Whiddon Deer Park, Chagford, Dartmoor National Park

Whiddon Deer Park, Chagford, Dartmoor National Park

[Main photo: the southern end of Whiddon Deer Park in spring]


Huge views, bluebells, trees and a sculpture

Whiddon Deer Park offers huge views of the Chagford area, the eastern section of Dartmoor National Park and the high north moor from Fernworthy Forest through Hangingstone Hill to Cosdon Hill and Beacon.

In spring, Whiddon Deer Park is carpeted with bluebells. It's known for its trees, lichen and mosses. There's a Peter Randall-Page sculpture to see as well.


Location of Whiddon Deer Park

Whiddon Deer Park is located across the River Teign from the National Trust's Castle Drogo by the mouth of the Teign Gorge above Iron Brodge and Salmon Leaps, Castle Drogo Weir and Drewe's Pool.

We've positioned Whiddon Deer Park on Google maps. Zoom in on the 'Satellite' setting to see its location.



Walk the south bank and wall of Dartmoor's stunning Teign Gorge (National Trust) and you'll see plenty of signs marked Lower Deer Stalkers Path, Upper Deer Stalkers Path and Deer Stalkers Path. Refer to the Ordnance Survey Explorer OL28 'Dartmoor' map and you'll see Whiddon Park (Deer Park) across the River Teign from Castle Drogo (National Trust). As you might expect, there are plenty of wild deer in the area. Unlike Dartmoor's hill ponies, the deer are furtive and flighty so you're not guaranteed to see them.


Recommended route to Whiddon Deer Park for the first time

To visit, wander down to Iron Bridge from Castle Drogo. There's a classic Dartmoor view of the River Teign from Iron Bridge. Note that you can swim here at Salmon Leaps, Castle Drogo Weir and Drewe's Pool.

Cross the bridge and granite steps take you over the wall into the deer park. In front of you, a path climbs steeply. The path is well worn and obvious but trees fall frequently in winter storms so you might have to wander around them to pick up the path again. You cross a flat area and then climb through oak woodland until you come to rows of beech trees at the top of which is Peter Randall-Page's Passage Sculpture Whiddon Deer Park. Castle Drogo is visible to your left.

Walk through the two halves of the sculpture and continue up to the high ground. The path trends right through a particularly dense section of broom (if you find it too much then loop around the back on the obvious trail created by locals). Views of Chagford and the high moor start opening out.

The flat path now runs through oak woodland. It's easy walking but can get very muddy after wet weather. You'll pass trees cloaked in lichen. The path takes you to a large clearing near the top of the deer park with an old granite hut. Nearby, there are rocks and boulders from which you can enjoy massive views.

It's a nice spot for a picnic, especially when the bluebells are out. Stick to the rocks as there are plenty of deer ticks in the area.

Once you've enjoyed the views, either turn around or continue on the obvious path that drops down into more woodland. This becomes a track and you can loop back to Iron Bridge and Castle Drogo.

Alternatively, walk this in the other direction. There's a much gentler ascent from this direction via the track/road that runs south and then curls north as a path through the woods to the clearing, old granite hut, rocks and boulders near the top of the deer park.


Routes and directions to Whiddon Deer Park from the east

Start at Fingle Bridge and Fingle Bridge Inn. Follow the track that runs along the south side of the River Teign to Iron Bridge. Head up to Whiddon Deer Park using the directions in our recommended route.

Alternatively, walk the Fisherman's Path on the north side of the River Teign to Salmon Leaps, Castle Drogo Weir and Drewe's Pool. Cross Iron Bridge and head up to Whiddon Deer Park using the directions in our recommended route.


Routes and directions to Whiddon Deer Park from the west

There’s limited parking on the side of A382 by the Mill House Hotel at Dogmarsh Bridge. A good path runs up the north bank of the River Teign to the Teign Gorge, Iron Bridge and the River Teign.

Cross Iron Bridge and head up to Whiddon Deer Park using the directions in our recommended route.


The views from Whiddon Deer Park

There's a clearing at the top of Whiddon Deer Park. This provides huge, year round views to Chagford, the north moor and the eastern side of Dartmoor.

This clearing fills with bluebells in spring.

There are great views across to Castle Drogo and the north side of the Teign Gorge.

The view up the row of beech trees to Peter Randall-Page's Passage Sculpture Whiddon Deer Park is wonderful.


The area around Whiddon Deer Park

Castle Drogo. One of the most popular National Trust properties in South West England. Great for a cream tea.

Fingle Bridge/Fingle Bridge Inn. Dartmoor beauty spot with a riverside pub garden.

Stone Lane Gardens. Amazing, compact gardens that hosts an annual sculpture exhibition. Can’t recommend this place highly enough.

Spinster’s Rock. Rare prehistoric site in Dartmoor National Park. Note that you’ll find lots of these in Cornwall, especially on the West Penwith Peninsula/Land’s End Peninsula.


Places to eat and drink near Whiddon Deer Park

Fingle Bridge Inn. Situated by the River Teign where the Teign Gorge meets Fingle Woods.

Castle Drogo. Cafe (and shop) at the entrance to Castle Drogo. Nice outdoor area for summer.

Drewe Arms. Nice local village pub in Drewsteignton.

Mill End Hotel. By the A382 by the Mill End Hotel at Dogmarsh Bridge if you’re coming from that direction.

Chagford. Very popular Dartmoor tourist destination which means there are lots of pubs and cafes. Have a wander when you’re there and take your pick. We like the Three Crowns near The Pepperpot in the centre of town.