Best walks in Devon

The county of Devon comprises two national parks – Dartmoor and Exmoor – along with a host of other beautiful landscapes, from rugged coasts and wildlife-rich nature reserves, to waterfalls, river valleys and moorland. Explore the county on foot with our favourite walks

Hiker on the headland in Valley of the Rocks on South West coast path near Lynmouth
The county of Devon is located in south-west England and borders Cornwall, Somerset and Dorest. Head to its northern coastline and you’ll meet the Bristol Channel and the Atlantic Ocean, go south and you’ll meet the English Channel.
From dramatic coastal hikes to fossil hunting and national park walks, Devon has something for everyone. Discover the county on foot with our favourite walks.
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1

Coleton Fishacre, South Devon

Coletone Fishacre, Devon
Coletone Fishacre, Devon ©Getty

Step off the ferry and take a stroll along Devon’s South West Coast Path to the lush gardens of a 20th-century estate, home to exotic ferns, trickling water features and woodland glades.

Route details

  • 11.3km/7 miles
  • 4 hours
  • Moderate/hard

Map and route

Colton Fishacre
2

Wistman’s Wood, Devon

Sun falls through the canopy of Wistman's ancient oaks
Sun falls through the canopy of Wistman’s ancient oaks ©Getty

Wistman’s Wood is an easy walk on a waymarked path in the middle of Dartmoor National Park. Creep beneath the trees’ lichen-covered boughs in a woodland that has remained unspoilt for hundreds of years.

Route details

  • 4.5km/2.8miles
  • 2.5 hours
  • Easy/moderate

Map and route

Wistman's Wood map

3

East Lyn River, Devon

Confluence of East Lyn River and Hoar Oak water at Watersmeet, Exmoor national park, near Lynmouth, Devon, England (Photo by: Education Images/UIG via Getty Images)
Confluence of East Lyn River and Hoar Oak water at Watersmeet ©Getty

Rising high above Exmoor, the East Lyn River flows through the East Lyn Valley in Devon to the picturesque village of Lynmouth. This beautiful six-mile walk begins at Lynmouth in the Exmoor National Park and follows the East Lyn River upstream to Rockford before heading back to the coast.

Route details

  • 11km/6.8 miles
  • 4 hours
  • Moderate

Map and route

East Lyn River map

4

Burrator, Devon

The golden colours of autumn splashed by the rising sun against the river at Burrator near Plymouth

River near Burrator Reservoir ©GettyRich in history and legend, Dartmoor National Park offers an exhilarating challenge for walkers and some of the most dramatic views in England.

Route details

  • 7.1km/4.4 miles
  • 2.5 hours
  • Moderate

Route and map

Burrator map

5

Great Staple and White Tor, Devon

Great Staple Tor
Great Staple Tor, Dartmoor ©Getty

Explore mysterious remains left by our distant ancestors on wild and beautiful Dartmoor with a walk from Great Staple Tor to White Tor.

Route details

  • 10.3km/6.4 miles
  • 3.5 hours
  • Moderate/hard

 

Map and route

White Tor map

6

Teign Gorge, Devon

Hannicombe Wood
Hannicombe Wood ©Getty

Take an autumn walk from Castle Drogo through Piddledown Common and Fingle Wood a see one of England’s largest woodland restoration projects.

Route details

  • 6.9km/4.2 miles
  • 2 hours
  • Moderate

Map and route

Teign Gorge map

7

Hound Tor, Devon

Hound Tor
Hound Tor ©Getty

Ghosts, witches and dragons: walkers looking for some scary stories should head for Dartmoor. This moderate walking route takes in a host of Dartmoor’s famous tors – Saddle, Haytor, Howell Tor and Hound Tor.

Route details

  • 8.5km/5.2 miles
  • 3 hours
  • Moderate

Map and route

Hound Tor map

8

Gutter Tor and Higher Hartor Tor

Gutter Tor cloudscape

Gutter Tor cloudscape ©GettyThe hills, moorlands and coastlines of Devon’s landscape have long provided inspiration for Britain’s authors, poets and playwrights, from Agatha Christie and Arthur Conan Doyle to Thomas Hardy and Jane Austen. Discover the landscape that inspired Michael Morpurgo’s War Horse with this four-mile walk from Gutter Tor to Higher Hartor Tor in Dartmoor National Park.

Route details

  • 6.4km/3.9 miles
  • 2.5 hours
  • Easy/moderate

Map and route

Gutter tor map

9

Lydford Gorge, Devon

Lydford Gorge ©Getty

Lydford Gorge ©GettyStretching for 1½ miles, the steep-sided Lydford Gorge is a spectacular chasm in the hills. At one end lies the impressive Devil’s Cauldron whirlpool, while the 30m (100ft)-high White Lady waterfall is at the other.

Route details

  • 4.2km/2.6 miles
  • 1.5 hours
  • Easy

Map and route

Lydford Gorge map

10

Bystock Nature Reserve, Devon

Bystock reserve, Devon
Bystock reserve, Devon ©Dave Chamberlain

In May, this east Devon reserve hums with signs of deepest spring – songbirds wheel from tree to tree, invertebrates chatter from within the heath and adders bask in the warming sun.

Route details

  • 9.6km/6 miles
  • 3.5 hours
  • Moderate

Map and route

Bystock nature reserve map

11

Branscombe to Beer, East Devon

Panoramic view over Beer, Devon
Panoramic view over Beer, Devon ©Getty

If you’ve built up a thirst walking from Branscombe along Devon’s coastal cliffs and beaches to Beer, then you’re in luck – the tiny seaside village has a handful of traditional pubs, perfect for a well-earned pint.

Route details

  • 4.8km/3 miles
  • Easy/moderate
  • 2 hours

Route and map

beer, Devon map

Main image ©Getty