Walk in the footsteps of Tom Pearse

Walking trail

A short circular riverside walk along Belstone Cleave taking in the leat that powers Finch Foundry and following the River Taw, one of the few northerly flowing rivers in Devon. Look out for salmon, trout and other local wildlife.

Stone sign post for Lady Well, Sticklepath, Devon


Map route for walk in the footsteps of Tom Pearse


Opposite tea-room, Finch Foundry, between two banks - grid ref SX641940


Walk down the narrow path between the hedges and go through the gate - to your left you will see the Quaker burial ground and Tom Pearse's summerhouse beyond. Carry on down the path through Billy Green.


When you reach the bank of the River Taw turn right and follow the river to the footbridge. Cross the bridge and at the signpost turn right towards 'Two museums walk via Belstone'. Continue up the hill, go through the five-bar gate and bear right, signposted Skaigh Woods and Skaigh. You might be lucky enough to see or hear woodpeckers in these woods.


Follow the path to the river, until you see the sluice gate to the leat on the far side of the river, which takes the water down to Finch Foundry. Continue up the path and go through the small five-bar gate. Here you can either follow the higher path or branch right to the lower riverside walk.

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Meander along the path until the two paths meet up again, then continue until you come to the Tarka Bridge (of Tarka the Otter fame), which forms part of the Tarka Trail.

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Cross the bridge and bear to the left. Almost immediately bear right and about 100 paces from the river you will get to a T junction. Turn right onto a wide track and continue to a road and again turn right. Follow the road across the cattle grid and continue towards Sticklepath.


Just before a T junction, you will see a standing stone and a sign post on your left 'Public bridlepath to Tongue End and Skaigh'. These mark the original Staeclepath (the route from Exeter West) and take you up to the White Rock where John Wesley preached to the people of Sticklepath in the early 19th century. Turn right at the junction and after a few steps you will see the original Ladywell on your left.

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Continue along the road into Sticklepath, past the Church of St Mary on your right and back to Finch Foundry and the Roundhouse Tea-Room for light refreshments.


Opposite tea-room, Finch Foundry, between two banks - grid ref SX641940

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Walk in the footsteps of Tom Pearse


An undulating riverside walk. River bank and paths can be slippery. Please note dogs should be kept under close control, as you may come across livestock or horse riders on this walk.

Walk in the footsteps of Tom Pearse

Contact us

Walk in the footsteps of Tom Pearse

How to get here

Finch Foundry, Sticklepath, Okehampton, EX20 2NW
By road

Four miles (6.4km) east of Okehampton, park at the rear of Finch Foundry in the centre of Sticklepath village.

By bus

Services from Exeter and Okehampton - First X9, Stagecoach X30, GW Greyhound 510.

By bicycle

The Tarka Trail and West Devon Way are close at hand.

Walk in the footsteps of Tom Pearse

Facilities and access

  • Parking
  • Shop
  • Tea-room
  • Toilets