New Bridge (Newbridge), Buckland in the Moor, Dartmoor National Park

New Bridge (Newbridge), Buckland in the Moor, Dartmoor National Park

New Bridge, or Newbridge, is a narrow, granite bridge spanning the River Dart on the road that climbs from Ashburton to Poundsgate and beyond to Dartmeet and other well known visitor destinations in Dartmoor National Park. The bridge is situated at the eastern end of the glorious Dart Gorge. The river here is exceptionally popular with walkers, wild swimmers, canoeists and families enjoying a picnic. In holiday season, this area gets packed. There are public toilets and, usually, an ice cream van.

We've postioned New Bridge on Google maps so zoom in on the 'Satellite' setting to see its location. Built at the beginning of the 15th century,* the bridge has enabled people safely to cross the River Dart since the medieval period. Today, it's the starting point for a wide variety of activities. We outline some of these below. There's a reasonably large car park on the western side of the bridge. Because the area is so popular, you'll also find more parking along the road by Deeper Marsh/Spitchwick Common and up the road near Dr Blackall's Drive. Refer to the Ordnance Survey Explorer OL28 'Dartmoor' map for detail.

Downstream, the River Dart bends next to the large, grassy area at Deeper Marsh/Spitchwick Common. Upstream, the river flows through the Dart Gorge and the National Trust's Holne Woods before arriving at New Bridge. The Tavistock Inn and the rare Higher Uppacott longhouse are north. Holne Bridge and the River Dart Country Park are east.



New Bridge is the starting point for some amazing walks. If you're walking the Two Moors Way, you'll pass over the bridge. It then climbs to a stretch of path called Dr Blackall's Drive on the lip the Dart Gorge. The views down in to the gorge and across the National Park's south plateau are extraordinary. If you fancy a riverside walk, a good forestry track and then path run up the southern bank of the River Dart through Holne Woods to Sharrah Pool. You can also walk the north bank of the river upstream of New Bridge. Easy to begin. Gets a bit hairy as you approach the Sharrah Pool area. Only do the last section of the north bank walk if you are a confident walker. There are dangerous drops and footing is difficult.


Wild swimming

Spitchwick (Deeper Marsh/Spitchwick Common) and Sharrah Pool are very popular wild swimming areas. Deeper Marsh/Spitchwick Common is an easy stroll from New Bridge car park. Sharrah Pool takes just under an hour to get to although that depends on the speed at which you walk. There are plenty of pools in between these two areas, however.



In season, you'll see hundreds of canoeists in the cascades and rapids. Great to watch. Use specialist canoeing websites for further information.


Picnics and pubs

Most people head to Deeper Marsh/Spitchwick Common for their picnic. The Tavistock Inn is just up the road to the north. Holne's Church House Inn and Scoriton's The Tradesman's Arms are just south.


* We've read various dates including 1413 and 1415. For example, in his book 'Medieval Dartmoor', Paul White writes ''New Bridge', like nearby Holne Bridge, was 'new' around 1415'.