Grand Western Canal Country Park, Tiverton, Devon
This gentle waterway winds it’s way through just over 11 miles of glorious mid Devon countryside, passing through the peaceful villages between the market town of Tiverton and the Somerset border. Of course it’s a haven for wildlife, hence it’s country park and local nature reserve status; orchids grow on the embankments in the spring and yellow flag irises grow at the water’s edge; in the summer parts of the towpath are abundant with wild flowers, a big draw for butterflies and bees, whilst other insect life prefers the water and dragonflies and water boatmen can be seen. There are bigger creatures too; if you’re quiet you might spy deer, foxes or badgers, though otters may prove more elusive; at night you can join in one of the ranger led bat walks. You’ll see swans, ducks and moorhens and if you’re very, very lucky, a kingfisher or a snipe; the waterside habitat provides shelter for wagtails and warblers and the hedgerows support a number of native songbirds.
The canal has some tranquil spots for fishing, and the tow paths, being level, are great for walking and cycling, but without a doubt the most relaxing thing to do whilst you’re here is to get a little Wind in the Willows and go boating. At Tiverton Canal Co you can hire day boats, rowing boats and Canadian canoes, or take a leisurely cruise on a horse-drawn barge.
Take a picnic and find a quiet place to sit, or treat yourselves to a cream tea at Duck’s Ditty Floating Café Bar or at the Canal Tea Rooms & Gardens.
All information correct at the time of writing