This is a circular walk that combines moorland, streams and woodland on Dartmoor, passing the dramatic Hound Tor and iconic Bowerman's Nose and including opportunities for refreshments at the half waypoint. It is a good length with some steep hills for some hearty exercise and is mainly off-road, taking advantage of well-marked footpaths and tracks. You could start the walk at Lustleigh or Manaton if you prefer, and there are various short-cuts available if you wish to shorten the walk.
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 the main car park at Hound Tor (grid reference SX 739 792). It gets a bit busy in summer, but you may find a snack van here on a good day.
(1) Walk up towards and around the tor. There are lots of routes round the tor, and opportunities to find a 'letterbox' or two. Head south-east and join the bridlepath at a stone wall (SX 743 787), then follow it downhill into the woods and across a stream.
(2) When you emerge onto the open moor, follow the path to the left, then through a gate onto a track.
(3) Turn left and follow the lane.
(4) Turn right and follow the sign to Becky Falls, taking the track towards New Bridge.
(5) At the road, turn left, then turn right at the next junction.
Follow the road for about 125 yards: it is a fairly busy road, so take care.
(6) Turn left off the road onto the footpath across a footbridge, follow the path then turn right at the fork in the path. The public footpath takes you past Becky Falls - but it is carefully routed so that you cannot see the falls without paying the entrance fee for the visitor attraction. Follow the path as it descends through the woods and joins a track.
(7) Turn left and cross the footbridge. Follow the path down to the river. The path hugs the riverbank, and is formed of loose stones that are scoured when the river floods. Follow the path all the way to the next footbridge.
(8) Cross the footbridge: you can choose either the modern bridge or the traditional 'clam bridge' made of single tree trunks.
(9) At the road, turn right then left. Follow the lanes as they zig-zag towards the village. When you get to the larger road, turn right, then turn left at the chapel towards the church.
(10) In the centre of the village you will find the shop, church, tea room and pub. After suitable refreshment, take the lane past the public lavatories, through the community orchard and into the woods. These woods are full of enormous, moss-covered, rounded boulders.
(11) Take the right fork and head north-west, then cross into the fields.
(12) Turn left, and follow the path, which becomes a track.
(13) Turn left and follow the track for a short distance, before taking the path into the woods.
(14) At the road, turn right for the footpath, then turn left to take the footpath uphill. This is a steep climb up to Sharpitor, but the views at the top are worthwhile. At the top, follow the bridle path along the ridge, then down the other side to Peck Farm.
(15) After Peck Farm, turn left and follow the bridle path along the lane to Foxworthy.
(16) At Foxworthy, continues straight on.
(17) Take the second path on the left. It joins a track at a group of farm buildings, then joins the road just north of Manaton. Turn left at the road and head south towards the village.
(18) There are often home-made cakes for sale outside one of the cottages in the car park at Manaton: you might want to buy some for the final hill. When you leave the car park, go straight over the crossroads and then take the footpath on the right to cross the fields.
(19) Turn right at the lane and follow it up onto the open moor. The hill becomes progressively steeper as you climb up Hayne Down. Follow one of the paths up past the rocks, catching sight of the famous Bowerman's Nose rock formation if you take a northerly path, then drop down the other side of the hill to join the unfenced road. Turn left at the road.
(20) Pass through the gate, and walk along the road, turning left at the junction and back to the car park.(D/A)
D/A : mi 0 - alt. mi 0 - Hound Tor car park
1 : mi 0.21 - alt. mi 0.21 - Hound Tor - Hound Tor
2 : mi 1.1 - alt. mi 1.1
3 : mi 1.51 - alt. mi 1.51
4 : mi 1.75 - alt. mi 1.75
5 : mi 2.22 - alt. mi 2.22 - Road
6 : mi 2.41 - alt. mi 2.41 - Footpath
7 : mi 3.85 - alt. mi 3.85 - Houndtor ridge
8 : mi 4.85 - alt. mi 4.85 - Clam Bridge
9 : mi 5.71 - alt. mi 5.71 - Road
10 : mi 6.31 - alt. mi 6.31 - Lustleigh village
11 : mi 6.48 - alt. mi 6.48 - Fork
12 : mi 6.56 - alt. mi 6.56
13 : mi 6.88 - alt. mi 6.88
14 : mi 7.21 - alt. mi 7.21 - Road
15 : mi 8.8 - alt. mi 8.8 - Peck Farm
16 : mi 9.33 - alt. mi 9.33 - Foxworthy
17 : mi 9.65 - alt. mi 9.65 - Dartmoor Way
18 : mi 10.49 - alt. mi 10.49 - Manaton church car park
19 : mi 10.86 - alt. mi 10.86 - Lane to Hayne Down - Bowerman's Nose
20 : mi 11.66 - alt. mi 11.66 - Gate
D/A : mi 12.26 - alt. mi 12.26 - Hound Tor car park
Ordnance Survey OL28 Dartmoor
Lustleigh has a shop, open all day Monday to Saturday and on Sunday mornings, a pub open every day and a tearoom open selected days from spring to autumn.
Homemade cakes are often on sale near the car park at Manaton.
There is a public convenience in Lustleigh.
Most of the walk takes place on footpaths and bridle paths that are clearly marked. There are well-trodden paths across the open moorland sections. The paths will be muddy after rain, and are frequently uneven. There are several steep sections on this route.
Only if the weather has been dry, at waypoint 16 (Foxworthy) you may be able to take the path to the left and cross the river at the stepping stones (grid ref. SX 763 813) and reach Manaton via Horsham. This route is impassable if the river is high.
Visorando and this author cannot be held responsible in the case of accidents or problems occuring on this walk.
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The GPS track and description are the property of the author.