Dartmoor to Exmoor
The ancient harbor of Dartmouth is the gateway to this Walk across the dramatic open spaces of Dartmoor and Exmoor in the South West of England.
Here we walk meadow-paths and narrow lanes, crossing rivers and passing through thatched hamlets, stopping for hearty pub lunches and a traditional Devon Cream Tea. We explore Castle Drogo, allegedly the last castle to be built in England, with stunning views over Dartmoor.
Leaving Dartmoor we discover the wild uplands of Exmoor, where we might spot a native pony or a red deer, Britain's largest wild animal. We enjoy sweeping views from the rolling hills across the Bristol Channel to Wales.
*****Read all about Travel Writer Everett Potter's walking vacation experience on this trip.
Walk Rating: Energetic. Pastoral countryside, estuaries, woodlands, wild uplands and open moorland. Some hills. 10-12 miles walking per day. (Walk is rated as 'energetic' due to long mileage and a few steep paths.)
US$4195.00 per person double occupancy
US$4195.00 per person double occupancy
Walk begins in Dartmouth, with arrival at Totnes Station and ends in Exford, with departure from Taunton Rail Station.
We transfer from Totnes rail station to Dartmouth where we have our evening Welcome Reception and dinner in the hotel.
We take a short journey south to the sleepy hamlet of Slapton, the center of operations in the American preparations for the Normandy Landings. We will then walk back along Devon’s most beautiful coastline and stop for lunch at Blackpool Sands. Its idyllic beach is privately owned and the site of a French invasion in the 14th century. Our path then continues along the mouth of the River Dart and back to its historic port.
We walk on the banks of the river Dart which follows a rock-strewn course overhung by ancient oak. We pass thatched hamlets and farms and cross open moorland at Wind Tor before reaching Widecombe-in-the-Moor for a pub lunch and a visit to the famous 15th-century church. In the afternoon we see a deserted medieval village before we reach our country house hotel just outside the ancient market town of Chagford.
We follow the river Teign to splendid Castle Drogo, designed by the architect Sir Edwin Lutyens; the castle is perched 900 feet above sea level. After lunch, we arrive at the delightful thatched village of Drewsteignton and then stroll through rolling farmland, stopping to see the ancient and modern construction of cob. We transfer to our hotel in Coleford for dinner and overnight.
Our walk begins in Templeton from where we walk through fertile farming country before transferring to Exmoor where we stop for lunch in the little market town of Dulverton. We continue along the chattering River Barle, once a communication route for Viking raiders, and climb a ridge where we may see buzzards and perhaps some red deer. We end our day with dinner in our hotel in Withypool.
We walk up Winsford Hill, hoping to see the tough little ponies, Britain's oldest native breed, which run wild on the open moors. We explore the Caractacus Stone, reputed to commemorate a Bronze Age chief. A bracken-fringed path brings us to a deep valley leading to pretty Winsford and lunch in a thatched pub. Following the Exe valley we reach the hidden village of Exford.
A track leads us to the vast expanse of Exmoor. We enjoy grand views across the Bristol Channel to Wales and the Welsh Mountains, and we descend through oak woods to the pretty village of Porlock. In the afternoon we cross the salt marshes to the beach at Porlock Bay and, at the end of the afternoon, we drive back to our hotel for our Farewell Dinner.
After breakfast, The Wayfarers will see you safely to Taunton rail station for your onward rail and bus connections.
This itinerary represents a typical Walk. We prepare itineraries well in advance of the trip and therefore we reserve the right to make changes due to weather, local events or other circumstances - but always to improve the experience of our guests.
To see the complete list of hotels, please login or register.
The Dart Marina Hotel - Sunday & Monday
The Dart Marina could not be situated in a more magical place. Within a few steps of the water on the banks of the River Dart, this Dartmouth hotel has an ambience of unpretentious style, impeccable facilities and immense warmth. Stylishly designed with a palette of soft neutrals, all bedrooms have crisp white linen, deep, fluffy towels and bathrobes, hairdryer, flat screen TV and a river view.
Guests are welcome to relax in the health spa where facilities include indoor pool, steam room, spa bath and fitness suite. As a premier Dartmouth restaurant, the elegant River Restaurant provides a wide selection of West Country fine foods where Chef, Mark Streeter, excels using the freshest local produce. Wi-Fi internet access is available in all bedrooms and the bar/lounge area.
