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Slow Travel Google Map: United Kingdom, Devon, Dartmoor

Author: DavidX
Notes: September 2006. Dartmoor and southern Devon. Where markers are close [as in Plymouth] zoom in about 3 or 4 levels higher. Paths across Moorland are only approximate indications of route, If you plan to walk on the north part of the moor PLEASE SEE THE BLACK MARKER CALLED 'ARTILLERY RANGE' AND ITS 'READ MORE.'

Beaches

Babbacombe Beach

Pleasant moderate sized beach in a cove.

Bigbury[-on-Sea]

Bigbury's extensive sands are particularly popular in Plymouth and many of the outsiders to be seen every day in summer are day trippers.

Read more

Blackpool Sands!

Resembles the Lancastrian version as much as a black domestic kitten resembles a fully grown tiger!

Read more

Bovisand

The nearest large sandy beach to Plymouth.

Read more

Cawsand/Kingsand (SV)

These twin villages are pretty well conjoint, although they were once in different counties.

Each has a moderately sized and interesting beach and they can be used for a delightful circular walk to Penlee Point and Rame Head.

Map best viewed at zoom level 14 or above for this.

Read more

Goodrington

The largest beach in Paignton with usual facilities.

Read more

Historical Buildings

Buckland Abbey

The remains of a Cistercian abbey were incorporated into the house after the dissolution of the monasteries. In the time of Elizabeth I it was owned first by Sir Richard Grenville and then by Sir Francis Drake.

Inside there are many Tudor memorabilia, including Drake's Drum.

Now owned by the National Trust [charge]

Read more

Burgh Island Hotel

Not cheap but it provides fine accommodation and food on an island across a causeway. The building provides a feast of Art Deco.

Read more

Castle Drogo

Claimed to be UK's newest castle, it was designed by Lutyens and built just before the first world war.

Read more

Elizabethan House

Just what it says - a genuine survival in Plymouth's Barbican area of a 16th century house with furniture to match the period.

View at a high zoom level for location.

Read more

Mount Edgcumbe (SV)

There's little point in separate markers for house, gardens and park, though all would be appropriate.

It is claimed that this was the first country seat selected for its views rather than for defensive position. The views are certainly outstanding and the gardens are beautiful.

The house was totally wrecked during WW2 and was later restored to its 18th century form. Apart from anything else, it's well worth seeing just for its 16th century tapestries.

Read more

Plymouth Breakwater

Except in heavy mist, if you look out from Plymouth Hoe, you will see what has to be a sort of protective wall three miles out.

The Breakwater was built to protect the Sound from the fierce waves that could be generated by violent storms. It was started during the Napoleonic Wars and was a phenomenal feat of construction for the time. [Lucky there were French (and American!) prisoners of war available to play a major part in hte building work]
Read the website for description and dimensions.

Read more

Royal Oak, Meavy

This old inn is known to have been in existence since 1510. It is situated by a lovely village green with the ancient oak tree that gives uts name, now dependent on metal supports for its mighty banches.

Read more

Churches

Brent Tor

The marker is actually on the site of North Brentor village but it's not the village church that holds the interest. To the south on top of 1100 Brent Tor is the very simple chapel of St Michael de Rupe, full of legend.

Read more

Sheepstor Church

A typical Dartmoor granite church but with some interesting graves:
1. James Brooke - first rajah of Sarawak
2. German airmen killed in the second world war when their aircraft came down.

Read more

Large Towns

Exeter

Smaller than Plymouth, Exeter is none the less the county town of Devon.

It has one of England's truly beautiful cathedrals and there is an area of great interest by the old quay.

Not a good centre for south Devon beaches because of very heavy summer traffic.

Read more

Plymouth

A large city, with always something to be seen in the Sound. The dockyard at Devonport usually has some interesting ships around.

Must-sees include the Elizabethan House, the Mayflower Steps and the Barbican, Smeaton's tower [once standing 14 miles out as a lighthouse on the Eddystone Rock.]

Brittany Ferries port for Roscoff [Brittany] and Santander [Spain]

Read more

Torbay

Torbay is a substantial town, taking in Torquay, Paignton and Brixham, all of which are very different and are marked separately.

Monuments

Drizzlecombe

Reasonably easily reached from Sheepstor, Ditsworthy and Drizzlecombe are the site of extensive Bronze Age remains.

Large scale map essential.

Read more

Erme stone row

A very approximate marker for the world's longest stone row. Don't think of going without a large scale ordnance survey map and compass.

