Bickleigh is a very attractive location on the middle Exe. Bickleigh Bridge itself dates from the 17th Century, although it was much rebuilt in the 1800s. A popular local story is that it inspired the writing of the Simon and Garfunkel song “Bridge over Troubled Water” when Paul Simon was staying in the area.
Not too far away is Bickleigh Castle. The castle is actually a fortified manor house largely 15th Century in date but with parts possibly dating to the 11th Century.
Near Bickleigh Mill is Devon Railway Centre. This is based in the old station on the Exe Valley railway line, the station confusingly being called Cadeleigh although the village of that name is nearly 2 miles away. The Exe Valley branch opened in 1885 and the station dates from then. It closed as part of the Beeching cuts in 1963.
Bickleigh Mill has a farm shop, pottery and gift shop, together with refreshments and outdoor attractions. It is open every day of the year.
Further along the walk, you’ll come across a junction for Collipriest House. The house can be seen up on the right. Parts are early 18th Century, but the main front is dated 1778 and it has a very Georgian appearance. At various times Collipriest was the home of the Carews and the Blundells, important local families, the latter best known for their connection with the famous school in Tiverton.