West Dart River, Dartmoor, Dartmoor National Park

West Dart River, Dartmoor, Dartmoor National Park

Dartmouth is one of the UK's most beautiful towns. Strung out along a steep-sided bank of the Dart Estuary where the river meets the South Devon coast, the town is packed with domestic and international tourists. Follow the river up to its two sources at the West Dart Head and East Dart Head on the high moors and it's likely you won't see another human being. This is especially true of the West Dart River that rises in one of the most remote and wild areas on Dartmoor.

The West Dart River rises near Cut Hill and Fur Tor on the north plateau of Dartmoor National Park. This is boggy, rough cut moorland. Even after a period of dry weather, it's difficult to walk in this terrain. From its source, the West River Dart runs south past a cluster of tors towards Wistman's Wood National Nature Reserve. It then passes under the two bridges that give the superbly well located Two Bridges Hotel its name. From there, the river swings east and widens as it heads towards Dartmeet. Before Dartmeet, you can cross the river on numerous strips of stepping stones. At Dartmeet, the West Dart River meets the East Dart River and together they flow as the Double Dart, or River Dart, through the Dart Gorge. This is one of the most stunning places in Dartmoor National Park.

The River Dart leaves the Dart Gorge and flows under New Bridge and bends at the popular wild simming area at Deeper Marsh/Spitchwick Common before flowing through the River Dart Country Park to Buckfast Abbey. It leaves Dartmoor National Park on its way to Totnes and the crowds in Dartmouth.