Read more

Merrivale Stone Rows

Some of the most accessible stone rows on the moor are just near the Dartmoor Inn at Merrivale.

Read more

Museums

Morwellham

Based on the old river terminal for mined minerals, Morwellham is a mainly outdoor museum complex. It covers not only mining and river transportation but Victorian small town life.

Read more

Parks

Saltram (SV)

Saltram House and gardens, owned by the National Trust may lie within Plymouth's boundary but they are far from urban.

A fine Adam House and a really pleasing estate with views of the Plym embankment.

Read more

Public Services

Artillery Range

Much of north Dartmoor is ignored on this map because of its use as an artillery range. I know it less well for this reason and because it was hard to access from Plymouth when I was young and carless.

Would be walkers in the range area must check safe times for access locally. Start with the 'read more' website and check the area at a local post office or store.

Read more

Sights

Becky Falls

Fine beauty spot but a charge for entry.

Read more

Bellever

Fine scenery if you want a route across the moor avoiding the main roads.

There's a good clapper bridge in Bellever.

Berry Head

A headland giving a superb view of Torbay.

Read more

Bolt Head

The section of the Coast Path between Bolt Head and Bolt Tail is usually considered one of the most spectacular in the whole area.

Read more

Bolt Tail

An outstanding section of the coastal footpath.

Read more

Bowerman's Nose

An amazing pile of rocks with a slight resemblance to a person's face.

Very popular in guides to Dartmoor and on postcards.

Can be combined for a wonderful walk with Hay Tor and Hound Tor.

Read more

Burrator Reservoir

Few cities can have reservoirs as visually delightful as this, on the edge of numerous fine walks.

Read more

Cranmere Pool

Called a sight because there's nought else to call it but there's little enough to see.

This was the site of one of the first Dartmoor letterboxes, whose proliferation has put rabbits to shame.

Some of the major rivers start near here, to both the north and south Devon coasts.

Read more

Dartmeet

Extremely picturesque junction of the East and West Dart rivers and an excellent walking terminus.

Read more

Dewerstone Rock

Because the picturesque Dewerstone rock, near Shaugh Bridge is one of the few Dartmoor sites suitable for climbing, most URLs found on Google are climbing rather than general information.

The website used in the 'Read more' section is an exception and if you scroll well down you will come to a picture and description.

Read more

Double Waters

A spot of oustanding beauty, where the River Walkham joins the Tavy, itself a major tributary of the Tamar.

It can easily be reached from Magpie Bridge on the main Plymouth to Tavistock road [A386] or from Buckland Monarchorum.

Drake's Island

Drake's Island, once called St Nicholas Island and even earlier St Michael's was, for most post-Tudor history, used as a place of defence. This continued until after the second world war and it was only opened to the public in the 1960s!
Good historical information if you click on 'read more.'

Read more

Fingle Bridge

A particularly attractive bridge over the river Teign, near Drewsteignton. Wooded valley and an inn near the bridge.

Read more

Grimspound

The most easily reached of Dartmoor's prehistoric settlements.

Read more

Hay Tor Rocks

This is a good start for a very scenic group of tors and river walks.

There are still remains to be seen of an old horse trainline.

Read more

Lydford Gorge

Deepest gorge in Devon with spectacular walk beside waterfalls.

National Trust.

Read more

Penlee Point

A wooded walk from Cawsand/Kingsand leads to this peninsular. The walk is best combined [see 'read more'] with going on to Rame Head.

Adjacent peninsulas could hardly offer more variety.

Read more

Pew Tor

Pew Tor is one of the easiest to reach of all Dartmoor's tops from a car. It is an impressive tor with huge granite buildings and commands terrific views of moor and sea.

Read more

Rame Head

A headland giving superb views over what is often called the 'Forgotten Corner of Cornwall.' There is an old monk' chapel on the headland. Apart from the coast path as such, it can be combined with Penlee Point [q.v.] into an excellent circular walk from Cawsand.

Read more

River Yealm

A river little known outside Plymothians and Plymouth visitors, it has some lovely inland scenery [e.g. Harford] and a splendidly picturesque estuary [see Noss Mayo.]

Shaugh Bridge

Do two rivers meet here to form a third - Cad and Meavy to form the Plym - or is it where the Plym is joined by a tributary, the Meavy? Take your pick but either way it's a spot of superb beauty.

Above it is the village of Shaugh Prior with great views over moor and sea.

Read more

Sheepstor

Not one of Dartmoor's higher tors but one of great beauty and with splendid views.

