High Moor Link Section 1: Buckfastleigh to Hexworthy — the Dartmoor Way
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Kit P planned a hike.
December 8, 2020
The Dartmoor Way has become a very flexible hike thanks to its two-stage High Moor Link route. This Tour is the first stage if you’re hiking east to west and sits at 11 miles (18 km). You’ll see plenty of Dartmoor’s personalities on this trail, from the River Dart and gorgeous woodlands to the grassy hills and granite tors of the moorland proper. The overall ascent is 1,800 feet (550 m) and you’ll lose less than half in descent so be prepared for a generally uphill hike.
Buckfastleigh is a wonderful place to begin walking as it has local supermarkets and lovely sights. Spy the River Dart and pass by the incredible Buckfast Abbey on your way out into the countryside. You’ll soon reach Burchetts Wood, which is particularly pretty in summer. After, you’ll pass through the old village of Holne, the birthplace of Victorian author Charles Kingsley and location of a lovely tea room if you need a rest.
After the village, you’ll descend into the wonderful and vibrant Holne Woods, crossing the Dart at an old stone bridge, ironically called New Bridge. Working your way uphill, you’ll eventually reach Dr Blackall’s Drive, a stunning old carriageway with views of the Dart Valley, Sharp Tor, Mel Tor and Buckland-in-the-Moor church. Hike to Sharp Tor with its granite jumble before hiking down to the clapper bridge to cross the meandering Dart again at Dartmeet and then onto finish in Hexworthy.
Hexworthy is home to the Forest Inn which has food and accommodation. The other option for accommodation is to wild camp, which is allowed on the moor just to the south of Hexworthy. If you do plan on wild camping, it’s best to bring food with you from Buckfastleigh as there are scant shops on the route.
December 15, 2020