Oldway Walk

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					Oldway Walk
About the Walk
Oldway Mansion is a stately home built by the Singer family of Paignton. There is no charge to visit the house or gardens, but some of the rooms are in use as civic offices and may not be accessed. There are formal gardens, a pond and some small wooded areas. Much of this walk is accessible with care by pushchair / wheelchair. Some of the paths are rather uneven and prone to muddiness in wet weather. There are cafe facilities which are open to the public. During the summer months some of the recreational facilities may he open. Inside the main building is a small exhibition of Singer family artefacts and a magnificent staircase below a beautifully detailed painted ceiling. There is a public lift and access for wheelchairs / push chairs to the toilet and cafe facilities. If you wish to investigate all of the many paths around the grounds, you should allow approximately one hour for your walk.

Features of this walk
Historic House Squirrels Tea room / toilets at certain times Museum Birds Miniature Maze Formal gardens Easy access by bus Recreational activities at certain times

By Car
Oldway may be accessed via the main entrance which is located in Torquay Road, Paignton. (A3022) Follow the long driveway up towards the house and park in the car park. The car park is often busy during office hours. Check for parking charges, this car park was free at the time of publication. There is a second vehicular entrance from Oldway Road at the side of the property.

By Bus
In addition to the main vehicular entrances - there are pedestrian entrances to Oldway from Torquay Road, Oldway Road and Manor Crescent. For bus services from Brixham or Torquay direction – travel on the number 12 service and ask to alight at “Oldway Mansion”. The car park is situated between the main entrance of Oldway Mansion and the Rotunda – a round red bricked building. The two buildings are joined by a high archway.

1. The walk starts in the car park. Go through the high archway which features a lion's head, noticing the doors leading inside the thick walls on each side. These doors were once part of a service passageway between the two buildings, when the house was home to the Singer family. 2. Follow the wide path ahead of you almost to the exit, passing “Little Oldway” nursing home on your left and bearing sharp left at the end of the path just before it meets the road. Collect your stamp! Continue to follow the path along the side of the nursing home. This long tree lined path is home to some quite tame squirrels! 3. Eventually the path starts to slope down hill, finally opening on to a lawned area dotted with trees and shrubs.* 4. Follow the path along by the high wall on the left, and as you continue along - notice the occasional square holes in the wall (about 10 feet/3metres off the ground). These used to hold the large beams which supported the roof of the orangery once situated here. 5. The path veers to the right and once again descends towards a short flight of stone steps. Go down the steps and turn sharp left.

6. You will now enter a further formal garden with a rockery along the left side. The wire fencing has been erected to prevent access to the man-made cavern which now requires support due to subsidence. In past times a small stream cascaded over the front of the cave entrance. There are steps here leading up to a woodland area, but our walk will continue along the main path on the right, following a route alongside the pond. 7. Continue right around the pond keeping to the path as it ascends via some steps to the small woodland area, where you may spot some more squirrels! 8. Take time to explore the woods and the paths which venture away from the house towards the main road. There are access points to the main road beyond the trees (You may be able to hear the traffic), so be aware of this if you have small children in your party. 9. Oldway Mansion should soon be visible through the trees. Walk toward the mansion and you can enjoy the uninterrupted view of the front of the building. Shortly you will come across an area of formal garden laid out as two miniature mazes. The entrance to the cafe is at the far end of the second maze. 10. Near to the cafe entrance you will notice a flight of wide stone steps leading up to the palisade at the front of the house. Go up the steps and follow the path between the croquet lawns and the building. Notice the ornate statues near the roof of the building. There are two sphinx-like creatures guarding the stone steps in front of the French doors. 11. Continue on this path until you come to a row of lime trees.**

12. Bear right, following the path round to the rear of the building. You will shortly find yourself outside "Little Oldway" and to your right you will see the arch, beyond which is the car park where you started. 13. This is the path from which you originally set out, so follow it back under the arch and into the car-park. *Alternative route for pushchairs / wheel chair users. Follow directions 1, 2 and 3 as above. 4. The path here is rather bumpy in places - but evens out at the bottom of the slope. On arrival at the open grassed area - follow the path to the right of the lawn. Shortly you will pass some stone steps on your left and then you will come across an ornamental garden bordered by rockeries. Continue to the end of the path, alongside the pond. Turn back and retrace your steps past the pond and rockery areas, then alongside the open lawn dotted with shrubs and trees. 5. Rejoin the long tree lined path sloping up hill. A little way up the slope you may notice the path on the right which leads to the croquet lawns. Take time to explore this area if you wish - before rejoining the path again. 6. Pass "Little Olway" nursing home (which should now be on your right), and follow the path round to the right until the high archway comes into view. Continue under the arch and return to the car park.

**Optional route and alternative to number 11.above.(Not suitable for pushchairs / wheelchair users) Turn left and walk along the line of the lime trees. At the end of the path, go down the small set of stone steps and

straight across to a further flight of steps descending to an open doorway in the wall. Turn right and follow the path back to the rear of the mansion where you will find the high stone archway, and the car park where you started.

Collect your stamp! The stamp is hidden in a small wooden box. Pass through the high stone archway at the start of the walk. After approximately 25 metres you will come across a row of wooden bollards beside the trees on the right hand side of the path. Look carefully through the undergrowth until you find some ornamental stone remains. The box is hidden in amongst the ornamental stones! Look out for nettles and tripping hazards such as tree roots. Be aware that people exercise dogs in this area - watch where you are stepping in the undergrowth!
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posted:12/22/2009
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