A tale of two rivers
Devon and Cornwall occupy the south-west peninsula of England, an area defined by England’s remarkable maritime heritage. Devon, perhaps the lesser known of the two counties, nevertheless contains three great and ancient ports of which two, Exeter and Dartmouth, form the beginning and end of this route.
The journey between the two centres takes you through some of the most beautiful and varied country in the British Isles. After a night in medieval Exeter and a short bus ride (walkers can opt to stay in the village of Dunsford instead), the route takes you up the wooded Teign Gorge to stylish Chagford, stopping en-route to visit imposing Castle Drogo. Then on to legendary Dartmoor: windswept downs of a lonely and unsurpassable beauty and the background to much literature, both romantic and mystical. Overnight in pretty Widecombe-in-the-Moor, then a breathtaking walk along the fringes of the moor to the upper reaches of the River Dart, where your journey back to the sea begins. Buckfast Abbey, Dartington Hall and the fine town of Totnes itself line themselves along this majestic waterway, winding down to the sea at the historic town of Dartmouth, from where many a buccaneer sailed and, more notably, the base from which the Pilgrim Fathers sailed in the Mayflower to colonise the New World (watch out for celebrations in 2020).
Staying in country inns and carefully chosen B&Bs, and with a variety of ways to shorten and ease the walking (including a steam train and a river steamer!), the walker will experience the best that England can offer, though should be ready to navigate intelligently as the paths are not always well signed.
Walked by Simon and Harriet.
REVIEWS: For independent walker reviews of this route submitted to the Association of Independent Tour Operators visit AITO.com
ARTICLES: Read articles about On Foot’s Devon holiday on the Silver Travel Advisor website here, and from The Sunday Telegraph newspaper here.
Writer Andrew Morris also managed to coincide with the annual Fair at Widecombe-in-the-Moor during his trip, and wrote about it here.
A tale of two rivers
All tour descriptions and conditions are given in accordance with the information of On Foot Holidays