Saturday, 14 September 2013

Sidmouth green lanes...

In and around Sidmouth there are many hidden 'green lanes', such as this one photographed on 6th September, situated between 'Yardlands' and the back of Sidmouth College. 
Very old and very sunken:

And the same spot two weeks earlier, on 25th August. This is in the middle of suburbia. 
Very green and very overgrown:

Whilst this has not been documented, many have. 
These photos were taken above Sidmouth on 6th June - just above Bickwell:

POH Transcripts - 1851
Sun. Nov. 30. 1851 –At church at All Saints. In the afternoon took a walk via the Bickwell Fields, the steep green lane which I have heard called “The East Indies”: then up over the wild part of Peak Hill where the wortle berries grow (some of which I picked and eat [sic]) and so on westerly across the flat top of the hill till I looked down upon the valley of the Otter. When looking towards the sea, this part of the hill seems to be at least 100 higher than Peak Hill near the cliff. Returned home by the road near the cliff.
East Devon Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty - POH Transcripts - 1851

  1. Immediately after St. John’s School turn right up the narrow Bickwell Lane. As the lane climbs it emerges into open countryside, giving pleasant views over the Bickwell Valley on the left. Bickwell Farm, first recorded in 1260, is especially obvious. Take the third of three tracks leaving the lane on the left, signposted as Higher Greenway Lane.
Sidmouth - Valley, Ridge and Jurassic Coast - Printable Walk - South West Coast Path 

Mill Town Lane has a long history and would have been very busy with traffic between Salcombe and the mill down on the River Sid. Today it's much quieter. 
This was taken on 5th June: 

This was taken on 2nd February:

And this was taken a year ago, on 1st September:

Milltown Lane: 
Ancient track from Salcombe Regis to the old ford at Mill Town, now known as Sid, where the town mill was situated. 
www.sidmouth.gov.uk/PDFs/Community Information/Sidmouth Street Names.pdf 

Lastly, a favourite walk for locals and visitors is on East Hill, above Sidbury. 
It is full of green lanes and wide forest vistas.
These were taken on 26th May:

Walk 34 - Valley to Beacon

Sidbury and Fire Beacon Hill

The East Devon Way runs parallel to the coast and a few miles inland between Exmouth and Lyme Regis.  Part of its route is something of a roller coaster, as it crosses a number of parallel valleys which run north - south to the sea, as well as the ridge lines in between.

This walk is based on the attractive village of Sidbury, in the valley of the River Sid.  It climbs out of the valley, following the East Devon Way in a westerly direction to the ridge overlooking the valley, then follows the ridge to its southern end, the superb viewpoint of Fire Beacon Hill.  From this vantage point the walk leaves the East Devon Way to return back into the Sid Valley and Sidbury, alongside the Iron Age hill fort of Sidbury Castle.
Walk 34 - Valley to Beacon 

There is a lot of information about walks in the Valley:
Sid Vale Association - Rural Footpaths
Devon County Council Where you can walk, ride and cycle in Devon 

Devon is particularly rich in green lanes:
Devon Green Lanes Group
Devon green lane | Flickr - Photo Sharing!
BBC - Domesday Reloaded: A DEVON GREEN LANE. 

This excellent guide was written and published in Devon:
Green Books - Discovering Green Lanes

But it is a national phenomena: 
Green lane (road) - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia 

With a striking book just out from Robert Macfarlane:

Containing beautiful illustrations by Stanley Donwood, Holloway was originally published by Quive-Smith Editions as a limited edition of only 277 copies.

Holloway, Robert Macfarlane, Stanley Donwood, Dan Richards

For Macfarlane also finds that "down in the dusk" of a holloway, "the landscape's past felt excitingly alive and coexistent, as if history had pleated back on itself, bringing discontinuous moments into contact".

Holloway by Robert Macfarlane, Stanley Donwood, Dan Richards – review | Books | The Guardian
Making a book from a lump of lead | Books | The Guardian

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