Along the Exe and the Exeter ship canal

Exeter canal at Turf lock

Another day when the weather dictated my walk recently is the subject of this blog.  I’d originally planned to head to the moors but the forecast suggested that might not be worthwhile so I was heading to the South Hams coast.  Fairly close to home I realised that the forecast of less good weather in the west of Devon looked corrected so decided to head east.  It was a while since I had walked the Exeter Ship Canal which runs from the docks at Exeter down to join the River Exe just above Powderham.  The canal was originally built in the 16th century to allow traffic to Exeter that was not so dependent on the tide.  It ceased commercial use in the 1970s but is well used as a leisure resource now.  The above image is taken looking up the canal towards Exeter at Turf lock.

The canal flows into the river Exe at Turf lock.  Both the above images are taken on the Exe looking downstream from around this point.  The remains of the old vessel is just one of many that are along the banks of the river.  The small dinghy is on the jetty at Turf which serves the small passenger ferry across the river here.

I walked on down the path along the edge of the river towards Powderham a small village mostly known for its castle.  As can be seen from the images of this walk the weather was variable.  Looking west here into the woods at Powderham the weather looked threatening.  The bluebells were out but not in such numbers as I saw on the moors recently.   Equally the image of Powderham church is so striking because of the dark clouds and the recent ploughed field.

Waiting for the ferry to cross the river Exe

I decided to head back up to the canal rather than walk further downstream as the path is on the road at this point and for a while longer.  The image above looks over the stretch of water where the canal emerges to join the river Exe at Turf.  The jetty that can be seen is the one shown with the dinghy on earlier in this post.  The cyclists are waiting for the ferry to arrive to cross the river Exe which is quite wide at this point.

Flag Iris on the Exeter Ship canal

Walking back up the canal now there were a number of cyclists, walkers and canoeists among others making the most of the day and the track along the canal.  There were swans nesting along the canal too and, from time to time, flag iris as can be seen above – they added some real colour to a day which was not the brightest.

Exeter Ship canal

I walked on up the canal past the point where the ferry runs across to Topsham.  By this point the river, while still quite wide, has narrowed significantly.  However the weather was not that good over this stretch and although not raining the light was poor.  I turned back and headed for the car via the Exeter marshes which are an RSPB bird reserve.  Back briefly on the canal there was a little more light for the above shot of the canal and then I headed home.