Broad Barrow, Widecombe in the Moor, Dartmoor National Park

Broad Barrow, Widecombe in the Moor, Dartmoor National Park

Numerous cairns and barrows run along the spine of the vast Hamel Down. Broad Barrow sits on the highest ground 532 metres above sea level. The views up top are awesome. It's a particularly impressive place when the heather and gorse flower purple and yellow in early Autumn.

A barrow is a mound of earth and stone over a grave or graves. In addition to its function as a burial mound, the barrow also acted as a boundary marker and status symbol. Given the number of barrows and cairns on Hamel Down and around English Heritage's Grimspound, Broad Barrow is clearly part of a once important section of what is now Dartmoor National Park.

A wide track passes over the spine of Hamel Down. It's part of the Two Moors Way and connects Broad Barrow with nearby Single Barrow, Two Barrows and Hameldown Beacon. It doesn't take very long to explore all these points of interest once you are up on the high ground of Hamel Down.

We've positioned Broad Barrow on Google maps so zoom in on the 'Satellite' setting to see its location.

To visit, we'd recommend walking in from Grimspound. There's limited parking on the moorland road below Grimspound. This is near Headland Warren Farm and Firth Bridge as marked on the Ordnance Survey Explorer OL28 'Dartmoor' map. Wander up to Grimspound and then follow the very obvious path that climbs steeply to Hameldown Tor. From there, walk the Two Moors Way to Broad Barrow. You'll see Hamel Down Cross to your right before you reach the barrow.

You can walk in from other directions. We outline some of the easier routes below.

From the south. Park at Widecombe-in-the-Moor. A path rises from the village to the southern end of Hamel Down. Follow the Two Moors Way to Hameldown Beacon, Two Barrows, Single Barrow and then Broad Barrow.

From the east. There's very limited parking at Natsworthy. Wide tracks lead up to Hamel Down and Broad Barrow. Note that you can walk this route from the car park by Hound Tor via Jay's Grave.

From the north. This is a longer route. Park at the car parking area by the B3212 at the foot of Shapley Common. Follow the path that runs to Hookney Tor and then Grimspound. Yomp up to Hameldown Tor and then Broad Barrow.