Dewerstone Valley Circular Walk, Shaugh Prior, Dartmoor National Park

Dewerstone Valley Circular Walk, Shaugh Prior, Dartmoor National Park

Walking the beautiful Dewerstone Valley

The Dewerstone Valley is one of Dartmoor's many stunning wooded valleys. Located on the south west border of the National Park, the valley is cut by the River Plym as it flows from Crane Hill on Dartmoor's south plateau down to the city of Plymouth.

This circular walk takes you around the lip of the valley providing super views of South Devon, the Dewerstone Valley and Dartmoor's south moor. As is the case with most walks on Dartmoor, it's relatively easy. We'd recommend consulting the Ordnance Survey app or the Explorer OL28 'Dartmoor' map whilst planning this.


How far is it and how long will it take?

The walk is roughly 6 km/4 m in length.

The Ordnance Survey app states that this takes about 1.30 hrs. We tend to cover a Dartmoor mile in 30 mins so plan for 2 hrs to enjoy the views and take photos.


What's the walking like?

The walking is mostly flat and easy. There's a steep-ish ascent at the beginning of the walk to get you up to the top of the valley.


Is there a path?

Yes and no. You walk paths in the wooded sections of the valley. Paths on open moorland tend to be more like tracks.


Is it well signposted?

Yes and no. You'll see signposts in the woods and at Shaugh Bridge and Cadover Bridge but not on open moorland. Take Ordnance Survey or Harvey Mountain Map mapping with you.


Start at Shaugh Bridge near the village Shaugh Prior

Head for Shaugh Bridge just down the road from the village Shaugh Prior. There's a car parking area and limited room along the side of the road. Cross the River Plym on the footbridge east of Shaugh Bridge and you're stood on the north bank of the Plym.


Heading up to the top of the valley

You now have two choices. For an easier walk, follow the quarry road that climbs towards Dewerstone Cottage and then switches back towards Dewerstone Rock.

Alternatively, for a more difficult start to the walk, follow the good path up the bank of the Plym to the foot of Dewerstone Crags. From there, walk and scramble up to Dewerstone Rock. We've done this second route with very young kids on many occasions. You skirt the vertical crags for which the area is famous.


Cadover Bridge

Having taken either route you are now at the top of Dewerstone Rock. Paths/tracks run north east of Dewerstone Rock over Wigford Down to Cadover Bridge Cross and Cadover Bridge.

The views as you walk over Wigford Down near the top of Cadworthy Wood are remarkable.


Returning to Shaugh Bridge

Wander across Cadover Bridge and you'll see a large car park by the river. There's usually an ice cream van. From there, follow the south bank of the River Plym into North Wood. To begin, you are close to the water and you can drop down for a paddle.

Continue south west and the path rises and stunning views open out. Dewerstone Crags are beautiful across the valley. The path descends through the woods back to the car parking area by Shaugh Bridge.


When is it best to visit?

If possible, we'd recommend walking in autumn. The heavily wooded valley is a riot of colour when the leaves turn.

Dartmoor's gorges, valleys and cleaves are also magnificent in spring as the land and woods start greening.