Belstone Cleave, Belstone, Dartmoor National Park

Belstone Cleave, Belstone, Dartmoor National Park

By Dartmoor standards, Belstone Cleave is a relatively small cleave or wooded valley so it's easy to walk and explore.

This website helps people discover and holiday in Dartmoor National Park. It's a practical guide. As such, for the purposes of this listing, we take Belstone Cleave to mean the valley between Belstone and Sticklepath. If you look at the Ordnance Survey Explorer OL28 'Dartmoor' map, this listing covers the areas marked Belstone Cleave and Skaigh Wood (Skaigh Woods).

This listing is split into two sections. The first covers Belstone to Skaigh. The second Skaigh to Sticklepath.


Belstone to Skaigh

The River Taw rises on Dartmoor's north plateau and flows to Belstone where it bends east into Belstone Cleave. A bridge spans the water below Belstone. A second bridge crosses the Taw by Ivy Tor. A third provides safe passage below Skaigh.

There are two main paths north of the river. One runs along the northern lip of the cleave from Belstone Great Green to the road at Skaigh. Another drops from the lip near Belstone down towards the river. This lower path splits but both routes take you to the bridge by Ivy Tor and to Skaigh Woods Tarka Bridge.

South of the river, a path climbs from the bridge below Belstone in the direction of Ivy Tor. A branch of this path drops down to the south bank before Ivy Tor or you just continue on the main, upper path to Ivy Tor itself. Both routes lead to the bridge by Ivy Tor.

These paths provide a nice, circular walk by Belstone. Note that they can get very muddy after a spell of wet weather.


Skaigh to Sticklepath

This section is much more gentle with tracks and paths running north and south of the River Taw. Skaigh Woods Tarka Bridge is at the western end of this section. There's another bridge at the eastern end by the National Trust's Finch Foundry in Sticklepath.

A track runs north of the river from below Skaigh to the road that leads to Sticklepath. There's a car parking area by this track below Skaigh. A path also runs north of the river here.

A pretty path runs south of the River Taw as well. This is the route of the Tarka Trail and Two Museums Walk and connects Skaigh Woods Tarka Bridge with the Finch Foundry Bridge. At points, the path is close to the river so take care.

We'd recommend the Belstone Cleave and Skaigh Woods Circular Walk. There are pubs and tea rooms in Belstone and Sticklepath.

Note that plenty of paths climb from Belstone Cleave and Skaigh Woods to Cosdon Hill and the high moor. These can be followed from the bridge below Belstone, the bridge by Ivy Tor and near the bridge by Finch Foundry. Some of these paths are marked on the Ordnance Survey Explorer OL28 'Dartmoor' map.