Walking in Devon

Did you know that if you walked every day for a year in Devon, you would never have to walk the same path twice? Well known for its mild climate, unspoilt beauty, peace and tranquillity, there is over 3500 miles of footpaths and trails waiting to be discovered.

Devon has a number of long-distance routes which together form a joined up walking network, opening up many possibilities.  There are challenging long distance routes, some stretching for more than 100 miles, and shorter day and half-day circular walks.  There are also some very short easily accessible walks for those with limited mobility, including flat paths for wheelchairs, pushchairs, toddlers, and those with visual  impairments.

Click on the bar above for full details on your type of route, or scroll down for a taste of some of the walks.  Many of the shorter walks have sections based on the main walking network, so you can be sure to experience the best that Devon has to offer. Some of the walks have historic or literary connections or interesting wildlife or geological sites close by, with links from the route details for further information.

The jewel in the crown is the South West Coast Path, Devon’s National Trail, running for over 600 miles around the south west peninsula.  This takes in all of Devon’s outstanding coastal scenery.  Don’t worry if you haven’t got time for the full trail, there are many shorter circular walks available. These offer a taste of the trail and allow you to discover the landscape, sample the local food or drink or just enjoy a stroll with your family, at your own pace.

Moving inland, Devon has outstanding landscapes to explore.   Devon includes two National Parks and five Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB), each is unique in its own way.  Click on the links below to discover a variety of walks set amid distinctly Devon landscapes.

Find out more about the full 3,500 plus miles of Public Rights of Way.

Slapton Sands Memorials

In 1943 some 3000 people were evacuated from the Slapton Sands area of South Devon in order to provide a

Putsborough Bombing Range

The North Devon coast provided important training grounds for Allied forces during the Second World War.  The area also saw

Exeter Quay

Exeter’s Quayside situated next to the River Exe and the Exeter Ship Canal is a popular destination for locals and

Exeter Custom House

The Custom House, a nationally important Grade I listed building is located at Exeter Quayside where thousands of tourists flock

Dartmouth Castle

Dartmouth Castle has played a strategic role in protecting the mouth of the Dart Estuary for more than 600 years

West Soar Signal Station

West Soar Signal Station is a rare example of a surviving late 18th century Napoleonic signalling station.  It was one
Small domed stone building.

Culmstock Beacon

Culmstock Beacon provides a stunning viewpoint south to the River Culm valley and the historic village of Culmstock.  The Beacon

Dartmoor Prison and Museum

Dartmoor Prison was built in 1806-9 to house French prisoners of war.  Its construction was partly prompted by the pressures

Brandy Head Observation Post

The Devon coastline not only played a strategic role in the active defence of Britain and the Allied invasion of

Beer Head 10 Gun Battery

The beginning of the 19th century was a tense time in Britain, with a fear of invasion caused by political
Photo of Killerton Chapel

Exeter to Killerton

This route takes you from Exeter (Pennsylvania and University Campus) to Killerton.  The distance shown is for one way; there
Photo of the castle at Dartmouth from the water

Diamond Jubilee Way – Dartmouth

Created to commemorate the 60th anniversary in 2012 of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II’s accession to the throne. This 6km
Photo of a stream through fields on the East Devon Way

East Devon Way

This 38 mile/60km path takes you from Exmouth in the west to Lyme Regis, Dorset in the east, and follows
Photo of the Wray Valley Trail waymarking post

The Wray Valley Trail

This 7 mile (11km) multi-use trail is a mainly traffic-free route from Bovey Tracey to Moretonhampstead. It follows the disused
Photo of the view along the beach at Budleigh Salterton

Budleigh Salterton and the Otter Estuary

Three Walks using the South West Coast Path that are likely to be suitable for people with impaired mobility or
Photo of the bird hide at Seaton Wetlands

Discover Seaton Wetlands

Explore Seaton Wetlands and enjoy beautiful marshland and reedbeds alongside the River Axe. There are five bird hides and nearly
Photo of a sunny woodland scene at Wester Wood in the East Lyn valley near Lynmouth

Coleridge Way

The Coleridge Way is a 51 mile route following the footsteps of the romantic poet Samuel Coleridge, from Lynmouth in
Photo of a section of Bude canal lined with trees

Bude Canal – the Aqueduct Trail

This long and easy circular route meanders through the pretty borderlands of Devon and Cornwall.  Its first half takes you
Photo of coastal cliffs at Brixham, with the South Devon coastline in the distance

Fish, Penguins and a Lighthouse

Berry Head is a prominent feature on the South Devon coast, marking the southern end of the great coastal feature
Photo of Buckland Abbey

Drake’s Dartmoor

The walk starts and finishes in Buckland Monachorum, the village at the centre of this very scenic and historically interesting
Photo of a wooden bridge over a small stream at Belstone Cleave

Two Museums Walk

This walk links two museums on the northern edge of Dartmoor. It starts at the Finch Foundry Museum in Sticklepath,
Photo of boats on the mud in front of houses at Bere Ferris

A Branch Line Railway Walk

The Bere Peninsula is the triangle of land between the Tamar and Tavy rivers, in the south west corner of
Landscape photo of Meldon quarry and viaduct

