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Perfect Boxing Day Walks near the Tamar Valley

by Naomi Pike

We all know that after Christmas, we all may be feeling a little sloth-like and the perfect thing to counteract all the indulgence is a Boxing day stroll in the fresh air with loved ones..

we’ve come up with our favorite list of boxing day walks

The rolling hillside and riverside trails of the Tamar Valley Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) Might just be the answer! In this area on the border between Devon and Cornwall, the rich diversity of wild moorland and rugged coastline is threaded with footpaths and walks which make the most of the stunning views.

1. Dartmoor walk – Birch Tor

Our first stop is on Dartmoor – This easy stroll along a fairly even path takes you to Birch Tor for some spectacular views, just over one mile easy walking. The walk starts at the back of the car park, off the B3212 at SX 682819. There is a narrow track linking to a wider one. This will lead you to the top of the hill, follow the path up to the large pile of rocks and follow along the top to Birch Tor.

After taking in the views you can then retrace your steps back to your car, and if you’re feeling inclined make a brief visit to Warren House Inn for a Boxing day tipple of choice, make mine an Otter Amber!

2. Calstock to Cotehele

This is a perfect walk for Boxing day, with stunning views over the river from all perspectives. In a sheltered part of the Tamar Valley, it’s a leisurely and picturesque stroll no matter the weather.

You can also stop and take in the splendor of Cotehele House and it’s National trust gardens, usually featuring it’s grand festive Floral Garland that ordains the Main hall.

The walk passes through Cotehele gardens and then circles the Danescombe valley on the way to Calstock Church. From here, the route joins the Tamar Discovery Trail, passing Okel Tor mine on its way to Calstock.

The return route is along the River Tamar via Lower Kelly and Cotehele’s chapel. Why not stop halfway at Calstock for a drink alfresco at one of the riverside inns!

3. Lerryn – St Winnow

This is a good walk and follows a byway from Lerryn along the former quays of the Lerryn River into Ethy Woods. The route then follows paths through the woods along the edge of the River Lerryn and up the River Fowey to St Winnow.

The walk passes through the churchyard and then follows footpaths across the fields to Ethy Mill where the walk re-enters the woods to reach the parkland surrounding Ethy House. The final section traverses the former grounds of the house to reach Lerryn!

Why not pack a flask and some leftover Turkey sandwiches and stop along the way to take in the River views!

4. Take in the views from Kit Hill

Located just a few miles from our Tamar View Holiday Park, this is a firm favorite for dog walkers and for those that just want to take some time to themselves to get some air surrounded by miles of vast panoramic views of the English Countryside. The best part is that you choose how far you wish to walk,

Half way up the hill you will see the turning for Louis tea rooms, you will not find a more charming locals spot for a substantial lunch with amazing value for money, outstanding views and friendly and attentive team!

5. Tamar Trails

There are over 25km of walking trails for you to explore from the Tamar Trails Centre.

These hiking trails will lead you through the woods to breathtaking views of the Tamar valley and a landscape shaped by the area’s mining heritage. Situated between Tavistock and Callington on the Devon Cornwall border, the walking trails are here for everyone to enjoy.

6. Seaton Beach to Downderry

A firm family tradition on Boxing day is the locals meet up at Seaton Beach for Boxing day surfs and wild-swimming events, this year there will be a lot more emphasis on safety and social distancing but the event is still looking to go ahead.

If like me you go a bit cold turkey when it comes to sea swimming in December then you can stick to observing from the shore and enjoy the short walk along the beach to Downderry. The local Inn on the Shore is the perfect spot for a local pint overlooking the sea.