The Erme-Plym Trail and the Two Moors Way are brought together to provide you with a tremendous walking holiday over Dartmoor and Exmoor. It covers the length of Devon: from Wembury, on the south coast, to Lynmouth, on the north. It can be walked with the South West Coast Path at either end to create a more varied and even more challenging walk! Both Dartmoor and Exmoor are also home to their own, unique rare breeds of wild ponies. In Exmoor, you may spot a red deer or two! The open moorlands can feel remote and exposed, especially as you can walk for miles and not see any signs of habitation. As well as high granite tors amid heather and bracken covered moorland, the Devon Coast to Coast also takes you through deep tree-covered valleys along meandering, babbling rivers. There are settlements from the Iron and Bronze age as well as disused shafts and buildings from its more recent tin and iron ore mining past. You will also discover rich green farm land and chocolate box villages and hamlets, with thatched cottages. You will enjoy honeysuckle festooned hedgerows and carpets of wild flowers along this wonderful route, as well as ancient woodlands.
Your Devon Coast to Coast Walking holiday leaves Wembury along Churchwood Valley. On your way to Ivybridge, you will walk over gently rolling countryside, through fields and woodlands and along the valley of the Erme. Brixton is the first of many pretty, little villages on this route, with a number of interesting historical buildings to distract you from your aim.
Amongst Yealmpton's many claims of fame is that the nursery rhyme, Old Mother Hubbard, originated from someone who lived here over 400 years ago, and whose stone cottage still stands. In the church yard is an engraved stone commemorating an early British chieftain. Ermington is the last village before Ivybridge. With its church with a crooked spire, it is not quite the leaning tower of Pisa but a remarkable feature, nevertheless.
Ivybridge grew around the medieval packhorse bridge that gave it its name. It was the only means of crossing the River Erme for over 500 years until the construction of a second bridge in 1829. Today, it is a bustling little with with an arts and entertainment centre. Once you leave Ivybridge, you will very quickly find yourself in open moorland, though. There will be neither settlement nor refreshment for the next 12 miles until you reach Scorriton! The route follows initially a disused tram track. Bronze Age remains and former mining activities litter the route. As you descend the last mile to Scoriton, you can enjoy well-deserved extensive views on your right to Torbay, as reward for your effort. The landscape changes to green farmland.
The route passes through the villages of Scorriton and Holne (possible overnight stops), through Cleave Wood before re-entering open moorland. It then drops down to Ponsworthy, an attractive hamlet with thatched cottages and a single arched bridge that is worth a diversion. Continuing north, the route passes through woods and fields before taking you back to open moorland.
Widecombe-in-the-Moor, not too far off the route, is worth an overnight stop or rest day with its interesting mix of historical buildings. There is a popular monthly market and, from April to October, Devon crafters bring the fruit of their labour and artistry to a craft market held in the Church House. Back on the route, Bronze Age burial mounts litter its length as it straddles the ridge on Hamel Down, including the well-preserved Bronze Age enclosure of Grimspound. Within the massive granite walls are the remains of hut circles (some restored) and stone buildings. Past Bennett's Cross - there is indeed a cross - are more disused mine workings. The Path passes for a while alongside Fernworthy Forest, along Chagford Common, leaving behind moorland for fields and farmland. The Path weaves through several small woodlands and, at one stage, it walks alongside the River Teign, on which river sits the lovely little town of Chagford.
Chagford was once an important centre for tin and, later, wool. The wealth generated by these two industries is reflected in the many splendid buildings that you see today, some of which go back to the 15th century. Further along the river is Castle Drogo with impressive views over Dartmoor. This impressive medieval looking castle was actually built in the 1910s and 1920s. There are themed rooms through the centuries but with the mod cons of the 21st.
Drewsteignton is another pretty village in a picturesque setting, with thatched cottages and a parish church that goes as far back as 15th century. Just north of Drewsteignton, on the edge of Dartmoor National Park, is an impressive memorial stone to Joe Turner who set up the Two Moors Way. It is one half of a boulder, with the cut face mirroring the other half, which is 30miles away to the north on the outskirt of Exmoor National Park. The Path continues north through rolling fields and woodlands and after Hittisleigh a two miles stretch on the road. Much of this section is well-marked.
A short distance from the route, Colebrooke processes a 14-15 century church with some interesting relief carvings - of a Wild Man and a fool! The route passes Clannaborough Church, which enjoys tremendous vista towards the northern parts of Dartmoor. Interestingly, it does not have a village.
Nestling among low lying hills, Morchard Bishop offers accommodation and refreshment for weary walkers. The Path goes up to the 15th century church, with good views of Dartmoor to the south and Exmoor to the North. From here, the rolling countryside, whilst attractive can be tough on the legs. There are also a large number of streams and it can be muddy, even in fine weather!
