4. Mincinglake Valley Park
The lower valley is wooded whilst the upper part comprises meadowland rich in wild flowers, butterflies and other insects. Access is either from Calthorpe Road or from Stoke Hill.
Drakes Meadows, further up Mile Lane, are now open to the public.
The park itself has been created from the old Exeter waste tip and farmland on Stoke Hill. The valley is a mix of woodland and flower-rich meadows. It is a wonderfully relaxing place to stroll and enjoy the abundant wildlife.
Green lanes, footpaths and bridleways can be explored from the valley park, which lead further into the beautiful countryside surrounding Exeter.
History of the park
Several hundred years ago the nuns of the nearby St Katharine's priory built a dam across the Mincinglake stream to create a large lake. This was used to power a water mill that was located near to the existing orchard, at the southern end of the park.
More recently, the park was the city's waste tip. It was capped and landscaped in the late 1970s. This had the effect of filling in the steeply-sided valley of the Mincinglake stream and completely altering the landscape.
Since then the area has become naturalised and is now a mix of wildlife, rich meadows, woodland and pathways.
Getting around the park
Most paths are surfaced, but stout footwear is advisable and some are suitable for pushchair access. Feel free to wander, but do not stray into private fields. There are no toilets or wet weather shelters available.
- By Bus - Ask for junction of Stoke Hill and Collins Road, or junction of Calthorpe Road and St. Katherine's Road
- By Car - There are two car parks:-
- Stoke Hill, opposite the junction with Collins Road - next to the Community building.
- Calthorpe Road near to the junction with Uplands Drive. (access is off Calthorpe Road)