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7miles/
11kms

The Wray Valley Trail

About this route

This 7 mile (11km) multi-use trail is a mainly traffic-free route from Bovey Tracey to Moretonhampstead. It follows the disused Moretonhampstead branch line for the majority of its length and travels through the National Trust Parke Estate and past the picturesque village of Lustleigh. There is an on-road section in Lustleigh, which is narrow and hilly, so please take extra care and consider others.

Enjoy the quiet beauty of the Wray Valley Trail. By using the trail you will be travelling in the footsteps of the Victorians. If you look carefully you can see the remnants of the railway.

View up the Wray Valley to Lustleigh from the Wray Valley Trail

View from the Wray Valley Trail.
Credit: Dartmoor National Park

This is a shared trail and is open to walkers, cyclist and horseriders.  Please be considerate and friendly to everyone along the trail.

Getting Around

The best place to start the Wray Valley Trail is from Moretonhampstead or Bovey Tracey.

From Bovey Tracey there is a large car park at Station Road, (TQ13 9SB). The trail starts from opposite the car park and goes through Mill Marsh Park and heads gently up hill towards Lustleigh and Moretonhampstead. Following the path and keeping the river on your right, go under the road bridge into Parke and follow the old railway line on your right.

From Moretonhampstead use Court Street Car Park (TQ13 8LG). The trail is signposted from there, follow the road from the car park into town and turn right down Pound Street then left into Pound Lane. The off road section of the trail is on the left a few hundred metres down the hill.

The Wray Valley links up with the Stover Trail and is part of the National Cycle Network route number 28.

 

Facilities
Parking and toilets are available in Bovey Tracey and Moretonhampstead
Terrain
The majority of the route is a surfaced path suitable for wheelchairs. There is an on-road section in Lustleigh, which is narrow and hilly, so please take extra care and consider others.
Accessibility
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Interesting information

Victorian Dartmoor
For centuries, Dartmoor was considered a remote and desolate place rarely visited by outsiders. Those whose curiosity led them to explore this mysterious area were recommended to employ a guide in order to avoid the perceived dangers inherent in the landscape.
However, artists and writers were inspired by the colours, clear air and restful atmosphere of Lustleigh Cleave and the surrounding area. “No tourist in lovely Devon will have seen the choicest of its beauties who fails to make acquaintance with the route of the Moretonhampstead and South Devon Railway” (The Western Times reported in 1866).

The coming of the railway
In August 1858, a number of local landowners and entrepreneurs met together to plan a line from Newton Abbot to Moretonhampstead.
The line was completed and formally opened on 26th June 1866. Excitement was great and people turned out along the route to see this new spectacle. In Moretonhampstead the streets were decorated, bands played and over 2,000 men, women and children were treated to a street party.

The impact on the Wray Valley
The line provided a means of transporting goods such as timber, livestock and agricultural produce to a much wider market. Businesses such as the Bovey Pottery grew in size and importance, and the railway enabled coal and other commodities to be brought in for domestic and industrial use.
Dartmoor became fashionable with tourists, and enterprising hoteliers and innkeepers organised excursions onto the Moor via horse-drawn charabancs. Affluent new residents also moved into the Valley, while the railway offered new opportunities for local people to work and visit further afield.
As road transport increased in popularity, the line was seen as no longer economic, closing to passenger traffic in March 1959, before closing completely between Bovey Tracey and Moretonhampstead in 1964.

You can discover more about the Victorians on Dartmoor on the Dartmoor Story website.

Further information on the trail including a leaflet ‘Exploring the Wray Valley Trail is available here. There is also an audio trail ‘Tales from the Rails’ available here.

 

Image of the Wray Valley Trail waymarking post
Wray Valley Trail waymarking post. Credit: Dartmoor National Park