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England: Devon – 5 nights

  • 7 Night Route

    Price: from £970
  • 6 Night Route

    Price: from £905
  • 5 Night Route

    Price: from £830

A tale of two rivers

Back to Routes
Exeter Cathedral

Exeter Cathedral





Buckfast Abbey

Buckfast Abbey

Leaving Buckfastleigh

Leaving Buckfastleigh

Hookney Tor

Hookney Tor

Leaving Totnes

Leaving Totnes

South Devon Railway

South Devon Railway

Bow Creek

Bow Creek

'Greenways' - Agatha Christie's home

'Greenways' - Agatha Christie's home

Bayard's Cove

Bayard's Cove



The gardens at Dartington Hall

The gardens at Dartington Hall

Price: from £830
Nights: 5
Walk: 4-6½ hr/day

We had an outstanding trip. We have taken a number of similar trips around the world, and On Foot is one of the most organized and thoughtfully prepared that we have encountered.

Alan Camp, St Louis, USA - May 2022

What can I say except OFH is the perfect match for us. You pick the loveliest places to stay and give us such great instructions. We have our 'alone time' without feeling like we are on our own. You take all the worry out of independent travel. We feel so lucky we found you and can't wait for our next trip.

Heather Amsden, Newton, USA - May 2022

We liked the contrasts that the route provided, the open spaces of Dartmoor, walking along the wooded riverbanks and the interesting places the route took us through like Buckfast Abbey, the Dartington estate, the Sharpham vineyard.

Because we never walked more than 13 miles a day we were able to visit 2 National Trust properties, Castle Drogo and Greenway.

Sue Johnson, Skipton, UK - September 2021

Interesting to learn more about Devon, and to see the different parts we walked through. We liked the old paths, rivers and woods, great scenery, towns and villages and places of interest along the route.

Everyone was friendly and we felt that the hotels were taking the Covid precautions seriously. All the arrangements were seamless and worked well.

Penny Turley, Brighton, UK - July 2021

We loved the contrasts of the different scenery, the quiet and almost empty lanes and paths. We were overwhelmed by the beauty of the verges and foot paths. Maybe we were exceptionally lucky as bluebells were still in full bloom, but everywhere was a riot of colour.

Patricia Webster, Brentwood UK - May 2021

My sister and I booked the Devon walking tour in May and worked with Harriet and others at On Foot Holidays. We were delighted beyond belief - lovely scenery, perfect accommodations, good food and wonderful people!

On Foot staff were super accommodating, very detailed and replied to any query in a timely manner. I even spoke with them on the phone and they couldn’t have been more friendly and kind.

Barb - May 2019

It's the type of holiday I enjoy - walking from place to place. I couldn't arrange something like this on my own, so having the On Foot notes and maps (and GPS file) and luggage transfer is really the only way to do this. It makes the planning part so easy for me.

I really had a good time and enjoyed the variety along the way (moors, farms, rivers, trains, ferries, etc). It was the perfect antidote to my desk-bound life.

Jean McKenna, New York, USA - October 2018

Everyone in the family (teenagers included!) agreed it was one of the best vacations we've ever had. The walking route was a lovely combination of fields, moors, woods and small towns, and the beginning and end points were locations we could have spent a few extra days exploring.

It was an ideal vacation for us - surrounded by nature, active and challenging, but with a shower and fabulous pub meal awaiting us at the end. It was a luxury to focus on the countryside and our hiking, not the logistics of it all.

Jill Gibson, Wassenaar, Netherlands - June 2018

More independent feedback
A self-guided walking holiday in Devon (5 night) with On Foot Holidays

At a glance

5 nights (4 walking days) - miss Exeter and the Teign Gorge walk, start in Chagford, and combine two final days walking, with boat from Dittisham to Dartmouth. We recommend extra nights in any accommodation (upgrading for extra comfort). See 'Prices' tab for what's included.

Dog-friendly with alternative accommodations.

How much walking?

Full days: 13-21 km per day, 4-6½ hrs walking
Using shortening options: 11-21 km per day, 3½-6½ hrs walking

Max. Grade:

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 one, Dartmouth, forms the end of this route.

