Walking trails on Dartmoor

Walking trails in Devon

The county of Devon has attracted many to its borders, and hikers and walkers, in particular, can’t get enough of its astounding beauty and wildlife. If you’re seeking exploration and adventure, look no further than Devon. Westcountry life is all about being active and seeing nature up close – and what better place to see the coast and explore the vast countryside than here?

Discover our top picks for walking trails from the South of Devon to the North. These spectacular routes and trails offer unforgettable landscapes and viewpoints, making them some of Devon’s best places to walk.

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 The South West Coast Path

Dubbed “England’s longest National Trail”, the South West Coast Path is key to life in Devon as it stretches across the entirety of its coast; from Dorset and Somerset to Devon and Cornwall. There are hundreds of miles of coastal walks waiting to be explored.

Walker on the Coast Path

For those looking for a challenge, trekking the entire South West Coast Path is considered the walk of a lifetime and a local’s favourite challenge. The trail is 630 miles (1,014km) long and can take at least a month to complete if you’re an advanced walker with time to spare. However, for those who enjoy stopping and taking in the sights, the path can be split into 52 sections, and could be an eight-week challenge or potentially longer. Whilst few people have the time to take multiple walking holidays, for the locals, this is a regular challenge that brings Devon communities together.

As one of Devon’s most popular public footpaths, why not try the South West Coast Path on your next walking holiday?


Best walks in North Devon

North Devon walks are renowned for their coastal views and challenging hiking activities. With its quaint coastal towns and unique tourist attractions, it is the perfect place for a relaxing hike by the sea.

North Devon coastal walk by the sea


Tarr Steps walk”

Distance: 2 miles (3.5km)

Estimated time: 1 hour.

Walk level: Easy.

Venture through dense oak woodlands and cross the River Barle to the iconic clapper bridge, Tarr Steps—a walk is suitable for all walkers.

Tarr Steps in Exmoor

“Tarr Steps, Exmoor” photographed by Andrew Bone.

Take in the woodland, meadow, and riverside views on one of Exmoor’s most popular family trails. In just over an hour, you can see this famous location up close in this stunning National Nature Reserve.


Clovelly to Clovelly Harbour walk

Distance: 1.98 miles (3.1km)

Estimated time: 1 hour.

Walk level: Easy.

Enjoy Clovelly up close and witness glorious seascapes from the harbour on this walk from Clovelly to Clovelly harbour.

Clovelly to Clovelly harbour walk

Suitable for all skill levels, your walking tour starts as soon as you enter the car park. For those arriving in Clovelly for the first time, it is a car-free village that allows you to walk in on foot; perfect for walkers who don’t mind a bit of steep terrain. However, a Land Rover service is available for those with limited mobility to get to and from Clovelly Harbour.


Ilfracombe town trails

Distance: 0.3 – 0.5 miles (0.4km – 0.8km)

Estimated time: 10 – 15 minutes.

Walk level: Easy.

Interested in Ilfracombe’s history? Take a stroll on Ilfracombe’s town trail walk and enjoy the rugged sea views from the quay, harbour or directly on Tunnels Beach.

Ilfracombe town trail

This leisurely walk takes you on a journey through time. You can start from Fore Street, which has a history dating back to the Middle Ages. Or, likewise, you can begin your walk from Ilfracombe’s harbour, where you can visit the famous man-made Tunnels Beach and watch the tides sway in this Victorian bathing pool.

What’s not to love about a town-to-coast walk?


Ilfracombe Torrs walk

Distance: 2 miles (3.2km)

Estimated time: 45 minutes – 1 hour.

Walk level: Moderate.

The Ilfracombe Torrs walk has been popular with the locals for over a hundred years, starting with the Victorians.

A vintage photograph of Ilfracombe Tor's walk

“Tor’s Walk, Ilfracombe,” photographed by Snapshots of the Past.

On this walk, you can see this man-made marvel up close. With plenty of viewpoints to choose from, you can enjoy the fresh sea air and views that inspired the Victorians to carve these cliff faces and make Ilfracombe the quaint seaside resort it is today.


Brownsham and Clovelly loop

Distance: 5.2 miles (8.4km)

Estimated time: 1 hour 45 minutes.

Walk level: Moderate.

This mixed-terrain circular walk passes through Brownsham and Clovelly alongside the coastal path and offers phenomenal views of woodland, farmlands, and the coast.

Boats docked on a pier

This trail is popular with locals and tourists alike and is open year-round for those who want to explore.


The Valley of Rocks circular walk

Distance: 3.7 miles (6km)

Estimated time:  1 – 2 hours 30 minutes.

Walk level: Moderate.

The Valley of Rocks circular walk is a stunning location on Exmoor in North Devon. On this walk, you can see the dramatic stone peaks and cliffs that define this coastal region. Keep an eye out for resident wild goats, which thrive off the cliffside.

The Valley of Rocks

This walk allows you to walk alongside the sea on the South West Coast path and ascend into the dense woodlands of Exmoor. Make sure to look out for the rocky ridge “Rugged Jack” as you move forward and see the “White Lady;” an unusual rocky viewpoint.


Ilfracombe to Combe Martin walk

Distance: 6 miles (9.6km)

Estimated time: 1 hour 30 minutes.

Walk level: Advanced.

If you want a more challenging coastal walk in Devon, the hike to Combe Martin from Ilfracombe is a must. For six miles, you can walk alongside dramatic cliffs and beaches and even stop for a swim in the clear waters of Broad Sands or Wild Pear Beach.

Combe Martin beach

On a warm day, this “swim safari” walk is the perfect summer activity to cool off and immerse yourself in the coast’s beauty.


Heddon Valley to Woody Bay walk

Distance: 6 miles (9.6km)

Estimated time: 2 hours 30 minutes – 3 hours.

