A walk from a very different location to their usual stomping ground was enjoyed by members of Okehampton Rambling Club last Sunday.

They group of 17 left behind the rugged, windswept moors for an easy mostly low-level walk on the Taw and Torridge estuary.

Beginning in Northam they joined the South West Coast Path at Pebble Ridge and followed the long-distance trail right around the country park, around the Skern and into the pretty coastal village of Appledore. Passing behind the Harland and Wolff shipyard they continued for a short stretch of the Torridge towards Bideford before heading up inland to return to the start.

The day was muggy and mostly dry with a good breeze blowing. A brief light rain shower fell as they made their way into Appledore, but it didn’t spoil the day out. The country park has been home to The Royal North Devon Golf Club since 1864 and is also home to a rich diversity of plants, birds and other wildlife.

The area has also been common grazing land for centuries. The Skern saltmarsh is an area of mudflats, a fragile and constantly changing wildlife habitat which is an important source of food for over-wintering birds. Appledore is a historic fishing village on the confluence of the Taw and Torridge known for its narrow winding streets and pretty pastel-coloured houses.

There are good views across to the village of Instow and a seasonal ferry crosses the estuary between the two villages.

Appledore Shipyard is the last survivor of a centuries-old tradition of shipbuilding on the north Devon estuary where the Rivers Taw and Torridge meet the Bristol Channel.

Sailors from the village are said to have been among those who fought the Spanish Armada in 1588. The yard dates back to 1855, remaining in family ownership for many years, specialising in tug-boats and fishing trawlers, and making a significant contribution to Britain’s war effort from 1939 to 1945.

Plans have recently been announced by IOS Steamship Group to build the new Scillonian 4 ferry at Appledore Shipyard, currently owned by Harland & Wolff.

After completing the walk, members stopped at Torridge Common en route to Okehampton for ice creams.

As ever, new walkers are always welcome. Meet at the post office in George Street, Okehampton ready to leave at 9.30am. Please be there in plenty of time so that the group can leave promptly. As a core of members will be away on a five-day walking holiday from this coming Sunday, October 8, there is no planned walk, but someone will be at the post as usual to lead a local walk. Where possible, we try to share cars though this cannot be guaranteed. You should be suitably attired for all weather conditions, including sturdy footwear and bring a packed lunch.