Railway, Castle and Quarries

The private Dartmoor Railway line between Okehampton and Meldon, a little way to the west, provides a pleasant and easy
Photo of Devonport leat running through heathland and woodland

Leats, Tramways and Railways

The south west corner of Dartmoor has many associations with Sir Francis Drake, and this has led to the promotion
Photo of Lopwell dam

The Mouth of the Tavy

The Trail follows the Tavy rather than the Tamar to the edge of Plymouth. The walk crosses the quiet countryside
Photo of a bicycle by the gate in front of Lydford Castle

Castles, Town Walls and Granite

The West Devon Way follows the western edge of Dartmoor between Okehampton and Plymouth, offering some of the most attractive
Photo of sheep in fields in the foreground and a a wooded valley

A Walk Across the Walkham

The West Devon Way walking route links Plymouth and Okehampton, much of the route following the western edge of Dartmoor.
Photo of the Tamara River at Calstock with the Calstock viaduct in the background

Devon’s Western Frontier

For most of its length, Devon’s western frontier with Cornwall is marked by the River Tamar.  One of Devon’s long-distance
Photo of black swans on a nest in Dawlish

The Dawlish Discovery Walk

This walk is based around Dawlish, a small picturesque Victorian town with an interesting seaside history. The town dates back
Photo of boats in a marina in front of buildings at Plymouth Barbican

Plymouth Waterfront Walk

The total length of the Coast Path through Plymouth is a perhaps surprising 10 miles or 16 km between Jennycliff
Photo looking down to the Dart estuary with Dartmouth in the background, from Greenway House gardens

The Greenway Walk

The walk is circular, so can be joined anywhere. If using public transport a good starting point is Churston Station,
Photo of a public house, The Drum Inn, in the village of Cockington

Following John Musgrave

This walk offers a sample of the route, using the very frequent and convenient bus service which links Torbay to
Landscape photo looking across the Dart estuary to Kingswear

Walking Froward

Kingswear is an attractive village overlooking the Dart Estuary, just across the river from Dartmouth. No fewer than three ferries
Photo looking across the beach at Bovisand from the coast path

A Shorter Devon Coast to Coast Walk

This circular walk uses the Erme-Plym Trail from Wembury, then follows the Trail’s other arm towards Plymouth. It branches off
Landscape photo looking along the length of the beach and road at Slapton Ley with lagoon on the left and sea on the right

Start to Walk

Start Bay forms an important and attractive element of the South Devon coast. The major east-facing coastline in Devon, it
Photo looking across the river Dart to the boathouse at Sharpham House with the main house on the hill behind

Look Sharp – a Spring in your Step

The town of Totnes has a superb location at the limit of navigation of the River Dart. It also provides
Photo looking across Torquay harbour from above

Lincombe, Ilsham and Meadfoot

This walk is based on the Harbour at Torquay. It winds its way eastward through a quiet area of surprisingly
Photo of the footbridge and trains at Okehampton station

A Southern Railway Dartmoor Walk

This walk makes use of the new opportunity of taking the train from Okehampton to Sampford Courtenay, following an extended route
Photo of Greenway House looking up along the drive

A Green Way from Greenway

The River Dart, its valley and estuary go together to form one of Devon’s scenic highlights. An ideal way of
Photo of the Grand Western canal with a walker on the towpath and Tidcombe Bridge over the canal

The Grand Western Canal

This is a lovely peaceful route. Often along the towpath, beside this tranquil stretch of waterway through the heart of
Upper Tamar Lake Dam Copyright Trevor Rickard

Bude Canal – around Tamar Lakes

This walk explores an inland section of the Bude Canal on the Devon- Cornwall border. Follow this short circular walk by
Photo of a bridge and waterfall at White Lady Waterfall in Lydford Gorge

Dartmoor’s Western Fringe

This walk follows the middle length of the West Devon Way between the villages of Mary Tavy and Lydford, and
Photo of flooded lanes at Weare Giffard

In Tarka the Otter Country!

Torrington is positioned on the Tarka Trail. The Tarka Trail is a long-distance footpath route which forms a figure-of-eight through
Photo across the beach at Wembury with Wembury Church in the background

Wembury, Wembury, Here We Come

The village of Wembury is on the south coast of Devon, not far from Plymouth. As well as being situated
Photo of the Teign estuary taken through trees

Down Teignhead Way

The Templer Way is a long-distance walk of 18 miles, tracing the historic line of granite being taken from the
Photo of the coast and sea with boats in the bay at Starehole Bay near Salcombe

Soar from Salcombe

Salcombe is perhaps Devon’s best-known yachting centre, but it can also serve as a centre for a variety of attractive
Photo of the Great Hall at Dartington

The Middle Dart Valley

For the wetter conditions of winter, this walk uses surfaced paths and lanes between Totnes and Dartington. It features one
Photo of the castle at Dartmouth from the water

Coves, Castles and Coastguards

This walk has a bit of everything. It skirts the magnificent estuary of the River Dart and also explores part
Photo of rowers on the Exeter Ship Canal with views of the city in the background

Exeter and Countess Wear

The Exeter suburb of Countess Wear is linked to the city by both the River Exe and the Exeter Canal.