Paws and Paths: Discovering Dog-Friendly Walks in Dartmoor
Here at Bearslake Inn, we know that there’s nothing better than a long walk with your furry friends. A gentle stroll over the hills, a quick tour of a local village or a long hike all go better with four-legged companions and here in Dartmoor, we’ve got plenty of destinations to allow you both to stretch your legs and unwind with the wind in your hair and fur.
Before you get out on the paths and trails, there is the case of dog and wildlife protection. Dogs love to roam and play and when exploring the countryside with cattle and wildlife all around, it’s important to know how to keep yourself, your dog and the wildlife around you safe. The Dartmoor National Park has a dog code with guidance and information on leases, poo bags and how to manoeuvre cattle which you should read before venturing into the great outdoors : https://www.dartmoor.gov.uk/enjoy-dartmoor/planning-your-visit/visiting-with-your-dog
Venture into Bellever Forest
Now, let’s begin with the enchanting Bellever Forest, home to wild ponies and other rare wildlife. Choose from one of the many marked walking trails or join the historic bridleway, The Lych Way and have a wander around the Bellever Tor. Home to many archaeological sites, it makes the ideal spot for a long stroll and is a popular picnic spot.
Tour the Majestic Lydford Gorge
Lydford Gorge is an iconic spot with its waterfall making for a particularly picturesque trek. Better yet, Lydford Gorge is more than welcoming to 4 legged friends and most on-site facilities are available for a spot of R&R. It is also worth noting that some sections are restricted and due to safety precautions, leads will be needed at all times. However, if you are looking for a shorter walk that feels completely unique, you will find few better spots on Dartmoor.
Experience Buckfast Abbey
If you are willing to go a bit further to the edges of Dartmoor, you will find the almost fairytale Buckfast Abbey with its stunningly maintained gardens. Buckfast has been home to many renovations and stands as a remarkable feat of British architecture with the original abbey being founded way back in 1018 AD. The abbey is still home to a community of Roman Catholic Benedictine Monks and it is one of the most unique historical sites in Dartmoor and the UK.
Wander around the Haytor Rocks
Elevating your experience with its iconic presence, the Haytor Rocks not only boasts breathtaking panoramic views but also serves as a superb launchpad for numerous invigorating walks. Among the myriad options available, the Haytor Rocks circular walk stands out, guiding you on a captivating journey around the impressive granite tors while offering splendid opportunities for your furry companion to indulge in exploration.
Drift by the River Tavy
Nestled within the remote and rugged expanse of Dartmoor, Tavy Cleave beckons avid walkers with its formidable challenges and awe-inspiring vistas. Embark on an exhilarating journey through a circular route that meanders through the enchanting Tavy Cleave, tracing the sinuous path of the meandering River Tavy, and revealing striking granite tors that stand as enduring sentinels against the backdrop of the moorland.
Looking for more destinations or simply want to learn more about the wonderful sights and sounds of Dartmoor? The wonderful ‘Walks With Winnie’ book by Denise Horner makes a fine read, offering a selection of twelve favourites from the popular “Walks with Winnie” column in the Oke Links Magazine. All locations are beautifully illustrated and documented in detail and make a delightful gift for a dog lover in your life. Even better, 50p from each sale will be donated to The Labrador Rescue Trust. The book, along with a selection of walk cards, are also available to be bought from our pub so please feel free to ask if you pop by!
Please also be on the lookout for our very own walks leaflet which will be available from the New Year, filled with lots of information on local treasures and hidden spots that should be on your bucket list. You can also check out our previous article on great walks and cycle routes throughout Dartmoor if you are hungry for more inspiration.