walks for the idle: walk 3.
cadbury church and castle
Our third Walk For Wimps is off the A3072 road between Tiverton and Crediton. Half of it is virtually level; the second half is a bit steep. Wimps of course don't do gradients, but there are fine views from the top and it is downhill coming back. This walk could also be termed The Walk of the Two Lies, which I will explain.
It was named Cadabiria in 1086AD, or Cada's burgh, a "burgh" being a spring. Cadbury has been part of the Fursdon estate owned by the same family since King Henry III's time (1216-1272).
Footpath to Cadbury
From the road, on the left if coming from Tiverton and on the right if from Crediton, you'll see a sign declaring this. It is a lie. It's a regular road through the village. As wimps, had we known this we might have driven on until finding the parking area just by the sign indicating the castle.
Church of St. Michael
The first picture is the view from the road as you approach, on your right. It's mainly C15th, with C19th restoration. The stained glass window pictured is from the C15th. I've enlarged the section depicting the risen Christ showing his crucifixion wounds.
Shortly after leaving the church you'll come to a park for rescued deer, on the same side of the road. Lots of little herds are visible. They'll stare at you for a few seconds before taking off.
Footpath to Cadbury Castle
You'll see this sign on the left, near the parking area. This is the second of the two lies, and it's a whopper. There is no castle. There's not a sign of one, not even any wooden bits. Still, from the footpath walk you can see some fine views of the Devon countryside.
It is in fact an earthwork, a hilltop fortification from the Iron Age, built for defence. Earthworks were built high so that approaching enemies could be spotted and deterred or attacked. It was later used during the English Civil War by the Roundheads under Thomas Fairfax.
At the Top
829-feet up, you'll see an explanatory map and the outer fortifications. There are stunning views across to Dartmoor. Going through a little gate, you'll see the inner fortifications and distant views of Somerset. The whole walk is 1 mile from the main road, though the latter half might feel longer. A pity Cadbury doesn't have an inn for visitors and its 100 or so residents.