Dunkeswell, Honiton, Devon

A few miles up the hill from Honiton is Dunkeswell, one of those Devon villages where life goes along quite nicely, the backdrop of the glorious Blackdown Hills a constant reminder of what a lovely little corner of the world this is. There are two parts to the village, which are quite distinct – old Dunkeswell (the prettier part) with old cottages and the church, and new Dunkeswell with more modern houses and the shop.

There are some very good walks from the village, taking you through fields and woods, with some incredible views. But what Dunkeswell is mostly known for is the airfield, which was built as a naval base in WWII and still serves its purpose well; go up there and you can have a flying lesson, a wing walk or do a parachute jump – or if you’re the faint hearted type, watch it all from the windows of the Aviator Coffee Bar and Restaurant.

A couple of miles along the narrow winding lanes is what’s left of Dunkeswell Abbey; the ruins stand beside the church in a tranquil setting of a handful of cottages and open fields. This 13th century Cistercian monastery was a sort of sister church to Forde Abbey over on the borders of Somerset and Dorset; somehow that hallowed ambience remains.

All information correct at the time of writing

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