On the way up is the Pixies' Cave.

Read more

Vixen Tor

Vixen Tor is not at present accessible, the situation since 2003. My views on this are unprintable so I have chosen an appropriate website if you click to 'read more.'

It is one of the lower tors but its top is most impressive - mighty boulders of granite which involve a bit of scrambling to get up.

Read more

Wistman's Wood

Reputedly well haunted, this is one of the few sites remaining of the original woodland that covered Dartmoor.

The old oaks are generally not very high, gnarled and twisted because of the severely inclement weather.

Good walking area near Two Bridges.

Read more

Towns

Brixham

Administratively only the smallest of the three Torbay towns, Brixham has a proud history as a fishing resort.

It is also associated with the last successful invasion of England by William of Orange, who became King William III.

Read more

Buckfastleigh

Buckfastleigh is the terminus of the South Devon Railway from Totnes. The town contains a butterfly farm and an otter sanctuary but is best known for Buckfast Abbey, a practicing community of Benedictine monks.

There are limestone caves, open to visitors at times in season.

Read more

Chagford

One of the stannary towns [see Plympton.]

One of the earlier centres for Dartmoor tourism and still some old buildings.

Read more

Dartmouth

I'm afraid I only know Dartmouth through passing on a journey - the URL seems interesting.

There are boat trips to Totnes up the river and two car ferries to Kingswear.

Read more

Moretonhampstead

Important market town - central for moorland activities.

Read more

Okehampton

It claims to be becomong known as 'the walks centre' for Dartmoor but might seem too far north for a moorland holiday. Good stop en route to Cornwall for a short visit to the moor.

Read more

Paignton

The only one of Torbay's three towns that can be considered a sandy beach resort.

Terminus for preserved steam railway to Kingswear [Dartmouth ferry.]

Read more

Plympton

Plympton is now officially part of Plymouth but it can look back to a proud history as one of the four Stannary Towns [tin mining - see: http://users.senet.com.au/~dewnans/Devon_Stannary_History.html] in Devon.

Read more

Princetown

When reached by the old railway, winding round tors and stopping near the top of Ingra Tor, Princetown seemed like the end of the earth.

It still feels like the heart of the moor and is best known for its prison, initially built to house American and French pisoners of war.

A fabulous centre for walks.

Read more

Salcombe

Delightful little town with several beaches, two of which are reached by ferry. There is also a ferry up the estuary to Kingsbridge.

It is a well known Mecca for sailing and the bay is even more pcturesque for its numerous sails.

Parking is sometimes problematic.

Read more

Tavistock

Tavistock was one of the four stannary towns in Devon [see Plympton.] Its name however suggests a market town and that is certainly what it is today - a really friendly feeling pervading it.

On the second Wednesday in October, the 'Goose Fair' [one of only two in England] is held.

Read more

Torquay

More a 'middle class' holiday resort than the other Torbay towns in its history and probably still top for entertainment.

Read more

Totnes

One of England's oldest boroughs, situated on the River Dart.

Totnes is the terminus for The South Devon Railway, one of the most scenic preserved steam lines in England and for river trips to Dartmouth.

A good centre for moor and coast.

Read more

Transportation

Cremyll Ferry

A foot ferry that has run at least from the 14th century [and probably from Saxon times!] it crosses from the Stonehouse area of Plymouth, near the Royal Marine barracks, to the small village of Cremyll in Cornwall, where you can get a connecting bus to local beaches.

Highly recommended!

Read more

Dart River trips

Scenic river trips between Totnes and Dartmouth.

Read more

Exeter Airport

An airport is an airport!

Read more

Kingswear Railway

Often called the 'Paignton and Dartmouth Railway', this preserved steam line doesn't cross the water to Dartmouth but stops at Kingswear

Read more

Plymouth Airport

What can I say about an airport?

Read more

Rail coastal scenery

Famous part of the main line to Plymouth, where in the stretch between Dawlish Warren and Teignmouth, [pronounced Tinmouth although the river is pronounced Tane] there are great views of the red sandstone cliffs and the sea.

Roscoff Ferry

Brittany Ferries - Plymouth to Roscoff from Millbay Docks.

Salcombe- Ksbrge ferry

Scenic ferry from Salcombe to Kingsbridge during the season only.

Read more

Santander Ferry

Brittany Ferries - from Millbay Docks, Plymouth to Santander, Spain.