Your journey takes you through some of the most beautiful and varied country in the British Isles. After a night in stylish Chagford, the walk goes straight 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.

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.

Dogs: this version is suitable for small or medium sized dogs subject to accommodation changes in Chagford, Widecombe (with an additional taxi transfer to/from) and Dartington. Supplements apply (see “prices”).

Walked by On Foot staff: Simon and Harriet

REVIEWS: For independent walker reviews of this route submitted to the Association of Independent Tour Operators visit

COVID-19 SAFETY PRECAUTIONS: Please read our summary of current regulations.

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.

Route Highlights

  • Stylish Chagford
  • Dartmoor, wild hills and long views
  • Widecombe-in-the-Moor
  • Buckfast Abbey and Dartington Hall
  • Totnes High Street
  • The Dart estuary
  • Agatha Christie’s Greenway
  • Dartmouth

This route features the following characteristics and interests: Coast, Villages and farms, Birdwatching, Dog friendly, Drive to route, History

We Recommend

Upgrades in various stops - stay at Dartington Hall, watching an arthouse film in the evening and dining in the vaulted hall.

How much Walking?

Full days: 13-21 km per day, 4-6½ hrs walking
Using shortening options: 11-21 km per day, 3½-6½ hrs walking

Reasonable signposting on most days, though navigational alertness needed, with careful attention to the route directions particularly Chagford-Widecombe across the moor. Highest point of route 530m. Underfoot conditions mainly good.

Medium-hard: Average cumulative uphill stretches (CUSs) 493m (350m-600m) per day.

Medium: CUSs 393m (300m-525m) using modest shortening options

Important note: Times given for each day are  walking times for an “average” walker and exclude stops.  “CUSs” stands for “Cumulative Uphill Stretches” and measures the aggregated ascents in each day, expressed in metres of climb.  See “Walk Grading” for more information.

When to go?

The best months to walk: May, June, July, August, September, October

Other possible months: April, November

The best time to go is any time between May and October, though the summer months can have accommodation availability problems so you may not get the accommodation you are hoping for. In early and late season the length of daylight can make the use of shortening options sensible.

Start Dates


Weather Chart


Temperature and rainfall chart for Dartington


About the Route

Day 1 - Arrive in Chagford

You'll start in Chagford (by prearranged taxi from Exeter) - a fine moorland town with some excellent shops and inns.

Day 2 - Chagford to Widecombe

Today’s walk follows the Two Moors Way for the whole of the day. Heading out of town along leafy lanes, your path leads south and up onto the high moor. After visiting Grimspound, a Bronze Age circular stone settlement, you continue up above the stone circle and along a ridge. On a fine day, the views from here are almost 360° of stunning countryside, with several tors in sight in the near and far distance. On reaching the far end of the ridge, you head down quickly to reach the village of Widecombe, your resting place for the night. (Medium-hard: 5½hrs, 19km, CUSs 730m). 

Alternative: If you prefer a shorter walk or the weather is inclement, each half of the day has a shorter version. The first half would be mainly on quiet asphalt road and the second would miss out the moorland section (Medium: 4hrs, 14km, CUSs 530m)

Day 3 - Widecombe to Scorriton

An easy start from Widecombe takes you up to spectacular high moorland and into the wooded West Webbern river valley at Jordan, to follow the ‘Two Moors Way’. Passing through tiny hamlets and woods (carpeted with bluebells in May), you will find yourself in seemingly forgotten places, untouched by the 21st century. Continuing through the picturesque village of Ponsworthy, you climb once again up onto moorland at Bel Tor Corner, to walk Dr Blackall’s Drive, an eccentric way along a high ridge above the stunning Dart River valley. Coming down off the moor at “New Bridge”, a pretty medieval bridge across the river Dart, and one of only a few crossing points on this section of the river, you head up through farmland to Scorriton for the night. (Easy-medium: 4hrs, 13km, CUSs 485m)

