Stage 5: Moretonhampstead to Chagford — the Dartmoor Way
Kit P planned a hike.
December 8, 2020
This 9-mile (14 km) Tour takes in one of Dartmoor’s most dramatic river valleys where the Teign cuts through glorious woodlands below Castle Drogo. With a little over 1,200 feet (366 m) of ascent and descent, this hike has a few steep descents and ascents but the scenery more than makes up for any breathlessness.
Moretonhampstead has local supermarkets and bakeries from which to fill your pockets and you’ll set off north along pretty lanes to the base of Butterdon Hill. From here, the trail will take you to the top of the Teign valley and you’ll descend down a steep, rocky byway. While careful footing is required during wetter months, the woods here are glorious and the treat at the bottom is well worth it.
Fingle Bridge, a 17th century stone bridge, sits over the River Teign and has a perfectly located pub right next to it. Whether you’re after a hot meal or bringing your own picnic, this is a wonderful spot to munch. The Dartmoor Way follows the north side of the river west, rising to Sharp Tor’s fantastic valley views and passing below Castle Drogo. The last castle to be built in England, this 100-year-old building resides under the care of the National Trust and is open to the public.
Descending to the Teign once more, you’ll follow this beautiful river almost the entirety of the remaining route, before branching south to the old market town of Chagford. This ancient settlement has inns and B&Bs but there are also several areas immediately south-west where it’s legal to wild camp. Consult the map first: dartmoor.gov.uk/about-us/about-us-maps/new-camping-map
December 11, 2020