The Otter in August

A few miles east of my beloved Exe, lies the river Otter, in an area of outstanding natural beauty and an important resting place for migratory birds. The estuary is at Budleigh Salterton, another favourite place and the start of my stroll on the evening of August 3rd. Keeping the cricket field on your left, go through the kissing gate and the path is parallel to the river.

The sea is behind to us on the right just out of this photo.

You can just about make it out beside the red cliff.

The tide is on its way in.

Someone’s been busy!

Wading bird heaven, it’s a pity I’m too hopeless to capture them!

The path ahead.

With plenty of sloes in the hedge.
and a wonderful canopy of oak.

On the left side of the path, a ditch full of life is the boundary between the path and the marshy field.


I’ve always called this White Bridge, I’m not sure if that’s the actual name, but when my children were little it was the turning point of the walk for us. If you cross here, and turn right, back towards the sea, you will reach the south west coast path. I’ve walked a little bit of it there, but it’s a knee killer! Better to keep going, about two miles to the village of Otterton with it’s lovely mill and a nice pub. I remember starting at Budleigh one evening many years ago, walking the two and a half miles and having a nice pub meal. The problem was just because we set off on a sunny evening didn’t mean we’d return on one. We had to walk back in the dark. Beyond White Bridge the path is grass and uneven earth. There are no houses or lights to be seen and every so often a cow or three would loom out of the darkness over the fence. Our return walk was a lot faster than the pootle out!


This time we turned back.



Enjoyed the flora.


Aha, gotcha.


I knew there had to be birds somewhere. Otters have returned to the Otter, I think the dogs could smell them, they got excited a few times. Much as I’d like to see one I’d rather the dogs weren’t with me, if they chased after one they wouldn’t come off too well.


The light was changing quite quickly.


The estuary curves around the end of the pebble beach, beneath the red sandstone cliffs.


It’s nice when walks are circular, but here I like having the outwards and inward views of beautiful Devon. This is a walk I never tire of. all year round.
I’m sharing this with Jo but I think I’ve probably missed the boat, heyho never mind, there’s always another Monday. Happy walking wherever you are.


15 thoughts on “The Otter in August

  1. What a lovely stroll on Monday morning. I always enjoy encounters with ghostly walks past. Strange how night increases one’s capacity for speed – I remember a freezing night in Glen Innes, and a steamy night in Cairns when I overshot my bus stop by a couple of kilometres. I also love your love of your river and landscape: you give a lovely sense of what it’s like. Those shots of light on sandstone cliffs are simply superb.

    Someone I share my Kindle with has been downloading very tempting samples: one, Olivia Laing’s “To the river: a journey beneath the surface” reminded me of you – her river was the Ouse.

  2. What a lovely evening stroll Gilly, I like it when the route is flat. Love the penultimate shot, such lovely golden light. My kind of walk and thank for taking me along the Otter. You may recognise a bench on my final post 🙂

  3. Heyho to this lovely post – so delightful – that is the word that comes to mi d – and you know – the white bridge reflection reminded me of places my kids and I whet when they were younger – thx for a walk along Otter ❤️

  4. I remember my surprise the first time I realised Budleigh Salterton was a real place! I used to think it was a made-up name for Giles Wemmbly Hogg on Radio 4. Now I know it’s not only real, but beautiful.

  5. What a magnificent place to walk. I can smell the sea from her, Gilly.
    To my eye, these photos look like paintings. Imagine that! You have a wonderful eye for photography.
    Merry Christmas to you and yours. 🙂 ❤

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