Stage 4 Devon's Coast-to-Coast : Holne to YHA Dartmoor Bellever

This walk is part of the trek Devon's Coast-to-Coast : Plymouth to Wembury and on to Lynmouth.

This stage has a sting in the tail as an option for all those YHA lovers. The Two Moors Way goes about 5 miles east of YHA Dartmoor at Bellever but that shouldn't stop you from staying there. The extra few miles at the end of this stage and the journey back to the Two Moors Way at the beginning of the next stage are in no way laborious, rather a bonus.

Technical sheet
No. 3132242
A Holne walk posted on 07/04/20 by El Sud. Update : 16/04/20
Calculated time Calculated time: 8h50[?]
Distance Distance : 24.72km
Vertical gain Vertical gain : 617m
Vertical drop Vertical drop : 482m
Highest point Highest point : 527m
Lowest point Lowest point : 95m
Average Difficulty : Average
Back to starting point Back to starting point : No
Walking Walking
Area Area : Dartmoor
Location Location : Holne
Starting point Starting point : N 50.511233° / W 3.826034°
Arrival Arrival : N 50.580553° / W 3.901445°
Download : -


(D) Having enjoyed the excellent hospitality of the good folk in Holne, the route heads north again. With your back to The Church House Inn, go up the lane almost opposite and a little to the right. The leafy lane comes out at a T-junction at Butts, where you should turn left, indicated to Hexworthy. After about 10m turn right and through a wooden gate along a path that heads over the fields to the woods that hide the River Dart. Once in the woods follow the river northwards to New Bridge, accessing the road via a wooden gate and footbridge. Cross the bridge over the River Dart and turn right through a metal gate and along a path by the other side of the river (ignore the Newbridge Marsh car park). Stay with the river, ignoring the road, to reach Deeper Marsh, where you might find people sitting on the grass or paddling in the river. Keep along the river until you meet the small road to Spitchwick Lower Lodge at a sign indicating "No Camping". The route cuts back left diagonally on the other side of the small road and heads through the wood to Newbridge Hill (road). Go straight across the road and up through the ferns to Aish Tor.

(1) The track that skirts around Aish Tor and continues in a northwesterly direction is Dr. Blackall's Drive (created for his wife). There are great views over the River Dart and the Dart Valley Nature Reserve. At Mel Tor the route heads north through fields, with Bel Tor up to the right, to come out at Bel Tor Corner car park. Go straight across the road, along a path that goes past Primm Cottage to Lock's Gate Cross. Here, bear right down the hill, past a blue and white sign indicating the width of Ponsworthy Bridge. At the junction at Forder Bridge, turn sharp left to go through a wooden gate at the side of a farm building. The bridge at Ponsworthy isn't worth a detour. The hamlet boasts a telephone box and a clutter of pretty cottages but nothing to distract us from the route. So, through the gate and along the West Webburn River heading north. The path comes out at Mill House where you should turn right to go into the hamlet of Jordan.

(2) From Jordan, head up the lane away from the river past Drywell farm to the crossroads. The ancient cross on the other side of the road is an old Waymarker showing the way from outlying farms and hamlets to Widecombe Church. Head straight across and on to Dockwell farm and up to the crossroads near Dunstone Down. Here you have a choice, either to head down to the village Widecombe in the Moor, with a couple of cafés and The Old Inn or take the road opposite for a few meters than a path leading off to the left to head straight up to the cairn at Hameldown Beacon. The low route might be an option in bad weather and follow the country lanes all the way to Yardworthy (on the next stage). The high route follows the cairns along with the top past Two Barrows, Single Barrow, Broad Barrow, Hamel Down Cross to finally reach Hameldown Tor.

(3) After enjoying the views and maybe some food and drink, walk down the other side of Hameldown Tor to the prehistoric settlement Grimspound. The route now heads up to Hookney Tor and then through a tumbled down a stone wall to turn left and meet up with a tarmacked road. Go straight across, head west over Birch Tor to reach the B 3212 at Bennett's Cross.

(4) This is where decisions have to be made. The proposed route heads back south to Bellever but another alternative is to follow the road south west for about half a mile to The Warren House Inn. There is also the possibility of doing both and enjoying a pint at the pub before continuing to Bellever. Whatever the choice, the paths cross near Vtifer Mine Leat and the route carries on south to enter the woods near a disused tin mine (Golden Dagger). Take care going through the woods at Soussons Down as forest tracks can often be a bit of a maze. Basically keep heading south to come out on the other side at Soussons Farm. Use the farm track to reach the road and turn right towards Ephraim's Pinch where there is a cattle grid. Shortly after, the roads bend to the right but keep straight on along a track that leads to Pizell farm. Take the track on the other side of the farm heading south across the fields to Dury farm and Bellever Bridge. Follow the road over the bridge and into the village of Bellever and the YHA Dartmoor.(A)

Waypoints :
D : km 0 - alt. 183m - Holne
1 : km 4.1 - alt. 266m - Aish Tor
2 : km 9.02 - alt. 264m - Jordan
3 : km 14.87 - alt. 523m - Hameldown Tor
4 : km 17.8 - alt. 433m - Bennett's Cross
A : km 24.72 - alt. 324m - YHA Dartmoor Bellever

Useful Information

There aren't many places to find food and drink apart from The Old Inn at Widecombe in the Moor and The Warren House Inn on the B 3212. Water should be no problem and waterproofs, as always, are strongly recommended. The climbs and descents are not complicated or strenuous but comfortable boots are necessary to get through the long day without blisters.

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

During the walk or to do/see around

This route goes through a number of farms and hamlets. Be careful not to trespass and not to disturb the livestock. A conversation with the local people is always recommended as you pass through, it might add to the interest of the walk and will certainly help keep the locals friendly towards walkers. Enjoy the route and look out for wildlife along the way. Don't rush, just enjoy the journey and make the most of the moment.

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