Wherever you stay in Devon, you’re never far from a scenic walking or hiking trail. From rugged coasts and wildlife-rich reserves to waterfalls, river valleys and moorland, Devon is best explored by foot. With two national parks and a UNESCO-listed coastline, you’re spoiled for choice…
We have rounded up the best walks in the UK’s third-largest county – Devon, helping you discover the scenic trails Devon has to offer.
Teign Valley, Dartmoor National Park
Dartmoor is a rambler’s paradise, with the option to camp overnight in the wild in certain areas. The Teign Valley circuit is arguably Dartmoor’s most famous walk.
We recommend starting your walk from Castle Drogo which is famously the last castle built in England. Then take Hunter’s Path route which drops to the Fingle Bridge and then runs back alongside the lovely River Teign. The view on this walking trail is absolutely stunning & we are sure you would have a great time!
Plymbridge Woods, Plymouth
Plymbridge woods are filled with majestic nature at every turn, the area has a rich industrial past with numerous bridges and the Cann Viaduct still standing as a reminder of that heritage.
We suggest you start at Plymbridge Woods car park & head off on a walk that takes you past the ruins of railway cottages. Then onto a viaduct where you might be able to see falcons at their nesting site, before heading back along the glorious River Plym.
Watersmeet, Exmoor National Park
For a great mix of walks that include rivers, waterfalls and coastal views, head to Watersmeet in Exmoor National Park. Here you’ll find one of Britain’s deepest river gorges and various hiking trails.
Don’t miss Foreland Point and Countisbury, they’re some of the highest sea cliffs in England and the views east and west are spectacular. From Countisbury you can enjoy a good walk along the South West Coast Path.
Dartington Hall, Dartington
An 800-acre country estate that’s a great destination for walkers, with gorgeous landscaped gardens, numerous public footpaths, forests, rivers and wildlife to explore and enjoy.
The estate is home to the Dartington Hall Trust, which runs 16 charitable initiatives, including Schumacher College, that is focused on the arts, sustainability and social justice.
A walk around the entire estate is around eight miles. Entry is free but donations are always welcome.
Great Staple and White Tor, Dartmoor
Visit one of the UK’s most dramatic tors and enjoy sweeping views across Tavistock and the Tamar Valley on this moderate to hard walk, in the western section of Dartmoor National Park.
Starting at the Pork Hill car park on the B3357, the walk takes you from the neolithic rock towers of Great Staple Tor, across a stretch of moorland to Langstone Moor Stone Circle and on to White Tor, once used by the military for target practice.
It’s a wild and beautiful walk through granite outcrops and granite stacks, with views extending as far as Cornwall and the sparkling waters of Plymouth Sound.
Branscombe to Beer, East Devon
This is a popular coastal walk between the villages of Branscombe and Beer. Part of the South West Coast Path, it offers fantastic views of Devon’s UNESCO-listed Jurassic Coast.
Starting in the heart of Branscombe village, the walk takes you past historic forges, old bakeries, mills and along some of the best beaches in Britain.
The walk ends in the seaside village of Beer, which, as the name suggests, is blessed with a handful of traditional pubs where you can enjoy a well-earned pint. A quick detour along the Hooken Undercliff path will reward you with spectacular views of chalk pinnacles on the seaward side.
East Lyn River, Lynmouth
A favourite with the poet Shelley, this stroll along the pretty East Lyn River is regarded as the most beautiful in the region. Starting from the Lyndale Cross car park, the path follows the river to the tearooms at Watersmeet.
Then, after crossing a wooden bridge, a stiff climb up Myrtleberry Cleave leads to wild and dramatic views of the steep East Lyn gorge and the high cliffs surrounding Lynton.
The Victorians called this area Little Switzerland, but upon reaching the sea and the charming harbour at Lynmouth, the vibe is distinctly British.
Hound Tor, Dartmoor
The walk around Hound Tor is about five miles. It is believed to have been inspired by the famous book – The Hound of the Baskerville. The landscape here is bleak and chilling but eerily beautiful. The walk starts and finishes at the Haytor Vale visitor centre before taking you to Haytor Rocks then along a granite tramway to Holwell Tor.
Look out for the remains of a deserted medieval village. From the summit of Hound Tor, descend to Smallacombe Rocks before crossing Haytor Down to reach the car park.
Dart Valley Trail, South Devon
One of the most popular walks in Devon, running 16 miles from Totnes to Dartmouth and the Kingswear Peninsula, and via the villages of Ashprington, Cornworthy and Dittisham.
If you’d rather walk a shorter section, Totnes to Dittisham is around eight and a half miles,
Dittisham to Dartmouth is around three miles, and Greenway to Kingswear four and a half.
It’s worth a stop-off at The Sharpham Trust retreat centre in Ashprington & enjoy their famous Devon cream teas (try it out the Devon way, put the cream first & then the jam). And there’s Agatha Christie’s former holiday home, Greenway, a glorious 18th-century Georgian house now run by the National Trust.
Burrator Reservoir, Yelverton
One of many reservoirs built across Devon during the 19th century, Burrator is perhaps the most picturesque, offering easy flat paths to follow, each offering fabulous views – including Sheepstor, which looms large above it.
It takes roughly two hours to walk around the reservoir, taking you past old bridges and granite walls, country lanes, moorlands and woodlands as well as the reservoir’s impressive dam wall. The route is popular with families and dog walkers.
We hope you like our suggestions on 10 of the Best Walks to Take in Devon.