Walking Ethy Woods

Well it was a wet and muddy walk but I’m beginning to think all my walks are wet and muddy, plus I forgot my inhaler, so wheezy to boot. Anyway we parked up in Lerryn, a lovely village with a great community spirit and prepared to cross on the stepping stones but the tide was coming in so fast that by the time we were ready to cross it was already too late. So, up and over the bridge we went. Two lanes later and we were in Ethy Woods and the dogs were off their leads and running.

Ethy Woods are a wonderful National Trust reserve and fabulous for dogs so off they went.  Being a Saturday between Christmas and New Year the woods were busier than normal with family groups; children delighting in the mud, teenagers blinking and smiling in the daylight, grandparents looking on indulgently, parents relaxing. And dogs running everywhere.  The path runs along the river sheltered by trees. It is well laid out and impossible to get lost on.  We walked past the families and headed on towards St Winnow.  The tide had caught us out as we got to St Winnow. Just a hundred yards ahead of the church the river had filled up the beach and we were left wallowing through the shallows. I couldn’t see an alternative so I’ll have to put a warning in the book for this one. “Path may require snorkel.”

Leaving St Winnow it was all uphill and across fields, each new field muddier than the last until it just got silly.  The dogs were unimpressed being on leads but whilst we couldn’t see any livestock there was plenty of evidence of their presence. Finally, following a steep and slippy field down to St Winnow Mill we headed into the woods, uphill once more. Ugh.  Teach me to forget my inhaler.

Anyway we finally got to the top and headed down through the pasture in front of Ethy House, missed the correct path and wander a bit closer to the house than we should have and had to jump a hedge. Like I said. “Getting lost so you don’t have to.  Sad to see so many felled trees in the park.  There must have been at least seven large broken trees. The owners must be devastated, I wonder if it was a storm or disease, or just really rotten timing?

Finally we made it back to the village to discover the end of the annual Seagull race, looks like it had been great fun.  Lots of people laughing and joshing with each other. The seagull in question was some sort of outboard motor that was used to propel the ark. There were three categories, over 12ft, under 12ft and kayak style. No one knew who had won at the time.

And as we got in the car the heavens opened.  A pretty excellent walk all told.