Lustleigh Cleave, Hunter's Tor and Bovey Valley Woodlands Circular Walk, Bovey Tracey, Dartmoor National Park

Lustleigh Cleave, Hunter's Tor and Bovey Valley Woodlands Circular Walk, Bovey Tracey, Dartmoor National Park

Dartmoor is fringed by stunning steep-sided wooded valleys. Lustleigh Cleave is one of the best. Located at the upper end of the Bovey Valley, Lustleigh Cleave offers some of the best valley views in the National Park. This walk takes you from the lower end of the valley up through Bovey Valley Woodlands to Lustleigh Cleave and then Hunter's Tor at the very top of the Bovey Valley. It takes about three hours. If you're up for a longer walk, you can try the full Bovey Valley Circular Walk which is an extension of this walk.

We'd recommend 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.

If you follow the road from Bovey Tracey past the National Trust's Parke towards Becky Falls and Manaton, you'll pass a car parking aea and viewpoint at a bend on the road above Pullbrook Wood. The car parking area is marked on the Ordnance Survey Explorer OL28 'Dartmoor' map. There's an information board and super views of where you'll be walking. Roughly speaking, the lower end of the view is the Bovey Valley Woodlands. Lustleigh Cleave is the huge valley wall at the back right.

Follow one of the paths from the car parking area down through the bracken towards the River Bovey. You'll connect with a rough road that leads to the pretty Hisley Bridge. Cross the river and follow the forestry road that climbs through Hisley Wood. You'll come to a signpost. Leave the forestry road and walk through a gate in to the wood. Follow the path that runs north west to Lustleigh Cleave. Do not follow the path east up the hill to Heaven's Gate and Pethybridge. In Lustleigh Cleave, follow the path and signposts around the edge of the wood to Sharpitor. It's a gradual, steep climb and is tiring. At Sharpitor, you are on a broad ridge.

Follow the broad ridge to Harton Chest. If you have a head for heights, the views here are sublime. From Harton Chest, continue north west to Hunter's Tor. At the top of Lustleigh Cleave, in open moorland, the views back down to the Bovey Valley Woodlands, and beyond to the sea, are massive. At Hunter's Tor, the north plateau opens out. You'll also see the National Trust's Castle Drogo at the mouth of the Teign Gorge and Moretonhampstead in the Wray Valley.

Drop down to the farm at the foot of Hunter's Tor and then follow the path back to the head of the valley at Foxworthy. Walk the diagonal path through Lustleigh Cleave to the Sharpitor area. From there, retrace your steps to Hisley Bridge and then the car parking area.

Alternatively, from the Sharpitor area, wander down to Clam Bridge and walk the southern bank of the River Bovey to Hisley Bridge and then the car parking area.

If the river isn't too high, it's also fun to cross the water at Horsham Steps near Foxworthy. Climb to Horsham and then walk across to Water. Stop in the Kestor Inn for a drink. Follow the very steep path down to Clam Bridge. Walk back along the side of the River Bovey as outlined above.