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The River Otter & the Heart of Devon’s AONB - A view from our expert author


Ottery St. Mary Church, Ottery St. Mary, East Devon UK Tony Howell, Heart of Devon ImagesOttery St Mary Church © Tony Howell, Heart of Devon Images 

Over 60% of East Devon has been designated an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB).

The rivers which run down to those holiday resorts have, for centuries, been an obstacle to the passage of vehicles along the ancient road from Exeter to Axmouth and beyond, now the A3052. Poppleford, or pebble ford, gives the clue that this village marked the ford across the River Otter, and Sidford crossed the smaller so less challenging Sid. Traffic now passes smoothly over the bridges and the rivers are the focus for recreational walking, with the Otter standing out as having the best riverside walks. Over 60% of East Devon has been designated an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB). This includes not only the Jurassic Coast but the heathland and gentle hills enfolding small villages which lie inland. Meandering through this region is the East Devon Way (EDW), whilst the River Otter bisects it north to south and the A3052 runs east to west, providing access to the seaside towns and villages.

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