Bovey Valley Circular Walk, Bovey Tracey, Dartmoor National Park

Bovey Valley Circular Walk, Bovey Tracey, Dartmoor National Park

Big walk in one of Dartmoor's most beautiful valleys 

It's possible to complete big, circular walks in many of Dartmoor's wooded valleys and gorges. The Dart Gorge Circular Walk is magnificent. The Teign Gorge Circular Walk is arguably the most popular in the National Park. The Bovey Valley Circular Walk takes in some of the most beautiful wooded landscape in Dartmoor and climbs from the southern end of the valley near the National Trust's Parke all the way up to Hunter's Tor beyond Lustleigh Cleave at the far end of the valley.


How far is it and how long will it take?

The walk is roughly 13 km/8 m in length.

The Ordnance Survey app states that this takes about 3.15 hrs. We tend to cover a Dartmoor mile in 30 mins so plan for 4 hrs to enjoy the views and take photos.


What's the walking like?

It's a mix of easy walking and steep climbs that will get the heart pumping. It's not difficult.


Is there a path?

Yes, you're following paths in Bovey Valley Woodlands and Lustleigh Cleave.


Is it well signposted?

Yes and no. There are plenty of signposts in Bovey Valley Woodlands and Lustleigh Cleave but the area is heavily wooded so it's relatively easy to wander off the path.

We'd recommend referring to the Ordnance Survey app or Explorer OL28 'Dartmoor' map whilst reading this route description. Take a map and compass and check directions regularly.


Start at Drakeford Bridge between the National Trust's Parke and Lustleigh village

Start at Drakeford Bridge between the National Trust's Parke and Lustleigh village. There's a spacious car parking area and information board about the area. Cross the bridge, stroll up the road and very soon head left through a gate towards the river. Follow the north bank of the River Bovey through the eastern part of Hisley Wood to Hisley Bridge. Enjoy the river views at this Dartmoor beauty spot.


Hisley Bridge to Lustleigh Cleave

Staying north of the river, a forestry road rises through the upper section of Hisley Wood towards Heaven's Gate and Pethybridge. Follow this forestry road from Hisley Bridge. You'll come to a signpost on a bend in the forestry road. Leave the road and walk into the woods.

Walk the path north west to Lustleigh Cleave. Do not follow the path that climbs steeply east to Heaven's Gate and Pethybridge. In Lustleigh Cleave, the path takes you past signposts to Hammerslake. From there, yomp up to Sharpitor. You are now on the broad ridge that tops Lustleigh Cleave.


Harton Chest and Hunter's Tor

Walk to Harton Chest. This is a rocky outcrop overlooking the valley and the East Dartmoor National Nature Reserve. If you have a head for heights, the views are sublime. Be careful as there are huge drops off the side of Harton Chest.

From Harton Chest, continue north west to Hunter's Tor. You cross open moorland. The views back down to the Bovey Valley Woodlands, and beyond to the sea, are massive.

At Hunter's Tor, the north moor opens out. The huge dome of Cosdon Hill dominates the view to the high ground. The pretty village North Bovey and the luxury hotel Bovey Castle sit in countryside below. 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 Peck Farm. This is the most northerly point on the walk.


Foxworthy, Horsham and the Kestor Inn in Water/Manaton

Turn back to Foxworthy. Cross its bridge and take one of the paths marked on the Ordnance Survey app or Explorer OL28 'Dartmoor' map through Neadon Cleave to the tiny woodland hamlet Horsham.

Stroll the sunken lane to Water and pop in for food and drink at the Kestor Inn.


Walking Manaton Old Road

From the pub, take the road east that leads to Beckhams as marked on the OS map. This modern road leads to Manaton Old Road that's like an ancient tunnel descending through woodland to a viewing point.

There's a bench and view to Trendlebere Down.


Houndtor Wood to your starting point

Wander through Houndtor Wood. Cross Becka Brook on Houndtor Bridge.

Continue east until you get to Hisley Bridge. Do not cross the bridge. Carry on up the rough road which rises to the edge of Pullbrook Wood. Turn left, or north, into the wood. You descend to the side of the River Bovey. Follow the bank of the river back to the car parking area.