Anstey Gate and Hawkridge from Tarr Steps

This Exmoor walk starts from Tarr Steps, a well-known beauty spot, and then continues through countryside of steep, green fields dotted with small farms. The route crosses West Ansley Common before returning to the start through the village of Hawkridge.

Technical sheet
No. 293064
A Dulverton walk posted on 04/07/16 by Walking Britain. Update : 19/09/16
Calculated time Calculated time: 4h45[?]
Distance Distance : 13.16km
Vertical gain Vertical gain : 350m
Vertical drop Vertical drop : 350m
Highest point Highest point : 358m
Lowest point Lowest point : 219m
Average Difficulty : Average
Back to starting point Back to starting point : Yes
Walking Walking
Area Area : Exmoor
Location Location : Dulverton
Starting point Starting point : N 51.07972° / W 3.61157°
Download : -


(D)Exit the car park above Tarr Steps (grid ref. SS872323) and turn left downhill to the Tarr Steps. There is some controversy regarding their date of construction with various theories being proposed. Despite this, the stepping stones remain a popular spot with visitors. Cross the steps and follow the lane for a short distance. Do not take the path on your right running north on the west bank of the River Barle, instead continue a little further to take the next path/bridleway on your right that leads uphill with woodland to your left to reach Parsonage Farm (grid ref. SS857320). Continue through the farm, following the footpath that veers right leading up to Hill Farm and a road (grid ref. SS845319).

(1)Go left along the road until the junction (Withypool Cross) where you turn sharp right. Turn left down the access track to just before Cloggs Farm where the bridleway goes left, drops down into a side valley and climbs up to a path/bridleway junction (grid ref. SS841310). Turn right here and follow the path down into a valley, across a footbridge and an ascent up to Lyshwell where the path keeps to the left of the buildings to join an access track. Follow this access track as it drops down into another valley before climbing up to reach a road at Anstey Gate (grid ref. SS834298) on Brimblecombe Hill.

(2)Turn left along the road across West Anstey Common and continue for almost exactly a mile. At grid ref. SS848292 take the bridleway on the left which descends across the western flank of Anstey Money Common to reach a lane (grid ref. SS857300). Turn left along the lane, cross Dane's Brook and climb out of the valley along Slade Lane. The lane bear right and then turns sharp left - at this point (grid ref. SS855303), take the footpath on the right which leads across a field to West Hollowcombe.

(3)Continue straight ahead here, and passing East Hollowcombe, walk along the lane into the centre of Hawkridge. At the road junction bear left to take the first footpath on the right (grid ref. SS859307). This leads across fields with the Barle Valley below to your right. Reaching a tarmac lane that leads to Parsonage Farm (grid ref. SS856317), turn right and follow the bridleway that drops quite steeply down to a lane beside the River Barle at Penny Bridge (grid ref SS859316). Turn left along this lane and you will return to the Tarr Steps. All that remains is to retrace your steps (uphill) to the car park.(A)

Waypoints :
D/A : km 0 - alt. 259m - Tarr Steps car park
1 : km 2.91 - alt. 358m - Turn left along road
2 : km 6.37 - alt. 355m - Turn left along road
3 : km 9.45 - alt. 277m - Take footpath on right
D/A : km 13.16 - alt. 259m - Tarr Steps car park

Useful Information

This circular Exmoor walk starts from the car park above Tarr Steps (grid ref. SS872323) and includes a landscape of rolling steep sided hills dotted with small farms but doesn't include any moorland as one might expect from this National Park. The route uses a mixture of paths, bridleways and quiet country lanes and navigation is generally easy. Do be prepared for some sections of ascent as the landscape is crossed by some deep valleys. Refreshments are available close to the Tarr Steps.

Visorando and this author cannot be held responsible in the case of accidents or problems occuring on this walk.

Opinions and comments


Global average : 4.33/5
Number of opinions : 1
Description quality : 5/5
Routemap quality : 4/5
Walk interest : 4/5

on Thu 13 Feb 2020 20:33:05 CET

Global average : 4.33 / 5

Date of walk : 08/02/20
Description quality : Very good
Routemap quality : Good
Walk interest : Good

This is an excellent walk. Took a group of us exactly 4 hours including brief stops at the Tarr Steps and on top of Anstey Common for sandwiches.

One point though: the highlighted path shown on the walk map and the OS map that goes NE from the long stone across Anstey Money Common down to the brook no longer exists.There are a lot of paths that contour round Anstey Money Common to the road or else one can just walk across the common over the tussocky grass creating ones own route and then follow the brook to the bridge.

It is worth noting that a lot of paths on top of Exmoor no longer remain in their original places. Don't rely on the OS maps to be right at all times.

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The GPS track and description are the property of the author.