Day 4 - Scorriton to Dartington

Today’s walk takes you away from the moorland landscape of Dartmoor, and into the softer South Hams, with its voluptuous rolling hills and hidden valleys. The walk starts with a gentle introduction through ancient woodlands and then on to beautiful Buckfast Abbey. After this you enter the bucolic South Devon countryside, walking the delightful ‘green lanes’ to Staverton, where you will meet the River Dart once again. Continue through Dartington Estate (world famous for its summer music schools, and its beautiful quad and Great Hall). It’s then an easy walk down to Dartington village, to a welcome pint in the lively Cott Inn. (Medium: 5½hrs, 21km, CUSs 650m).

Alternative: If you would like a shorter day or simply have some different fun, you can take a steam train for the stretch from Buckfastleigh to Staverton and save 7km of walking (Easy-medium: 3½hrs, 14km, CUSs 405m)

Day 5 - Dartington to Dartmouth via Dittisham

A long day, but a beautiful one. The moorland left far behind, you are following the River Dart to the tidal reach of the sea at Totnes and beyond towards the coast. Highlights of the day include time to visit the beautiful town of Totnes with its famous High Street, and the vineyard at Sharpham, where you can taste the wines and cheeses produced there. The day continues to the pretty sailing village of Dittisham. Then you take the ferry to Dartmouth, or cross over to Greenway to visit Agatha Christie’s house, and then take the boat to Dartmouth. (Medium-hard: 6½ hrs, 21km, CUSs 525m or, enthusiasts can walk on from Dittisham to Dartmouth for a further 6km, total 27km)

Departure day

Depart for home, or why not stay extra nights in this fine old seaport? Whichever, your options for getting home include a steam train to the railhead at Paignton or a boat trip to Totnes!

Travel Information

The best “local” airport is either Exeter or Bristol. Intercontinental flights use London airports.

Flight information can change rapidly and not all flights run daily. Please do check directly with the airlines’ websites or Skyscanner (see below) before finalising any booking with us. Do not book your flights until we have confirmed that we have provisionally reserved accommodation for you.

For up-to-date schedules and flights from all airports check Skyscanner.

EXETER AIRPORT is situated close to the city. Local taxi best.

Land by: 16:00 for shuttle + train to Exeter (c. 2 hrs).
Return flight earliest: 12:00 for train connections from Paignton or Totnes (c. 3 hrs) – accessed by bus or private steam train (Kingswear-Paignton, seasonal)

Land by: 14:00 for shuttle to Reading + train to Exeter (c. 3 hrs).
Return flight earliest: 14:00 for train connections from Paignton or Totnes (c. 3 hrs) – accessed by bus or private steam train (Kingswear-Paignton, seasonal)

See “Getting to the start of the walk” below for transfer information

Nearest railway station:
Start: Exeter
Finish: Totnes by bus from Dartmouth, or Paignton by private steam train in season

Leave car at Exeter St David’s railway station, ten minutes walk from Telstar Guest House and city centre. Pre-booking not available.  At the end use the bus and train from Dartmouth to return.

For those starting at places other than Exeter, a taxi back from Dartmouth to the start point would be best – contact On Foot Holidays for advice on the best parking spots.


Getting to the start of the walk

The first hotel is in the city of Exeter or the villages of Dunsford or Chagford, depending on route version, and the last in the port of Dartmouth. Transfer times and methods are suggestions from London Heathrow airport, but you can also fly to Exeter or Bristol.


Outward: Bus then train to Exeter (c.2½ hrs) then short walk or local taxi to first hotel/B&B (or prearranged taxi on from Exeter train station to Dunsford/Chagford)

Return: Historic steam train from Kingswear to Paignton, train to Reading then airport bus to Heathrow (c.4 hrs)

Alternatively, take the more efficient (if less exciting) bus from Dartmouth to Totnes to connect to the train network. The same bus also continues on to Exeter.

Full transfer advice, including timetables, is provided in your Walkers’ Pack. Contact us if you would like additional pre-booking information.

