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Saturday, 8 February 2014

Off the beaten track 1- The Cannington Viaduct SY338916

Ancient Rome? No... Railway Modern..
The Cannington Viaduct strides across this hidden valley with all the  self confidence of Empire; British though, rather than Roman, its monumental arches creating a breathtaking contrast with the soft green valley that surrounds it. 
You really don't have to be an enthusiast to admire this spectacular piece of railway architecture which was constructed in 1902 simply to carry the now-defunct Lyme Regis branch line. 
It was ground-breaking too, as it was one of the first structures to be cast entirely from concrete. Time passed, and like the Roman viaducts before it, so did its raison d'ĂȘtre when the last train rattled over it in 1968. Local folklore tells that it was supposedly sold to a bungee jumping company for 1p, though I've never known it used for that purpose. It is also sadly, a missed opportunity. The path of the old line that ran across it would have made a superb level cycleway between  Axminster and Lyme Regis. Sadly, encroaching gardens have put paid to that.
The best time to see it is early in the morning or in the evening when the golden light make it glow.
Much the nicest way to get there is the short 3.75ml walk detailed below.

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