White Wood River Dart Walk, Holne, Dartmoor National Park

White Wood River Dart Walk, Holne, Dartmoor National Park

Dartmoor's famous for its rain and rivers. After a period of heavy rain, there are a few places where the noise of the water is awesome as it passes through gorges. One is the National Trust's Lydford Gorge where water powers through a narrow neck of rock at the Devil's Cauldron. Another is the Dart Gorge. In our experience, the noisiest section of the Dart is White Wood where the gorge is at its deepest. Walking the southern bank of the river here can be an extraordinary experience.

We've positioned White Wood on Google maps so zoom in on the 'Satellite' setting to see its location.

Start from the car parking area on the eastern side of Venford Reservoir Dam. It's marked on the Ordnance Survey Explorer OL28 'Dartmoor' map. Walk to the corner of the water works and you'll pick up a good track that curls around Bench Tor. Follow this track and very soon you'll see a path to your left that follows Venford Brook down to the River Dart. Another path then heads right, or north east and east, along the bank of the River Dart through White Wood. Be very careful as it can be very slippery. We've taken kids as young as five down there so it's not difficult walking. Wander down to the Mel Pool area. The view back up the river to Rowbrook House is magnificent.

Turn around and retrace your steps to the car parking area. You can scramble up White Wood on the eastern side of Bench Tor and connect with the abovementioned track but the terrain is difficult so it's best to retrace your steps.

Note that you can follow the River Dart all the way down to New Bridge. It gets tricky in the middle of the gorge so be very careful as it's remote and difficult to access. See our Dart Gorge Venford Reservoir to New Birdge South Bank Walk for details.