Where You'll Stay

A wonderful array of village pubs and B&Bs on this walk.  You can also upgrade in Exeter, Chagford, Dartington and Dartmouth, and to a once-owned-by-celebrity-chef riverside restaurant with stylish rooms in Tuckenhay.

Please note: walkers bringing dogs may not be able to do all route versions (check the tabs at the top of the screen) or have the same choice of accommodation. For this version, walkers with dogs require a transfer to upgrade accommodation in Widecombe and upgrade rooms/accommodation in both Dartington and Dartmouth. Supplements will apply (see “prices” tab).

Chagford – The Globe Inn (B&B)

Night 1

Chagford – The Globe Inn (B&B)

Good quality hotel in the village centre. Upgrade to a superior room for a small supplement.

Chagford – The Three Crowns (B&B)

Night 1 (Upgrade)

Chagford – The Three Crowns (B&B)

Former coaching inn with lots of space and comfortable rooms.

Widecombe-in-the-Moor – Higher Venton Farmhouse (B&B)

Night 2

Widecombe-in-the-Moor – Higher Venton Farmhouse (B&B)

Classic Devon farmhouse with flag floors, chickens running wild, rusting tractors and exceptional cream teas. Some shared bathrooms.

Scorriton – The Tradesman’s Arms (B&B)

Night 3

Scorriton – The Tradesman’s Arms (B&B)

Great village pub with quiet rooms above, presided over by Kevin and Suzanne.

Scorriton – Mitchelcroft (B&B)

Night 3 (Upgrade)

Scorriton – Mitchelcroft (B&B)

Stunning modern B&B with three lovely rooms and a beautiful outlook. Owners Michael and Debbie are walkers too. Min. 2 night stay in peak times.

Dartington – The Cott Inn (B&B)

Night 4

Dartington – The Cott Inn (B&B)

Award winning pub with great atmosphere and comfortable rooms. Might be noisy on Fri/Sat nights and there are weekly live-music events. Please ask us for advice.

Dartington – Dartington Hall (B&B)

Night 4 (Upgrade)

Dartington – Dartington Hall (B&B)

More an event cente than a hotel, this fine old former college boasts beautiful gardens, comfortable rooms, a pub, restaurant and even arts cinema on site. An experience.

Dartmouth – Bayards Cove Inn (B&B)

Night 5

Dartmouth – Bayards Cove Inn (B&B)

Comfortable rooms above a restaurant in a historic building, close to the sea front. Some of the rooms are on the small side, but the atmosphere more than makes up for it.

Dartmouth – The Royal Castle Hotel (B&B)

Night 5 (Upgrade)

Dartmouth – The Royal Castle Hotel (B&B)

Grand old lady of Dartmouth hotels in stunning position overlooking boating pool and Dart.


Price: from £830 for 5 nights

Total 5 nights in double/twin room, all breakfasts and 2 picnics, luggage transfers between all hotels on walking route; full Walkers Pack with route directions, maps, transfer and background information; local telephone support.

All prices are per person unless otherwise indicated, and are based on a standard booking in May. Prices may vary seasonally and a fixed price will be given to you before you commit.

Single Room Supplement (SRS): From £275
Lone Traveller Additional Supplement (LTAS): From £180
Large party saving (LPS): Groups of more than 2 people (on an identical itinerary, on the same booking and booked at the same time) – discount of at least £15 per person
Maximum party size: 10

Dogs: As only certain accommodation accepts dogs, a transfer to/from upgrade accommodation in nearby Haytor is necessary instead of the night in Widecombe. The night in Dartington is also at an upgraded hotel so please allow an extra cost of £70 per person plus a dog supplement of around £10 per dog per night.


Add Ons

Extra nights and upgrades: Contact On Foot Holidays (seasonal pricing)

Sending Walkers Packs to addresses outside the UK:  £10-£40 (per pack, location dependent)

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Caroline Evans

Our local team

Caroline Evans

Caroline has lived in rural South Devon for 25 years. Now that her children have all left home, she spends her time teaching and producing art, attempting to master Spanish, and helping tend the smallholding, whilst her husband also fills the sheds with plenty of logs for the winter

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