A little sketch map
Onto the Coast Path
The Winding Path
Back on the Coast Path
We are closing now on Brandy Head, so-called because of the smuggling that used to be carried out here. Though today it is dominated by the derelict building of the WW2 Observation Hut. The Gunnery research range started here in July 1940. The observation hut has a viewing balcony looking seawards and thick blast walls at the rear. The Exeter based Gunnery Research Unit, attached to Number 10 Group RAF, used the hut to observe different aircraft. These included Typhoons, Hurricanes and Spitfires. These would fly seawards from Exeter to test their weapons, aiming at flag targets and steel structures placed out in the bay. Later an armour-plated target was placed in the fields behind the hut. It is said that local Otterton boys would sneak across the fields at night to hide under the hedges and watch the aircraft firing their weapons. Probably not an entirely safe practice!
From this headland, you can see further on, eastwards along the southern coast to Ladram Bay, Sidmouth and the Dorset coast beyond.
At this point, you could do a longer ’round trip’ by walking further on following the footpath inland to Otterton and from there back to the car. However, today we are here to see the sea and are happy to retrace our steps.
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