Mill End Hotel - Tuesday
Dartmoor National Park
Devon TQ13 8JN
Mill End feels more like a comfortable country house than a hotel. Tucked away in one of England’s most beautiful regions, Mill End provides the perfect blend of country house charm and warmth, and as one of the AA’s Top 200 hotel and restaurants in the country, you will enjoy superb accommodation and exceptional food and wines in an idyllic location. Each bedroom is individually decorated with its own style and offers the usual in-room facilities including ensuite bathroom, television, phone, hairdryer and tea and coffee making facilities. Wi-Fi internet access in available in the downstairs public rooms.
The Crown Hotel - Friday & Saturday
Somerset TA24 7PP
The warmest of welcomes awaits everyone who steps over the threshold of this famous 17th century family run coaching inn and sporting hotel. Situated in 3 acres of gardens in the middle of Exford, one of Exmoor's prettiest villages, it is surrounded by stunning countryside and moorland where Exmoor ponies, red deer and birds of prey roam free. All bedrooms have ensuite bathrooms and every comfort to make your stay memorable. Wi-Fi internet access is available in most bedrroms and all public rooms.
The elegant candlelit dining room boasts 2 AA Rosettes and, under the auspices of Head Chef Paul Webber, has an excellent reputation both locally and nationally. All ingredients are sourced for their quality and, wherever possible, are locally produced. As one would expect of Exmoor's oldest coaching inn, the hotel has a characterful bar which is very much the hub of village life. In these lovely surroundings there are also opportunities to enjoy riding, fishing, shooting and cycling.
This hotel list is a provided as an example. We may use different hotels of the same quality and style on specific trips. The Wayfarers will notify confirmed travelers of any changes to the hotels.
Before & After Your Walk:
- Stay in the quaint town of Dartmouth and catch the ferry up the River Dart to Greenway, formerly Agatha Christie's summer home, for a light lunch and tour of the house and gardens
- Spend time in Exeter, the County Town of Devon - and, perhaps, attend Choral Evensong in the great cathedral
- Stay on in Taunton, the County Town of Somerset, for shopping and the chance to taste the celebrated regional cider or watch a game of cricket
- Explore more wonderful coastal trails on the north and south coasts of neighboring Cornwall
- Visit Glastonbury Tor and burial place of King Arthur, and Wells Cathedral and Bishops Palace
- Enjoy a round of golf at renowned Bovey Castle
- Visit the glorious gardens which surround Cothay Manor, a beautiful medieval manor house.
Temperatures usually range from around 45º to 65ºF (7º to 18ºC) in spring/autumn and from 60º to 70º F (15º to 21ºC) in summer although it can rise to around 80º F (27ºC) on some days. You are likely to need a light jacket or sweater in the evenings. Rainfall is unpredictable - particularly on the high moors - but occurs all year round and can be heavy, even in summer. Equally there can be long spells of warm dry weather so you will need to bring clothing to accommodate all situations
To see more Travel Information and a list of our recommended tips please register or sign in. Once you confirm a booking for this walk, as a registered website member, you will be able to access detailed Joining Instructions including exact arrival and departure points and times as part of the Travel Information.
Are there any hidden costs?
Our Vacations do not include the cost of air or rail fares to and from the destination or tips for your walk leader and manager.
How large are the Groups?
Our maximum group size is 16, but groups average between 8-12 people.
Will I feel welcome as a single traveler?
Yes! Our walks are the perfect environment of comfortable camaraderie for the single traveler.
Can you accommodate special diets?
How physically fit do I have to be to do a Wayfarers Walk?
If you are in good health and reasonably fit you will be comfortable participating in a walk.
Ask a question
Please do not hesitate to ask us a question about this walk.
At this point we would like to thank you for looking at our website, we hope you will have seen a little of the places we walk to, hotels we stay in and that we have answered some of your questions.
For more information contact our team who are waiting for your questions. Alternatively we suggest you choose one of the following:
Join us on our no obligation, no hassle website. The benefits include viewing full Hotel lists, FAQ's, and Walk Reviews from previous walkers, offering a world of extra information about Dartmoor to Exmoor.
Save this Walk
By registering you can 'save this walk' to your Wayfarers account, allowing you to share your vacation ideas with friends and family before making any commitments, you can also save walks to your favorite websites such as Facebook and Windows Live!
Ask a question
Take part in our online FAQ's, we are delighted to receive and share feedback about our walks and website with others. This is your website and we welcome your contribution to improving it.
As always with The Wayfarers, there is plenty to see and explore on this website, we love to hear from any Wayfarers and look forward to tempting you to join us on the trail!