A Victorian landscape walk

About this route

Meldon Viaduct, to the west of Okehampton, is a superb example of Victorian engineering. Now a significant landscape feature, it was built to carry the old London and South Western Railway main line to Plymouth in the 1870s.

Closed to trains in the 1960s, it is now available to walkers and cyclists on the Granite Way and offers superb views over the edge of Dartmoor.

This walk starts from Meldon Reservoir Car Park or from Meldon Viaduct if arriving by train.  The walk includes several elements of Victorian interest on the northern edge of Dartmoor.


Getting Around

This circular walk starts at Meldon Reservoir just west of Okehampton. There is ample car parking at Meldon Reservoir.  Alternatively, trains run from Exeter to Okehampton and onto Meldon on summer Sundays and you can start the walk at the Viaduct. Buses run regularly to Okehampton from Exeter, Tavistock and Plymouth. Check times at www.travelinesw.com

Meldon Viaduct (toilets & refreshments), Meldon Reservoir (toilets) Okehampton Station (refreshments & toilets)
One steady climb and one short, sharp climb.
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Interesting information

The viaduct is one of only two in the country of this type of construction. Built in 1874 for the London and South Western Railway main line between Waterloo and Plymouth, it was widened to double track in 1879.

The route passes a number of spoil heaps, most of which came from a quarry which extracted limestone. Nearby are remains of another quarry which extracted granulite, used for roadstone.

This walk affords fantastic views over the outcrops of Yes Tor and High Willhays, and further on Sourton Tors. Behind Sourton Tors was the Victorian experiment of the Sourton Ice Works, a series of artificial ponds to collect ice in winter for use by the Plymouth fish merchants. The scheme only lasted from 1875 to 1886 because of ice melting en route.

Photo of foxgloves in front of an old stone wall with the viaduct in the background at Meldon

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