River Tavy, Dartmoor, Dartmoor National Park

River Tavy, Dartmoor, Dartmoor National Park

The area around Fur Tor and Cut Hill on the high north plateau of Dartmoor National Park is the most remote place in southern England. The views across Dartmoor, Devon and Cornwall are immense but it's relatively difficult to walk into the area. Part of the problem is the wet, boggy land that surrounds tor and hill. It's in this boggy landscape just south of Fur Tor and Cut Hill that the River Tavy rises at Tavy Head.

From Tavy Head, the river arcs towards Tavy Hole. Soon after, it's joined by Fur Tor Brook and Eastern Red Lake before it meets Amicombe Brook at Sandy Ford. Even in dry summer months, it's relatively difficult walking as you cut across these waterways. We've explored the area on many occasions from Lane End car park and the car parking area at Holming Beam and have always found the terrain very challenging. The upper section of the River Tavy is also within three British Army firing ranges so check training times before you go.

From Sandy Hole, the River Tavy is met by Western Red Lake and Rattle Brook before it tumbles through the glorious Tavy Cleave. The river widens as it passes between Mary Tavy and Peter Tavy. It then leaves Dartmoor National Park.

Note that it can be difficult to cross the Tavy on the high moors around Tavy Cleave. From Lane End car park, follow the road south to Higher Willsworthy. Trend east and you'll cross the river on a long wooden bridge. A little further downstream are stepping stones. We've also crossed the river at the upper end of Tavy Cleave. You can also jump across the little waterways near Tavy Head but remember that the terrain is difficult up there.

Beyond the boundary of Dartmoor National Park, the river flows through the centre of Tavistock and then winds its way through a wooded valley past the National Trust's Buckland Abbey to meet the River Tamar. The combined river then runs into Plymouth Sound and The English Channel.