll see a footpath marker on your right.
There is a sign almost immediately opposite it on the left for the Woodland Trust. On our walk we carried on along the lane past various houses for approximately 500 metres. The road then turns into a footpath that heads up in to the woods. Follow the path and then double back on yourself though the centre of this small but very pretty woodland and you pop back out at the road again.
I am really pleased with the coat that I have been using this winter. It is a waterproof jacket by Regatta that has very kindly been sent to me by Hawkshead. It’s the perfect combination of being very waterproof, breathable and also slightly padded to provide that extra bit of warmth in the winter without getting too hot. One of the best aspects is the hood which I have discovered does actually stay up in the wind and rain. There’s lots on their website for outdoorsy folk, from walking boots to ski wear.
I’ve had a go at plotting the route. I hope this helps.
More walks to enjoy
If you enjoy this sort of walk then why not take a look at some of the others I have written about. There are lots of Short Walks in Lyme Regis as well as pushchair friendly ones on the blog. I’ve also cover many more in East Devon and West Dorset.
This post contains affiliate links with Hawkshead which means I receive a small commission of you purchase from them using the links provided.