Teign Valley classic circuit
Teign Valley, Whiddon Farm Workshop, Whiddon Farm, Easton Cross, Chagford, Newton Abbot TQ13 8DGRoute details and mapDownload as a print friendly PDF
Perhaps the most famous walk on Dartmoor. From the imposing bulk of Castle Drogo, last castle to be built in England and following the breathtaking Hunters Path high above the river Teign. The path then descends and crosses the river at Fingle Bridge and returns along the river surrounded by Oak woodland.
Look out for
- Sharp Tor - this outcrop of rock juts out from Hunters Path
- Bus stop
Start: Castle Drogo main car park, Drewsteignton, grid ref SX 725 902
From the car park follow signs for the Teign Valley estate walks back up the drive. Turn right, following signs for Hunters Path which take you down a flight of steps and through a small gate on to Piddledown Common. At the bottom of the steps you join Hunters Path - turn left following signs for Fingle Bridge.
Pass Sharp Tor on your right - pause a moment to enjoy the view. Continue on Hunters Path, following signs for Fingle Bridge.
The view down the gorge towards Fingle Bridge, showing the wonderful heather in flower on the heathland above the woods.
Go through a small gate between granite posts (Hunters Gate), then after 50 metres take the right hand path and go downwards following signs for Fingle Bridge.
At the bottom of the path you join the road to Fingle Bridge - turn right and walk along the road to the bridge (please take care). The meadows are excellent places to picnic and the Fingle Bridge Inn sits adjacent to the bridge (check opening times).
Cross the 13th-century packhorse bridge and turn right, for a less challenging alternative route, avoiding sections of steep steps.
Here you have a choice; either follow Fishermans Path (before you cross the bridge on the right), or cross the bridge to the other side (National Trust car park and public toilets) and immediately turn right, walk through the meadows to the small wooden footbridge at the far end and join the track (sometimes known as Foresters track). Both routes follow the river all the way back through the gorge.
If you followed Fishermans Path you must ascend and descend the base of Sharp Tor. Please take care.
The Hydroelectric plant; if you followed Fishermans Path, this is on the opposite side of the river, if you followed the Foresters track you will walk right past it. If you look up you will see Piddledown Common above you and you might just catch a glimpse of the castle above the trees.
The Deer Park - if you followed Foresters track you will pass through a gate and walk along the lower wall of Whiddon Deer Park, enclosed in around AD1560 to contain a herd of fallow deer.
Drogo Weir; if you followed Fishermans Path you will pass the end of this structure, built in 1928 to serve the hydroelectric plant downstream. When the river is high, this is spectacular.
The Iron Bridge; if you followed Foresters track you need to climb a stone stile over the Deer Park wall and cross the suspension bridge - look downstream as you cross to see Drogo Weir. At the other side of the bridge, you rejoin Fishermans Path.
The River Teign plays host to a fine array of wildlife, not least the fish, especially salmon and brown trout. When the river is in spate (high water) and the fish are running, it is a spectacular sight to see them jumping up the weirs below Drogo and near Fingle bridge in search of their spawning areas. This mostly happens in September and October after heavy rain.
The return - from the end of the suspension bridge turn left and then right, following signs for Castle Drogo and the Two Moors Way. Follow this route until it joins a tarmac drive near Gibb House and Coombe. Follow the drive uphill.
When you reach a wooden gate on the right hand side of the drive between massive beech trees, turn right and go through it following signs for Hunters Path. Continue along Hunters Path, passing below the castle and looking back down the valley you have walked through. When you reach the bottom of a set of steps (the same ones you came down at stage one) climb these and return up the castle drive back to the main car park.
End: Castle Drogo main car park, Drewsteignton, grid ref SX 725 902
- Trail: Walking
- Grade: Moderate
- Distance: 3.5 miles (5.63 kilometers)
- Time: Two to two and a half hours
- OS Map: Explorer 113 (Okehampton); Landranger 191 (Okehampton and North Dartmoor)
Mixed terrain, both flat and uneven, with steep descents and moderate climbs. Some areas may be muddy/slippery underfoot. If you choose to return along Fishermans Path, you will have to negotiate the very steep up/down steps over the base of Sharp Tor.
- How to get here:
On foot: Two Moors Way
By bus: Dartline Service 173 Exeter to Moretonhampstead (passing Exeter Central Station) Monday to Saturday
By road: 5 miles south of A30 Exeter to Okehampton. Take A382 Whiddon Down to Moretonhampstead road and turn off at Sandy Park
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