Bovey Valley Circular Walk, Bovey Tracey, Dartmoor National Park

Bovey Valley Circular Walk, Bovey Tracey, Dartmoor National Park

It's possible to complete big, circular walks in many of Dartmoor's wooded valleys and gorges. The Dart Gorge Circular Walk is magnificent. The Teign Gorge Circular Walk is arguably the most popular in the National Park. The Bovey Valley Circular Walk takes in some of the most beautiful wooded landscape in Dartmoor and climbs from the southern end of the valley near the National Trust's Parke all the way up to Hunter's Tor beyond Lustleigh Cleave at the far end of the valley.

We'd recommend that you refer to the Ordnance Survey Explorer OL28 'Dartmoor' map whilst reading this route description. Lustleigh Cleave and the Bovey Valley Woodlands are heavily wooded areas so it's relatively easy to wander off the path. Take the OS map and a compass and check directions regularly.

Start at Drakeford Bridge between the National Trust's Parke and Lustleigh village. There's a spacious car parking area and information board about the area. Cross the bridge, stroll up the road and very soon head left through a gate towards the river. Follow the north bank of the River Bovey through the eastern part of Hisley Wood to Hisley Bridge. Staying north of the river, a forestry road rises through the upper section of Hisley Wood towards Heaven's Gate and Pethybridge.

You'll come to a signpost on a bend in the forestry road. Leave the road and walk into the woods. Walk the path north west to Lustleigh Cleave. Do not follow the path that climbs steeply east to Heaven's Gate and Pethybridge. In Lustleigh Cleave, the path takes you past signposts to Hammerslake. From there, yomp up to Sharpitor. You are now on the broad ridge that tops Lustleigh Cleave.

Walk to Harton Chest. Take in the view. Continue to Hunter's Tor and then drop down to Peck Farm. This is the most northerly point on the walk.

Turn back to Foxworthy. Cross its bridge and take one of the paths marked on the Ordnance Survey Explorer OL28 'Dartmoor' map through Neadon Cleave to the tiny woodland hamlet Horsham. Stroll the sunken lane to Water and pop in for food and drink at the Kestor Inn. From the pub, take the road east that leads to Beckhams as marked on the OS map. This modern road leads to Manaton Old Road that's like an ancient tunnel descending through woodland to a viewing point. There's a bench and view to Trendlebere Down.

Wander through Houndtor Wood. Cross Becka Brook on Houndtor Bridge. Continue east until you get to Hisley Bridge. Do not cross the bridge. Carry on up the rough road which rises to the edge of Pullbrook Wood. Turn left, or north, into the wood. You descend to the side of the River Bovey. Follow the bank of the river back to the car parking area.