Walk level: Advanced.

Follow a 19th-century carriageway and the South West Coast Path on the walk from Heddon Valley to Woody Bay.

Heddon Valley

“Heddon Valley” photographed by Alastair Campell.

Immerse yourself in coastal views and traverse through the historic surrounding woodland. On your walk, you’ll pass a Roman fortlet,, and towards the end of this route, you can even detour to the pebble beach and lime kiln at Heddon’s Mouth.


Best walks in South Devon

Another great feature in Devon for walkers is cities big enough to explore for hours.

Bird flying over a town in South Devon

South Devon towns and cities offer an abundance of countryside and city walking routes. Walking in South Devon is always a joy, from traditional high street trails to serene riverside paths.


Exeter Quay to Exeter Cathedral loop from St James’ Park

Distance: 4.41 miles (7km)

Estimated time: 1 hour 15 minutes.

Walk level: Easy.

This easily accessible walk from Exeter Quay is perfect for those exploring Exeter’s iconic city landmarks. As one of Devon’s largest cities, Exeter has many walks, things to do, and places to eat that will keep you occupied and entertained throughout every season.

Exeter Cathedral

“Exeter Cathedral” photographed by Bazzadarambler.

With hiking highlights such as Exeter Cathedral and Exeter Quayside, you can see some of Exeter’s oldest historic places and enjoy the city’s modern attractions as you pass. This walk is great for an easy day out that shows you the main features of Exeter.


Bellever Forest circular walk

Distance: 3 miles (4.5km)

Estimated time: 1 hour 30 minutes.

Walk level: Easy.

The Bellever Forest walk near Postbridge includes woodland tracks with spectacular viewpoints of the forests, East Dart River, and vast moorlands.

Dartmoor woodland

This short circular walk in Dartmoor is also dog-friendly – there’s plenty of space for your furry friend to run around and paddle in the river. Enjoy the sights of Dartmoor from the thick of the woods, with plenty of chances to wander up to Bellever Tor.


Exe Estuary Trail

Distance: 26 miles (41.8km)

Estimated time: N/A

Walk level: Easy, moderate to advanced.

The Exe Estuary Trail is 26 miles long in total and has some breathtaking views of the River Exe.

River Exe by Exeter

“River Exe, Exeter” photographed by Alison Day.

If you fancy a change of pace and want to experience the full breadth of this route, why not travel by bike? This route can be enjoyed at any pace and walking ability; you can walk for as long as you like.


The Okehampton Deer Park Circuit

Distance: 4.5 miles (7.2km)

Estimated time: 1 hour 30 minutes.

Walk level: Moderate.

Enjoy a mixed-terrain path through the forest from Okehampton on this circuit walk. You’ll pass Dartmoor’s medieval longhouses and the Deer Park hunting lodge.

Okehampton Deer Park Circuity walk

While this walk begins with a slight incline, the descent back is easier and allows you to see glorious views of the moors. Mud-resistant walking boots may be required for this circuit, particularly if it’s been raining, as this walk has uneven paths on most of the woodland tracks.


Tavy Cleave and Hare Tor walk

Distance: 4.5 miles – 9 miles (7.2km – 14.1km)

Estimated time: 1 hour 30 minutes – 2 hours 30 minutes.

Walk level: Moderate to Advanced.

The Tavy Cleave and Hare Tor walk is considered to be one of the best walks in Dartmoor, from its walk into the heart of the moors to unbelievable views from Hare Tor and Ger Tor.

Dartmoor

“Dartmoor” photographed by Alison Day.

The valley of Tavy Cleave offers breathtaking views regardless of the weather. This area is the birthplace of popular local legends, and this route is the best way to experience the moors. From scrambling up boulders to far-reaching views of the river, this walk is well worth the challenge.

Note: Parts of this walking trail are within the Dartmoor Firing Range, so it’s important to check times before embarking on this route.


Running in Devon

Why not participate in a free weekly 5K community event where you can run or walk around Devon? In partnership with Vitality, locals and visitors can volunteer at all these locations and exercise with like-minded people who love being outdoors in Devon.

North Devon

South Devon


Why is Devon the best county for walkers?

Walking is a part of everyday Devon life, which is why the county is so sought after for its most beautiful hiking locations and coastal communities. Whether you are walking in North Devon or South Devon, the county is full of potential for outdoor pursuits where you can appreciate nature all year round – Devon in the winter is still just as alluring as the summer months!

With various walking locations across the county, Devon is a great place to live if you want to upgrade your lifestyle and visit all these spectacular places and national parks. Living in this prime holiday destination is a walker’s paradise, and the countryside offers years of endless adventures and fun with loved ones.

Devon coastal view

If you’re looking for reasons to move to Devon, this is it.

Choose Devon for its astounding beauty, diverse walking locations, and innate charm, which make it one of the most unique places to live in the UK. Here, you can experience the wonders of walking the coast and country daily. Devon’s landscape has inspired so many others to make the transition to Westcountry life: why not discover for yourself what makes this county special?


Discover new homes in Devon

Choose Cavanna Homes for your new property and start your new life in Devon.

Cavanna Homes properties

As a trusted provider of beautiful homes across the West Country, we are a premium house builder with over 100 years of experience creating quality new homes and communities. From detailed insights and experience into the local housing market to high-standard design and build quality, our new homes in the South West are some of the best developments in the county.

When you move to Devon, we’ll be ready to assist you every step of the way so your transition to Devon life is as smooth as possible. Buying with us is an investment in quality and location; we pride ourselves on ensuring we get you a property worthy of your investment.

Discover our new homes in Devon and contact our sales team today to assist you with your move to country life.

 

New homes for sale in Devon