Stage 5 Devon's Coast-to-Coast : YHA Dartmoor Bellever to Drewsteignton

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

This stage is the last part of the Two Moors Way in Dartmoor National Park. First, it retraces steps back to Bennet's Cross to join the trail and then avoids the high ground to the west by heading for the Teign Valley. There are a mix of landscapes and a real high point at Hunter's Tor near Castle Drogo.

Technical sheet
No. 3132254
A Dartmoor Forest walk posted on 07/04/20 by El Sud. Update : 16/04/20
Calculated time Calculated time: 7h50[?]
Distance Distance : 23.63km
Vertical gain Vertical gain : 380m
Vertical drop Vertical drop : 490m
Highest point Highest point : 445m
Lowest point Lowest point : 140m
Average Difficulty : Average
Back to starting point Back to starting point : No
Walking Walking
Area Area : Dartmoor
Location Location : Dartmoor Forest
Starting point Starting point : N 50.580765° / W 3.901672°
Arrival Arrival : N 50.70318° / W 3.791704°
Download : -

Description

(D) Having come down from Bennet's Cross the day before, it should be no problem retracing our steps from YHA Dartmoor, out of Bellever and across the bridge. Take the path off to the left to go through Dury farm and on to Piswell farm. From there, use the track, road and farm track to reach Soussons farm. Back through the woods, heading north and through the dry stone wall near Golden Dagger Tin Mine. Over the stream, past Vitifer Mine Leat and on to reach the B 3212 at Bennet's Cross.

(1) The earliest recorded reference to Bennet's Cross is in 1702, but it was probably erected long before this date. It has the letters ‘W B’ carved into the west-north-west face, which stand for ‘Warren Bounds’, to mark the limit of the Headland Warren boundary. In its day, this warren was fully occupied in supplying rabbit meat to the tin miners of Vitifer Mines. The route crosses the road and head west for a while across the open moorland. The path bends to the right, following the land heading down from Water Hill across Chagford Common (look out for the line of standing stones heading down to Fernworthy Reservoir). Keep slowly dropping down, heading north to the edge of fields and a tarmacked track. Bear right along the track then turn left at a crossroads, after a cattle grid, to enter the hamlet of Yardworthy.

(2) Head north out of Yardworthy to cross the footbridge over the South Teign River and reach Teignworthy. Turn left and then right to cross the road at Great Frenchbeer. The path weaves through a series of fields and woods to eventually come out in Teigncombe. Turn right to follow the road east to a fork in the road (look out for the footpath sign on the left, in the hedge). Bear left along the minor road heading north east, past North Hill and down to Leigh Bridge. Follow this road all the way past farms and Holystreet Manor to eventually reach a crossroads. Go straight ahead along Mill St. if you want to go to Chagford (to see the octagonal Market House locally called the Pepperpot, the 13th century church of St Michael the Archangel and the pubs and shops). Otherwise, turn left, over the River Teign, to cross Chagford Bridge.

(3) Almost immediately after crossing the bridge, turn right through a wooden gate and follow a path on the north side of the river. At a track leading to Rushford Mill Farm, turn left up to the farm past the open-air swimming pool, then take the path at a ford to continue alongside the river. Go past a weir near Rushford Barton and over footbridges to reach the A 382 at Dogmarsh Bridge. Cross the road and continue on the path next to the river until you reach Coombe footbridge. Don't cross the bridge (unless you go over and come back again) but turn left towards Coombe farm, following the path along the dry stone wall at the bottom of the hill. Before reaching the road, the path doubles back to the right to climb the hill up to Hunter's Tor.

(4) Having enjoyed the views and landscape around Hunter's Tor, head off along the ridge to the north east. Over to the left is Castle Drogo, hidden behind the trees and the rest of the hill. Stay on the high path along to Sharp Tor, above the River Teign, then turn left away from the river. Head north across Piddledown Common, across a stream by the woods and up to a road. Turn right along the road to head into Drewsteignton.(A)

Waypoints :
D : km 0 - alt. 326m - YHA Dartmoor Bellever
1 : km 6.87 - alt. 433m - Bennet's Cross
2 : km 11.26 - alt. 310m - Yardworthy
3 : km 16.41 - alt. 151m - Chagford Bridge
4 : km 21.19 - alt. 195m - Hunter's Tor
A : km 23.63 - alt. 209m - Drewsteignton

Useful Information

Apart from Chagford, there are no large villages along the route but there are plenty of nice places to stop and rest. Water is readily available in the latter part of the walk but save yourself for a pint in The Drew Arms, a famous old pub with some good ales. There are a number of stretches along country lanes, so be careful and always walk on the right, facing the oncoming traffic. Comfortable boots are of prime importance and waterproofs to keep dry and warm if the weather isn't too kind.

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

Going back along the same route, to get to Bennet's Cross might sound boring but the early morning light and birdsong gives this part of the route a new sheen. On the tops, there are indications of early settlements and pathways, as well as the small hamlets and villages. Chagford is worth a visit if you have time. Castle Drogo is also worth a look if you like country houses and parks. 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.