• Start: Dartmeet car park (grid ref SX673733)
  • End: Dartmeet car park (grid ref SX673733)
  • Country: England
  • County: Devon
  • Type: Country
  • Nearest pub: Badger’s Holt, Dartmeet, 01364 631213; Forest Inn, Hexworthy, 01364 631211
  • Ordnance Survey: Ordnance Survey OL28 or Landranger 191 and 202
  • Difficulty: Medium
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As well as magnificent Dartmoor views, this figure-of-eight walk has plenty of historical interest including three Listed bridges and a tin mine, writes Robert Hesketh

As well as magnificent Dartmoor views, this figure-of-eight walk has plenty of historical interest including three Listed bridges and a tin mine, writes Robert Hesketh.

Boots on? Lets go!
Distance: 11km (6 miles) Time: 3 hours Exertion: Moderate

Turn right and cross the road bridge,built in 1792 during the turnpike era. Afew metres upstream is its predecessor, aclapper bridge possibly of medieval origin.

Two of its spans remain; three were lost inthe flood of 1826. Turn left down afootpath past two houses. Turn left again,signed Bridleways near CombestoneFarm. Cross the stepping stones carefully.

On the far bank, take the well-beatenBridlepath near Combestone Tor uphillthrough trees and on through fields. AtAsh House, walk ahead for Holne Roadat Combestone Tor, then join a farmtrack. Continue on this track at the nextjunction.

On reaching the road, turn left to visitCombestone Tor. A superlativeviewpoint, this fine granite pile showshorizontal weathering and a rock basincharacteristic of Dartmoor tors. Turn rightonto the lane and follow it down over thebridge, then up again. When the roaddivides, fork right, signed Princetown 6and walk down to the Forest Inn.

Dartmoor author William Crossing knewthe old thatched inn well before it wasravaged by fire. Built in 1916, the presentinn bears the plume of feathers, the Princeof Wales symbol. Inside are Dartmoorlandscape paintings.

Take the lane in front of the inn (notthe road to Hexworthy Bridge) andfollow it down to Hexworthy and then upto the splendidly thatched Thimble Hall.(At this point you may halve the walksimply by continuing the directions frompoint 6.) For the full route, turn left andwalk uphill. Cross a tarmac access drive,then after 80m join a lane. Turn right andwalk over a cattle grid. Follow the lanedownhill. On the left are the remains of19th-century Gobbet Mine and a littlefurther up the valley are the remains ofolder tin works. Cross the bridge and walkuphill to Sherberton Farm.

Take the Public Bridlepath betweenfarm buildings; turn left in front of thesawyard into an enclosed track. Continuethrough the next gate onto the openmoor. Follow the Bridlepath sign ahead,keeping the wall and fence on your left.The stone circle in the far left corner of thefield is worth seeing, though most of itsstones have been lost to the nearby wall.Dont take the gate here, but walk uphillfor a further 150m, keeping the wall onyour left. Leave the field by the gate at thePath sign and follow the well-beaten pathto a junction.

Turn left for R Swincombe. After600m cross the stile at the end of thefield, and after 60m keep left, following theBridlepath to a footbridge. Cross theSwincombe and walk ahead, signedBridlepath. Continue on the bridlepath tothe lane and retrace your steps to ThimbleHall.

Turn left (right if you are halving thewalk at this point!) opposite ThimbleHall onto a Public Footpath. Go throughthe yard ahead and into the field. Followthe path sign and cross the stone stile atthe far end of the field. Walk down to thetarred lane, cross Hexworthy Bridge, ahandsome Grade II Listed 18th-centurygranite structure and walk on to StRaphaels Church. Built in 1869 to servethis part of the huge moorland parish ofLydford, it was also used as a school.The childrens desks are now pews,complete with inkwell holders.

Take the next turning right, oppositeHuccaby Farm. Do not take the gatein front of you, but bear left uphill, signedPublic Footpath Dartmeet to anothergate with a warning about the steppingstones. Walk ahead following the yellowwaymarks over the hill and down into anenclosed lane. The path leads into a fieldand down to Dartmeet

Points of Interest...

Magnificent Dartmoor views fromCombestone Tor

Clapper bridge, turnpike trustbridge and stepping stones atDartmeet

Hexworthy Bridge a favouritepaddling place

St Raphaels Church, once aschool, where the old desks arepews

Tinners workings at Gobbet Min

Start: Dartmeet car park (grid refSX673733)
Terrain: Field and moorland paths,bridleways and quiet lanes. Some upsand downs, with one longer ascent

Maps: Ordnance Survey OL28 orLandranger 191 and 202
Child/dog friendly: Suitable for olderchildren and dogs on leads
Refreshments: Badgers Holt,Dartmeet, 01364 631213; Forest Inn,Hexworthy, 01364 631211
Public transport: None
Note: This walk includes steppingstones near the start. Normally, theseare safe if crossed with care, but theycan be slippery after rain and shouldnot be used if the river is running high.

For more walks on Dartmoor see SouthDartmoor Pub Walks by RobertHesketh (Bossiney Books, 2011)

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