Friday, 23 April 2010

Harpford Common

These photos were taken on an Easter Sunday walk on Harpford Common, taking in the woodland on Core Hill and the heathland on Fire Beacon Hill. A day of brilliant sunshine and a chill breeze, contrasts of light and shadow were at their most intense on the floor of the woods where spring foliage will soon prevent the sunlight from reaching. On a day when the coastal towns and villages are likely to be teeming with visitors, lightly frequented and secluded locations like this can be a much better option. From the high heathland there are expansive views to the coast and to the Exe Valley and Dartmoor in the west. The woods are full of mature specimens that shelter the remains of an Iron Age hill fort. To get there, follow the Exeter road through Sidford and, avoiding any temptation to turn left into Waitrose, take the next on the right. After no more than a mile, there’s a small parking area where the tarmac gives way to a muddy track. Follow the track to reach the common or turn right into the woods.

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