The village centre of Witheridge is a designated conservation to preserve its rich heritage of historical buildings. It will be your last stop for supplies for a little while! Leaving Witheridge, the Path joins the Little Dart River before continuing on the road. The road section, being on high ground does compensate by offering extensive views to both the south and the north, taking in Dartmoor, Knowstone Moor and Hares Down.
Tugged away in the middle of the countryside is Knowstone. It is a pretty little village with chocolate-box, thatched cottages, narrow streets and high hedges and a Michelin star restaurant pub for those who like fine dining. Leaving Knowstone, the route passes through fields and woodlands. North of West Annstey is the second half of the memorial boulder to Joe Turner. You are now entering Exmoor National Park.
North of Hawkridge, you have two options. The first option approaches Withypool through predominantly wooded river valley through Tarr Steps, a well-known beauty spot, popular with families and walkers at the weekends. A medieval clapper bridge, consisting of 17 flat stones, span over 55 feet across the river. The second option is more direct and takes you across higher grounds along Withypool Hill with great views across the moors.
Withypool is one of the prettiest villages along the route with its colourful cottages and riverside setting. A six arch stone bridge spans the Barle, which you would have crossed if you had taken the second option earlier, along higher grounds. Climbing out of Withypool, the route takes you over the moor with tremendous views over Sherdon Water and Bightworthy Burrows. The route eventually drops along the edge of a wood to the Barle to approach Simonsbath through Birchcleave Wood. It is also one of the prettiest sections of the walk.
Simonsabth is one of the remotest villages on the Exmoor National Park. The houses are scattered over a wide area rather than around the church as is often the case with villages. After walking through woodlands, the route crosses over Dure Down to enjoy wide ranging views. It drops down briefly into a river valley before emerging back up again and along Cheriton Ridge. Note that navigation here could be difficult when visibility is poor! The Route leaves the moors after the sleepy hamlet of Cheriton and descends into woodlands beside Hoar Oak Water. As the route climbs out of the woods, glorious views of the sea and high cliffs greet you. You are nearing Lynmouth. Your journey's end. It does have to end there though. Lynmouth has plenty to entertain you with its quaint harbour, funicular railway which links it with Lynton at the top of the cliff and the Valley of Rocks with its feral goats. If you are feeling very adventurous, you can continue on the South West Coast Path for a longer walk.
The nearest railway stations to the route are listed below.
Plymouth: Wembury 7.3miles/11.7km
Ivybridge: On route
Yeoford: Colebrooke 2.2miles/3.5km
Copplestone: Colebrooke 2 miles/3.2;
Morchard Road: On route
Barnstaple: Lynmouth 19.6miles/31.5km
The National Rail Map provides a map of the rail network for you to plan your journey.
The nearest National Express long distance coach stops are listed below.
Plymouth: Wembury 7.3miles/11.7km
Ivybridge: on route
Totnes: Scorriton 9.2 miles/14.8km and Holne 9.8 miles/15.8km
Newton Abbot: Widecombe-in-the-Moor 11.7 miles/18.8km and Chagford 17 miles/27.4km
South Molton: Knowstone 10.6 miles/17.1km and Witheridge 10.4 miles/16.7km;
Tiverton: Knowstone 12.1 miles/19.5km and Witheridge 10.8 miles/17.4km
Ilfracombe: Lynmouth 19.6 miles/31.5km
National Express has a route network with over 1,000 UK destinations. The best value tickets will be secured with advance booking.
There is a limited bus network along the route due to the remoteness of some of the areas, in particular over Dartmoor and Exmoor National Park.
Wembury is easily accessible by car, being cose to Plymouth and the A30 dual carriage. Lynmouth in North Devon is a little more remote but is accessible via the A39 from Bridgwater.
We may be able to arrange car parking at your first nights accommodation for the duration of your walking holiday. This will be subject to availability and may incur a small extra charge.
It is possible to return to your car by a combination of bus and train services. Generally we recommend the bus from Lynton to Barnstaple and then train to Plymouth via Exeter, followed by bus to Wembury. We will be happy to advise on the public transport options and also to get quotes and book a return journey by taxi for you if you prefer.
We are not offering Devon Coast to Coast walking holidays in 2020.
Good navigational and map reading skills are recommended.
The route is waymarked, although good navigational and map reading skills will be required over the moorland stretches
March to October.
We specialise in providing walking holidays in Cornwall, Devon, Dorset, Pembrokeshire and Somerset. We are enthusiastic about outdoor pursuits and have experienced climbing, canoeing, skiing, caving and potholing and windsurfing as well as walking throughout the UK, France, Spain, Hong Kong, Australia and New Zealand.
We use our experience to provide self-guided, pack-free walking holidays, tailored to the requirements and abilities of our clients.