Devon Walks - General Information

Click here for specific coastal walks routes and here for specific country walks routes

Click here for books and information on the paths and trails which Devon has to offer.

Long Distance Trails

South West Coast Path - one of the National Trails

A path originally created by fishermen, King's soldiers and coastguards (not to mention smugglers!) over centuries of coastal activity, the South West Coast path has become one of the finest leisure routes in Britain - indeed, it's now Britain's longest National Trail. It extends more than 600 miles (960 km) and offers walkers a challenge that ranges from easy to, well, not so easy! The path is well marked and runs for 90 miles (144 km) along the north Devon coast and 115 miles (185 km) along the south Devon coast, with some of the finest landscapes and seascapes to be found anywhere in the UK.

On the north coast, Combe Martin's clean sands, Ilfracombe's picturesque harbour, and the impressive sweep of Saunton Sands, together with the astonishing cliff scenery each side of Hartland Point, are all inspiring sights. If you visit the south coast, the charming city of Plymouth gives way to the delightful estuaries of the South Hams and the amazing headlands of the East Devon cliffs. All in all, the South West Coast Path offers a worthwhile challenge to the long distance walker, while at the same time providing a great experience for anyone who wants to spend a day or two exploring this stunning and beautiful part of Devon.

Tarka Trail

Created in response to continuous interest in the ever-popular story of "Tarka the Otter", this 180 mile long (290 km) walking and cycling route follows a figure of eight course which maps out Tarka's journeys through the rivers of north Devon. It's a path through ever-changing scenery, traversing the best countryside that Devon has to offer, including quiet farmlands, lush river valleys covered in forests, inspiring moorland and dramatic coastlines. As with all the long distance paths, the waymarking is carefully maintained so that you can follow long or short sections easily, and you'll find that short sections of the Trail, or beautiful circular walks based around it, are just right for day and half day walks.

Two Moors Way

The Two Moors Way is 100 miles (160 km) long, and runs between Ivybridge in the south and Lymnouth in the North, linking the two National Parks of Dartmoor in the south and Exmoor in the north. Once again, the diversity of Devon scenery means the path traverses a whole range of countryside, including some wild and remote stretches of Dartmoor, as well as outstandingly beautiful lengths of valley of the River Dart. After crossing some of the most unspoilt parts of central Devon, the path reaches Exmoor, with some deep Hams, wooded valleys, and the most magnificent views from the moorland. In general, the walk is easy with only one or two more difficult sections; it's all waymarked, apart from the sections which cross open moorland - these require navigational skills.

Erme - Plym Trail

This 15 mile (24 km) path is an easy walk which goes through the pleasing environment of the Erme Valley, located south of Ivybridge, and then follows a cross-country route through attractive farmland and fields.

West Devon Way

This is a 36 mile (58 km) long path which goes from Okehampton, in the very heart of Devon, to the historic city of Plymouth. Along the way, you'll see some astounding moorland landscapes, walk over quiet rural paths, skirt superb river valleys, and walk around the western edge of Dartmoor. Once more, the path is waymarked except for the open moorland stretches, and the going ranges from easy to moderate - though, since all of the route runs alongside bus routes, if the going gets tough, you'll find it easy to make other arrangements than Shank's pony.

Two Castles Trail

The Two Castles Trail is a path 24 miles (38 km) long which links the medieval castles of Launceston and Okehampton. The trail passes through a variety of landscapes, from moorland in the east, through woodland and river valleys, and in doing so traverses a whole range of sites of historic interest, including a wooded hilltop Iron Age fort as well as a battlefield - the site of a Dark Age skirmish between Saxons and Celts. It's an easy path, with easily seen waymarkers, except over the open moorland.

Devon Coast to Coast

Devon's coast to coast path runs north to south across the county; it's called the Two Moors Way. At Ivybridge it intersects with the Erme-Plym Trail, and this provides the link to the south coast path. This means you can walk between the English Channel and the Bristol Channel - a mere 117 miles (184 km) apart. Although the Two Moors Way and the Erme-Plym path keep their own identities and names, you'll find green coast to coast markers which give you the sense of completing a unique and special walk.

John Musgrave Heritage Trail

John Musgrave left a legacy to the South Devon Ramblers' Association so they could create a new walking route around Torbay. The John Musgrave Heritage Trail was established in accordance with his wishes, and now runs though 35 miles (56 km) of south Devon's scenic and beautiful landscape of verdant hills, quiet combes, delightful villages and astounding coastline.

Tamar Valley Discovery Trail

Enjoy 30 miles (48 km) of delightful walking along the valley of the Tamar, which once formed the border between the Saxons living in Devon and the Celts who had settled in Cornwall. It runs from the edge of Plymouth in the south to Launceston, the ancient capital of Cornwall.