Belstone and Cosdon Hill/Beacon Circular Walk, Belstone, Dartmoor National Park

Belstone and Cosdon Hill/Beacon Circular Walk, Belstone, Dartmoor National Park

Cosdon Hill is a vast dome of moorland near the northern border of Dartmoor National Park. Given its size, there are plenty of walks and circular walks to the beacon and its summit and around its flanks. This walk starts at the village Belstone and takes you to the top of the hill before dropping down to its western side. Getting to the top of Cosdon is a bit of a slog but we've been taking kids up there since they were 4 and 6 so it's nothing too strenuous.

Start at the car parking area at the main entrance to Belstone by Brenamoor Common. Walk through the village to Belstone Great Green. As you approach the green, you'll see the village church and pub to your right. Cosdon Hill is in front of you to the south east. The wooded valley Belstone Cleave drops down below you to the left. A track descends to a footbridge that spans the River Taw at the western end of Belstone Cleave. Cross the water and turn right following a path up to the moorland. This path is part of the Tarka Trail that runs through Belstone Cleave. Instead of walking the Tarka Trail, continue on up to the open moorland and Cosdon Hill.

Walk east along the northern flank of Cosdon Hill. We wouldn't recommend trying to go directly south east to the summit as that route can be very boggy and crosses difficult terrain. After about a kilometre, you'll come to grass paths that climb the broad spine of Cosdon Hill to Cosdon Beacon. The huge pile of rocks and trig point on the summit are unmistakable. The views here are huge.

From the summit, continue south to the Little Hound Tor area. Divert to see White Moor Stone Circle and White Moor Stone. Go back to the Little Hound Tor area and then follow the grass path north west to a ford below White Hill. From here, you have two choices. Either stay on the western flank of Cosdon by crossing Queenie Meads to Lady Brook and then back down to Belstone on the route you initially took or continue to the River Taw Ford over the River Taw. You then walk back along the stunning Taw Plain to Belstone. Note that the River Taw Ford can become impassable after a spell of wet weather.

Clearly, once you've made it to the top of Codon Hill, you can also just turn around and retrace your steps to enjoy the views.