Stage 3: Tiverton to Dulverton — Exe Valley Way
Kit P planned a hike.
January 13, 2021
This hike leads you north through remote countryside; over hills and through valleys to Somerset. The trail undulates, often hugging the edges of hills and leaves the Exe behind for a stretch. Woods, fields and historic stone bridges are the central themes of this stage.
The route begins in Tiverton, which has shops to stock up at. There are pubs en route and plenty of beautiful picnic spots, too. This first section keeps the River Exe on your right as you walk upriver, gradually gaining height but experiencing nothing very strenuous.
This is certainly a hike of lovely bridges and the first one of note is Cove Bridge, complete with a Tolkienesque cottage on one side. Next, climb a steel lane and walk through Holmingham Woods to cross the river at Halfpenny Bridge. The route leaves the Exe here and heads north to the sweet village of Bampton, which is a good place for lunch.
The next section climbs again and rambles across high fields before dropping you in Exebridge, a hamlet where the River Barle pours into the Exe. The bridge here is gorgeous and marks the boundary between Devon and Somerset. Skirting Hulverton Hill, you’ll soon find yourself in Brushford and then my favourite bridge of the Tour; New Bridge. Not new by any stretch of the imagination, this gloriously old bridge is covered in vines and looks like it’s wandered out of a folktale.
Having left the Exe behind at Exebridge, it’s the Barle that will lead you to Dulverton. This is one of Exmoor’s gateway towns and has a wonderful sense of community. Here, you’ll find accommodation, cafes and an Exmoor National Park information centre.