Dart Gorge New Bridge to Sharrah Pool North Bank Walk, Holne, Dartmoor National Park

Dart Gorge New Bridge to Sharrah Pool North Bank Walk, Holne, Dartmoor National Park

When exploring the Dart Gorge, most people follow the south side of the river through the National Trust's Holne Woods. Another good path runs north of the river. As you follow the Dart upstream, this good path becomes a good track and then quickly turns into a hazardous route through very steep woodland. It leads you to Sharrah Pool. Great fun but some of the drops in the upper section of the walk are intimidating. A couple of drops, around Bellpool Island, are dangerous.

Start from New Bridge. Follow the lower Poundsgate road east for sort way and a good, wide path runs left in to the woods that line the River Dart. The path passes through open land with the gorge walls towering ahead of you. You come to a clearing. The path continues by the side of the river and then turns in to a good track. The track leads to a sandy area next to a pool of water on a bend in the river. This is where it gets difficult.

The track climbs. There are super views of the river raging below. It's a top place to see canoeists. However, you are stood on a vertical granite drop so be very careful. To continue, the very narrow track skirts a deep cut in the rock. Very dangerous. Again, take care. You then have to scramble down to a skinny waterfall before climbing back up the track in to the woodland. The Dart below at Bellpool is noisy. Note that there are alternative routes here. For example, by the viewpoint, walk up the side of the hill and over the top of the skinny waterfall.

Eventiually, you come to a fork in the route. Take the lower fork that leads down to Sharrah Pool Marsh. You are next to a stunning, long pool of water. This is Lower Sharrah Pool. Beyond the cascades and a little island is Sharrah Pool. If it's warm, swim.

We followed the upper fork to which we referred above and it takes you up the gorge wall. It's really difficult going and once you leave the woodland, you hit a thick belt of bracken. It's then a very tough ascent to Dr Blackall's Drive. This upper fork is one to avoid.