Seasonal boat trips

From Phoenix Wharf in the Barbican region, near the famous Mayflower Steps, there are usually cruises in season to the River Yealm, around the harbour, to the dockyard and warships and sometimes right up the Tamar to Calstock.

There is also a seasoal passenger boat to Cawsand.[q.v.]

As well as the website under Read more, check http://www.tamarcruising.com/

Read more

South Devon Railway

A very scenic rail line up the [no longer tidal] Dart Valley from Totnes to Buckfastleigh on the edge of Dartmoor

Read more

Tamar Bridges

The railway bridge, perhaps the greatest work of Isambard Kingdom Brunel, was opened in 1859.

The Tamar was crossed by road here by means of a chain ferry similar to the one still running at Torpoint until 1961 when the Tamar Bridge was opened.

Read more

Torpoint Ferry

The main road from Plymouth into Cornwall prior to the building of the Tamar Bridge, this chain ferry is still the best way to the south-east part of Cornwall.

Read more

Villages

Buckland in the Moor

A lovely village with thatching on the cottages and a church with 'My Dear Mother' on the clock face instead of numbers.

Nearby Buckland Beacon has two large stones with the ten commandments carved [now barely legibly] on them.

Read more

Cornwood

Quite an 'ordinary' village but a splendid location for trips into the south-west of Dartmoor.

Drewsteignton

A really attractive village with thatched cottages and pub. The Drewe Arms may have changed management but it sounds just as good for food and drinks.

After Drewsteignton the Two Moors Way leaves Dartmoor and passes through rural mid-Devon to Exmoor National Park and Lynton on the North Devon coast.

Read more

Harford

A tiny village on the River Erme with a church, a few houses and a very picturesque bridge - typical of south Devon streams.

If you don't like narrow roads, give it a miss!

Ivybridge

Fairly large village by the A38 where the Two Moors Way starts towards Lynton on the North Devon coast.

Read more

Lustleigh

An idyllic village with an amount of thatching and a fine pub. centre for fabulous walks around the local beauty spot of Lustleigh Cleave.

Read more

Lydford

A most interesting village dating back to Saxon times. Only the massive keep remains of the castle, which served in its relatively late life as the courthouse and prison for the stannary law.

The Castle Inn is a great place to eat or drink and it also provides accommodation.

Near the village is the spectacular Lydford Gorge.

Read more

Mary Tavy

Very pleasant village near Tavistock. Fine church.

Both the village and the adjacent moor tend to be more peaceful than areas near the coast.

Read more

Milton Combe

At least once, if you are not a nervous driver, go and look at the 'Who'd have Thought it' Inn at Milton Combe up the hill from Buckland Abbey direction. You will be in no doubt how it got its name!

Read more

Noss Mayo

Of the villages around the mouth of the River Yealm, I like this one best.
Noss Mayo and Newton Ferrers face each other across a large creek off the Yealm [pronounced Yam] estuary.

However Noss has a little side creek pointing south off the main creek [not shown on the map.] There is a bus from Plymouth and its an easy walk to Cellars Beach, which is usually quiet.

Read more

Slapton

Slapton is known for two geographical features. The first is a long stretch of beach, nothing remarkable in itself.

What creates interest is that there is only a very narrow strip of land between the sand and Slapton Ley, an extensive fresh water lake. This is a valuable habitat and there is a field studies centre.

A third feature for which Slapton should be renowned is the 14th century Tower Inn.

If you plan to visit Slapton, play for a while on the website in the 'Read more' window.

Read more

Widecombe

Most famous for the song that is pretty well the 'national anthem' of Devon, Widecombe is a small village with a big church - at least one with a very high tower - sometimes known as 'the Cathedral of the Moors.'

[No, I've never seen Tam Pierce's ol' mare - neither grey nor ghastly white.]

Read more

Walking Route 1

Dartmoor Way 2

Continuation of Dartmoor way

Dartmoor Way

A circular route of about 90 miles around some fine parts of the moor. If you like long distance paths, this is a good way to get an impression but no single path can show all Dartmoor has to offer.

I can't give all the twists and turns and this map should be taken as only an illustration of the route. A good large scale walking map is IMPERATIVE.

Read more

Walking Route 2

Two Moors Way

This path is over 100 miles long and connects Dartmoor with Exmoor. Only the Dartmoor section is covered here.

The walk goes across wild sections of the moor, where the positioning on the map can only be an approximate indication of the route. You will need at least good Ordnance Survey [large scale] maps and a compass and you may prefer to get a guidebook.

Read more

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