A circular walk in the east of Dartmoor following roads and paths, including sections of the Two Moors Way. The walk includes a mix of open moorland, footpaths and quiet roads where the farming hinterlands meet the moor. Except for the section north of the road near the Warren House Inn, all the paths are well-trodden and waymarked. There are some steep sections. Apart from the high moors, this walk is fairly sheltered from the prevailing SW winds.
Calculated time is computed with the distance, the height difference, and an average speed of 2.2 mph. For an intermediate walker, this time includes small breaks.
(D/A) Start at one of the car parks north of the Warren House Inn. The car park closest to Bennett's Cross (grid ref. SX 679 815) has the clearest paths up onto the moor. From the southerly car park, you can either walk a short distance NE along the road to pick up a path onto the moor to the left (grid ref SX 676 812), or follow a path parallel to the road to Bennett's Cross.
Follow one of the paths up onto the open moor to the west and join the route of the Two Moors Way.
(1) Follow the path as it heads north, past a standing stone and along the ridge to the road. Follow the road to the right.
(2) Turn left onto a lane, following the route of the Two Moors Way and turn right into the fields at Yardworthy.
(3) When you pass through the gate into a field that drops down to the river, take the path to the left and cross the river at the footbridge. Then follow the path through Teignworthy to the road.
(4) Cross the road and continue on the Two Moors Way. Several sections here are very muddy after wet weather.
(5) At the road, go straight ahead, then continue straight on at the next junction, down a lane, and follow this lane all the way to the road.
(6) Follow the road around to the right and continue to the crossroads. Go straight ahead at the crossroads and continue straight on into the centre of Chagford, carrying on past the market square towards the church.
(7) Turn right opposite the church, signposted 'Postbridge', into New Street. After about 450 yards turn left into Nattadon Road.
(8) Turn left up steps onto a footpath and follow the path up a steep climb onto Nattadon Common. The path skirts the top of the hill and joins the road at a car park.
(9) Turn right onto the road, then go straight on at the first junction.
(10) Take the lane to the right then follow the footpath along the ridge.
(11) When you rejoin the road, go straight on, then go straight on again at the next junction (Singmoor Cross) and follow the road to Thorn.
(12) Turn right down a minor lane to the left of The Old Barn.
(13) You reach the main road at Week Cross. Taking care of traffic, cross over and follow the road straight ahead until you reach the gate to the bridle path on the right.
(14) Turn onto the bridle path, and follow the path on the track through the Bovey Castle Hotel golf course - beware flying balls.
(15) After the bridge, follow the track along the valley floor to the left, not the path into the woods.
(16) Turn right and follow the road.
(17) You will come to Hele Cross, with its granite cross in the hedge on the right. Turn left at the T-junction and then take the road to the left at the fork immediately after.
(18) At Barramoor, turn left again (towards Moretonhampstead), then turn right at the next junction towards Hookner.
(19) Turn left onto the lane towards Hookner.
(20) Follow the path straight ahead along the lane for about 100 yards, then turn right into the fields and follow the path along the left-hand hedge.
(21) When you get to the stream, there is a set of moss-covered steps down to stepping stones. Cross the stream, and walk through the farmyard to the right of the farmhouse. Then turn left and follow the footpath up the valley. This section is very steep. Follow the path right over the ridge and down to the road.
(22) At the road, turn left then take the bridle path to the right towards Headland Warren Farm, which is surrounded by tall trees.
(23) Turn right and follow the bridle path west towards the old mine workings.
(24) At the bottom of the valley the paths divide: follow whichever will take you back to the car park where you started: the westerly path up the hill ahead of you takes you to the Warren House Inn and lower car park, the right-hand path to the north takes you back to Bennett's Cross.(D/A)
D/A : mi 0 - alt. 1411ft - Car park - Bennett's Cross
1 : mi 0.42 - alt. 1463ft - Hurston Ridge
2 : mi 2.59 - alt. 1024ft - Lane to Yardworthy
3 : mi 2.95 - alt. 948ft - Descent to S Teign River
4 : mi 3.33 - alt. 1047ft - Stone Cottage
5 : mi 4.22 - alt. 968ft - Teigncombe
6 : mi 5.06 - alt. 627ft - County road
7 : mi 6.41 - alt. 643ft - Chagford village
8 : mi 6.76 - alt. 666ft - Nattadon Road
9 : mi 7.16 - alt. 1004ft - Nattadon Common car park
10 : mi 7.35 - alt. 997ft - Ridge lane
11 : mi 8.2 - alt. 837ft - County road
12 : mi 8.77 - alt. 850ft - Thorn
13 : mi 8.92 - alt. 817ft - Week Cross
14 : mi 9.08 - alt. 817ft - Bovey Castle golf course
15 : mi 9.55 - alt. 719ft - Fork
16 : mi 9.71 - alt. 725ft - County road
17 : mi 10.13 - alt. 833ft - Hele Cross
18 : mi 10.69 - alt. 869ft - Barramoor
19 : mi 11.03 - alt. 866ft - Fork
20 : mi 11.45 - alt. 919ft - Lower Hookner
21 : mi 11.78 - alt. 971ft - West Coombe
22 : mi 12.92 - alt. 1490ft - County road
23 : mi 13.3 - alt. 1289ft - Headland Warren Farm
24 : mi 14.05 - alt. 1220ft - Headland Warren and Mines
D/A : mi 14.78 - alt. 1407ft - Car park
Ordnance Survey OL28 Dartmoor
The Warren House Inn is a traditional country pub which serves basic pub meals. There are several pubs and cafes in Chagford, as well as a delicatessen and small supermarket.
There is a public convenience in Chagford and another about three miles SW of Bennett's Cross at Postbridge.
Most of the walk takes place on footpaths and bridle paths that are clearly marked. There are well-trodden paths across most of the open moorland sections, though the paths above the Warren House Inn are patchy. The paths will be muddy after rain and are frequently uneven. Most of the county roads along this route are quiet country lanes. There are several steep sections on this route.
The walk can be shortened slightly at waypoint 22 by following the Two Moors Way to the road. For a shorter walk, start at Chagford and follow the route from 7 to 21, then follow the Two Moors Way via Lettaford, Jurston, Hurston and Shapley.
James Bowden & Son in Chagford stock a wide range of walking equipment.
Visorando and this author cannot be held responsible in the case of accidents or problems occuring on this walk.
(D) Bennett's Cross is one of 132 granite crosses that can be found on Dartmoor. This rather crude example marks the boundary between the parishes of Chagford and North Bovey.
(15) Though it is now many miles from the nearest train, the Bovey Castle Hotel was built by the Great Western Railway as a luxury country house hotel, served by the station at nearby Moretonhampstead until 1959.
(17) Hele Cross is a fine stone cross, restored in 1868. It marks the path between North Bovey and the road now known as the B3212.
(21) The path through West Coombe is an ancient one, and is believed to be part of the Mariners way that ran all the way from Bideford, on the north coast of Devon, to Dartmouth on the south coast. Before being diverted, the path used to run right through one of the barns, presumably because the right of way existed before the barn was built. West Coombe farm is thought to have been one of the rest houses along the way.
(24) The area around Headland Warren is a Scheduled Monument, with the remains of both a historic rabbit warren and extensive mining activity. Tin mining activity is thought to have begun as early as 1450 and continued until the 20th century. The warren was used to farm rabbits for about 200 years up to 1920.
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The GPS track and description are the property of the author.