Dartmoor Way Section 1, Weekend Walk

From Cherry Bird

Over the weekend 9/10 April the club tackled the first two days of the new Dartmoor Way route. Unlike the Two Moors Way, the DW circles the moor rather than going across the middle, taking in villages, woodland, river valleys and moorland to give a flavour of the rich variety of scenery and history Dartmoor offers. We had amazingly good weather, sunny with a good breeze, which meant most of the winter mud had dried up. Spring flowers and blossom were at their best and the views were fantastic. 

On Saturday we walked from Ashburton to Bovey Tracey (12.25 miles), a fairly challenging but delightful day, of which the highlights were Hay Tor, with it’s double crown and views for miles, and the old granite tramway which was built in 1820 to transport granite down for building and now forms part of the Templer Way walking route. We ended with tea and ice creams at the Home cafe within the picturesque Park estate just outside Bovey Tracey, HQ of the Dartmoor National Park Authority.  Bovey Tracey and Ashbuton are both attractive historic settlements and worth exploring in their own right, if you have the energy!   

Sunday’s route took us from Bovey Tracey to Moretonhampstead (10.5 miles), which was a little less challenging, apart from one major climb, and again very pretty, affording sweeping moorland views and taking us through extensive woodlands and some chocolate box villages featuring beautiful stone and thatch cottages with gorgeous gardens. We particularly appreciated Water, with its ancient mill and North Bovey, which has a traditional village green and excellent pub, the Ring of Bells, where we refreshed ourselves with a selection of hot and cold drinks, available all day. The scene was completed by a traditional cart drawn by two superb shire horses waiting to take customers back to Bovey Castle. We, on the other hand, had to complete our day on foot, across farmland where newborn lambs and calves were grazing, to finish at Moretonhampstead.

Photos by kind permission David Fletcher

%d bloggers like this: