Cornwood circular walk via Dendles Wood, High House Waste, East Rook Gate

Mixed road and moorland walk taking in beautiful ancient oak woodland and high moorland views.

Technical sheet
No. 4557387
A Cornwood walk posted on 14/01/21 by John Oven. Update : 24/05/21
Calculated time Calculated time: 3h45[?]
Distance Distance : 6.18mi
Vertical gain Vertical gain : 1004ft
Vertical drop Vertical drop : 997ft
Highest point Highest point : 1365ft
Lowest point Lowest point : 390ft
Moderate Difficulty : Moderate
Back to starting point Back to starting point : Yes
Walking Walking
Area Area : Dartmoor
Location Location : Cornwood
Starting point Starting point : N 50.420886° / W 3.964196°
Download : -
River Yealm waterfall in Dendle's Wood


(D/A) Starting at Cornwood Village Square walk eastward past Village Store. Continue on the lane to cross Vicarage Bridge.

(1) Take the road on left immediately after the bridge, signposted 'Yeo' to T junction. Turn left crossing another stone bridge. Continue uphill until the road turns to the left.

(2) Instead of turning left, take the permissive path on right to High Hele Farm. Continue on lane past farm to a wooden gate at the entrance to Dendles Wood.

(3) Follow the main path through woods (you can detour onto a circular walk through woods here - see route sign by the gate). Follow the path as it climbs quite steeply. Pass through double wooden gates. Continue on old cart track over open moorland (Dendles Waste) to gate at end of the track.

(4) Pass through the gate and turn left. Follow the wall on left.

(5) At end of the wall turn left to cross High House Waste heading south. At the edge of the moor look for break in the wall with a rocky path leading off the moor to East Rook Gate.

(6) Pass through East Rook Gate and continue on a rocky path until it meets a tarmacked lane (Rook Lane). Continue downhill on the lane (keeping right if in doubt).

(7) At T-junction at bottom of Rook Lane turn right and retrace steps to Cornwood village.(D/A)

Waypoints :
D/A : mi 0 - alt. 410ft - Cornwood Village Square
1 : mi 0.7 - alt. 390ft - Bridge
2 : mi 1.2 - alt. 495ft - Hele Cross
3 : mi 1.7 - alt. 600ft - Broadall Lake
4 : mi 2.92 - alt. 1122ft - Gate
5 : mi 3.92 - alt. 1365ft - Penn Beacon
6 : mi 4.82 - alt. 853ft - East Rook Gate
7 : mi 5.92 - alt. 446ft - Rook Lane
D/A : mi 6.18 - alt. 410ft - Cornwood Village Square

Useful Information

Park in Cornwood in Cornwood Inn Car Perk or Village Car Park behind School

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

Opinions and comments


Global average : 4.33/5
Number of opinions : 1
Description quality : 4/5
Routemap quality : 5/5
Walk interest : 4/5

on Thu 20 May 2021 21:20:02 CEST

Thank you so very much for your reply, John. I am waiting for a reply from Natural England.

The land owner controlling vehicular access to New Waste has restricted the lane from the village of Tor to foot traffic in recent years. It is rumoured that the same person may be throwing his/her weight around about access to Dendle's Wood (pure supposition on my part).

The question is not so much the right to wander about Dendle's Wood itself, as to the right to access it on the track past North Hele Farm from Hele Cross to the south of the Wood. I should be only too delighted if this were to be a dead letter.

Best wishes,


on Thu 20 May 2021 19:48:19 CEST

Hi Mike. When I first walked in Dendles Wood, about 10 years ago, you certainly did need a permit from Natural England - but I assumed more recently, as there are no signs or padlocks restricting access and a route and information sign has been erected at the entrance to the wood, that public access was now permitted. Certainly I've never been challenged on any of the many times that I've walked through the woods in the past 12 months. I could well be wrong however and it can't do any harm to check with Natural England about the current status of the woods!
Best wishes

on Thu 20 May 2021 14:13:51 CEST

Global average : 4.33 / 5

Date of walk : 20/05/21
Description quality : Good
Easiness to follow the route : Very good
Walk interest : Good

I visited Dendle's Wood on 15th May. I like the route you suggest including Penn Beacon.

I have a problem finding out about legal access to the wood. Your route indicates access on a track from Hele Cross past North Hele Farm to a gate at Dendle's Green. Friends inform me that permissive access on this track has now been withdrawn. I have written to natural England for clarification but, as yet, have received no reply.

I should love to complete the attractive hike that you advertise on Visorando, but want to find a source to tell me about legal access. Can you help?

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