Stage 6 Devon's Coast-to-Coast : Drewsteignton to Morchard Bishop

This walk is part of the trek Devon's Coast-to-Coast : Plymouth to Wembury and on to Lynmouth.

Stage 6 is a tricky navigational test as we leave the Dartmoor National Park and head into Mid Devon. The route crosses the A 30, the main Exeter to Barnstaple rail line and the busy A 377. There's plenty to keep you occupied and some pretty hamlets to go through (avoiding some interesting villages, so you might be tempted to go off-route at some point).

Technical sheet
No. 3132264
A Devon walk posted on 08/04/20 by El Sud. Update : 16/04/20
Calculated time Calculated time: 8h05[?]
Distance Distance : 14.89mi
Vertical gain Vertical gain : 1430ft
Vertical drop Vertical drop : 1594ft
Highest point Highest point : 745ft
Lowest point Lowest point : 302ft
Average Difficulty : Average
Back to starting point Back to starting point : No
Walking Walking
Area Area : Dartmoor
Location Location : Devon
Starting point Starting point : N 50.703165° / W 3.791754°
Arrival Arrival : N 50.854185° / W 3.748652°
Download : -

Description

(D) Once you've stocked up at the village store and Post Office in the main square in Dewsteignton, head north along the road by the shop (indicated Crockernwell, Exeter and Car Park). Pass close to a thatched cottage and bear right at the junction (to the right of the red postbox). Keep straight along this road to Veet Mill farm. As the road bends right, keep heading to the farm and, once past the farm buildings, leave the road and bear left on a shale track past some more farm buildings. Follow the path alongside a stream, heading north, then bear up left to Winscombe farm (look out for Peter Randall-Page's sculpture IIMW). Take the track on the other side of the farm to reach a road near Highfields farm. Turn left along Hask Lane, using the grass verge on the right and cross the noisy A 30. At the next road, at Manor Farm, turn right and follow the track round to the right. Look out for a path on the left next to a farm building and aerial going left, heading north. Head downhill to the confluence of streams and join the road at West Ford farm. The path continues across the road to the right then left and up the next hill to, funnily enough, Hill farm. Head north to wood and over a stream and through Whitethorn farm. Take the track heading north te reach a road, coming out next to a whitewashed thatched cottage. Turn right and shortly afterwards reach Hittisleigh Cross. Go straight across the crossroads, still heading north, and up to Hittisleigh Barton.

(1) After exploring the old church (St. Andrews) and The Oak Barn, continue along the road as far as Howard Cross where the road bends right. Carry on along this road for a good while (maybe a couple of miles) past Shortridge farm and Trevince farm to reach a junction on the left (indicated to Sprayton). Ignore this lane but keep on the main road towards Yeoford and Crediton, past Summerhill farm and past another junction on the right (indicated Binneford) to finally reach a lane coming in at an angle from the left (indicated Great Heale and Newbury). Turn left down this lane and bear left at an entrance to Great Heale farm to continue to Newbury farm, where the road bends sharp right. Stay on the road and cross the bridge over the River Troney, then climb up the road to another entrance to Great Heale and eventually up to a road from a corner of the field. Turn right to go past Westcombe Hill Barn and House. Follow this road past a turn off on the right to Great Wotton farm and a turn off on the left to Staddon's. Shortly afterwards, past a greenhouse entrance, take the track on the left with a footpath sign and head for some woods. The path goes alongside the woods then enters Horwell Wood to reach a pedestrian crossing of the railway. Take care crossing the line (Stop, Look, Listen). Then carry on, heading north to Whelmstone Cross. Go straight across and along Ford Hill road to reach Whelmstone Barton.

(2) Shortly after passing through this hamlet, about 200m on the left, under a big oak tree, take the path into the field and across to a stile in the corner. Bear left along the hedge past Paschoe House and up to Paschoe Dairy farm. Leave the farm heading west to the corner of a field. Turn right after crossing the wall and enter some woods. Bear left to meet a track, turn right then left on this track to reach Appledore farm. Carry on to meet the road and turn left for about 50m to pick up a path leading off to the right with a footpath sign to reach Sweetfield farm. Take the path heading north across the field on the other side of the farm to the outer corner of the field and around the top of some woods. Here, the path turns east to reach Clannaborough Barton, coming out opposite the church dedicated to St. Petrock. Turn left and head north to the A 3072 and turn right. After about 50m turn left along a lane heading up to Lammacott farm. Go past the entrance to the farm and a short distance further on, at a fork, bear right to go past some farm buildings. Shortly afterwards, pick up a path leading off to the left, to head downhill to a stream in the woods. After crossing the stream, the path meets a road through a metal gate. Turn right along Barn Hill road to go past Barn Shelley. Where the road crosses a stream, take the path off to the left to go across the field and over a wooden stile to reach the A 377. Turn left and then right just after a layby, through a wooden gate to walk alongside the railway, now heading northwest as far as Shobrooke Bridge.

(3) Cross over the Tarka Line railway and head east along a track. After about 75m take the path going off left around a field to avoid Shobrooke farm. The path goes down to a stream and around wood to head north again to Slade farm near a couple of ponds. The path continues north across a stream just east of Southcott farm, then meets a track that leads to the road coming out next to a single house. Turn right along Down Hill road to enter Weeke. Almost immediately bear left at the telephone pole to go along a track past more farm buildings to reach Woodgate farm. Just after the farm bear right along a track the drops gently down to cross a stream and head around a field to The Parks. The path continues in the same direction to reach some houses and enter Morchard Bishop.(A)

Waypoints :
D : mi 0 - alt. 686ft - Dewsteignton
1 : mi 3.23 - alt. 656ft - Hittisleigh Barton
2 : mi 8.18 - alt. 394ft - Whelmstone Barton
3 : mi 12.34 - alt. 308ft - Shobrooke Bridge
A : mi 14.89 - alt. 541ft - Morchard Bishop

Useful Information

There are a number of villages off the track if the weather is impossible or you run into difficulties. Otherwise, you might get some water at farms and hamlets but not much else. At The Oak Barn in Hittisleigh Barton there might be an opportunity for a cup of tea but there are no guarantees. There's always some shelter in the churches but it might only be in the porch if the main church isn't open. Vandalism has forced some churches and chapels to close most of the time. Pack the waterproofs and make sure your boots are comfortable, there's a fair bit of road walking on this stage, although generally free of traffic.

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

During the walk or to do/see around

Check out the churches and don't miss Peter Randall-Page's sculpture IIMW near Winscombe farm. The hamlets and farms have their own particular charm and don't be afraid to say hello to the locals. Try not to disturb the livestock and certainly don't leave any litter or mess up the countryside. At Morchard Bishop there is a small shop and The London Inn with a good selection of real ales and good pub grub. Enjoy the route and look out for wildlife along the way. Don't rush, just enjoy the journey and make the most of the moment.

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The GPS track and description are the property of the author.