Walking Trails in Devon

Walking Trails in Devon

Devon offers some of the most diverse walking opportunities in the UK, benefitting from an extensive network of trails across moorland, countryside and coast. From Dartmoor and Exmoor National Parks to the 205 miles of South West Coast Path, there is something for everyone.

If you are looking to enjoy the glorious landscapes Devon is famous for, then you’ll be interested in the array of footpaths and routeways criss-crossing across the county. Lace up your boots, grab your backpack and look forward to hitting some of the best walking trails in Devon.

Plym’s Old Lines

Only a stone’s throw from Plymouth yet a world away from the city rush, the lower Plym Valley is a real hidden gem. To get off the beaten track, there is a 5-mile walk that starts and ends at Plym Valley Railway which follows a disused trainline. As you walk, you may be accompanied overhead by one of the beautiful peregrine falcons who live in the area. 

The Wray Valley Trail

The Wray Valley Trail stretches from Bovey Tracey to Moretonhampstead in South Devon. Affording 7 miles of mostly traffic-free, multi-use trail, it traces the line of a former railway, which stopped running in 1959, and takes you through the National Trust Parke Estate and past the village of Lustleigh – often called the prettiest village in Dartmoor.

Grand Western Canal Walk

The Grand Western Canal flows for many miles through the mid-Devon countryside, accompanied by a flat towpath that runs alongside. For relaxing strolls or invigorating marches, you can walk as much or as little of the 11-mile path as you please, before turning back or continuing all the way to Tiverton for a bite to eat. 

Dart Valley Trail

The 16-mile Dart Valley Trail is a walking route between Totnes and Dartmouth that takes in both sides of the River Dart. Within the South Devon Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, the route guides you along ancient pathways, skirts water-meadow marshland and cuts through tranquil, riverside woodland for an unmissable walking trail in Devon. 

Exe Estuary Trail

The Exe Estuary Trail is one of Devon’s newest walking and cycling trails, consisting of 16 miles of mainly flat routeway along the entire Exe Estuary. Rewarding ramblers with gorgeous views across the River Exe and with plenty of interesting places to stop off along the way, including Exmouth, Exeter and Dawlish Warren, it’s a great option for walking in Devon.

The Templer Way

The Templer Way is a walking trail in Devon linking Haytor on Dartmoor with the seaside town of Teignmouth. One that can easily be broken up into smaller sections to make it more manageable, the route spans for 18 miles in total and is waymarked along the way, except on Haytor Down where the route is outlined by the rails of the old Haytor Granite Tramway, closed in 1858.

Two Castles Trail

The Two Castles Trail can be joined up with the West Devon Way and Tamar Valley Discovery Trail to create a giant circuit of around 90 miles, known as the West Devon Triangle. That said, the Two Castles Trail is a challenge enough, weaving for 24 miles between Okehampton Castle on the fringes of Dartmoor to Launceston Castle just over the Cornwall border.

Tamar Valley Discovery Trail

A 31-mile trail, the Tamar Valley Discovery Trails follows the River Tamar and includes sections in both Devon and Cornwall. For added adventure, it also features two river crossings, with walkers crossing on foot at Lopwell Dam and by train at Calstock. Just be warned that it’s not possible to cross at Lopwell within two hours either side of high tide.

For more Tamar adventures, check out the Tamar Trails too with walking trails, visitor centre, outdoor activities and café.

John Musgrave Heritage Trail

Split into four sections, the John Musgrave Heritage Trail covers 35 miles from Maidencombe to Brixham. Created in memory of John Musgrave, the late Chairman of the South Devon Ramblers, the route encompasses over 40 of South Devon's finest heritage sites and leads you past everything from creeks to castles to coast.  

West Devon Way

The West Devon Way is a 37-mile recreational walking route, traversing the county from Okehampton to Plymouth via Tavistock. Despite its length, the West Devon Way can be broken up into smaller chunks and for the most part enjoys lots of level stretches, with a handful of steeper sections thrown in for good measure. 

East Devon Way

This walking trail in Devon wends for 40 perfect miles through the East Devon Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. Beginning in Exmouth and finishing in Lyme Regis, it showcases incredible countryside scenes peppered with thatched cob cottages, picturesque churches, ancient hillforts and patchwork fields lined with leafy hedgerows.

The Exe Valley Way

The Exe Valley Way is a beautiful river valley walk that runs between source and sea from the wooded valleys of Exmoor to the Exe Estuary. At over 50 miles long, this long-distance route nearly traverses the breadth of the county and offers an everchanging roll of scenery that will captivate even the most well-travelled walkers and wanderers.

Two Moors Way

The enormous 100-mile Two Moors Ways is one of the long-distance walking trails in Devon that calls to hikers of all ages. Reaching from Ivybridge in the south to Lynmouth in the north, this well-known path connects the two National Parks of Dartmoor and Exmoor and as such affords some of the most amazing scenery in the country. 

Tarka Trail 

Inspired by Henry Williamson’s famous novel Tarka the Otter, the Tarka Trail is a 180-mile walking and cycling trail across North Devon and Exmoor. Claiming the title of the longest, traffic-free cycle route in the UK, it makes for a wonderful place for leisurely perambulations. And with 180 miles to cover, you’ll find yourself drawn back again and again. 

The South West Coast Path 

With difficulty levels fluctuating with the rise and fall of the land, the 205-mile South West Coast Path in Devon calls to everyone from unhurried amblers to seasoned hikers. However far you’d like to roam, you can make the most of the 90 miles of coast path along the north coast and 115 miles in the south and enjoy unbroken seascapes extending towards a distant horizon.

Feeling inspired? Take a browse of our luxury cottages in Devon here

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