This is a pleasant walk from Castle Drogo to Fingle Bridge and back again. The distance is about five and a half miles and I’m using OS Explorer Map – Dartmoor (OL 28). Also, along the way, I stop for a little sketching. Using an A5 Daler-Rowney cartridge sketch pad, black pen, brushpen and my travelling watercolour set. All wrapped in a plastic bag, stowed in the top pocket of my rucksack.
Being National Trust members we were able to park in the Castle Drogo car park (near Drewsteignton in the North West of Dartmoor) and head off from there. Though you could park at Fingle Bridge and start the walk there. Though it can be busy there and parking is limited.
From Castle Drogo you are on a Public Footpath and there is no need to go into the paying part of the Castle – unless you wanted to have a look around it as well (which is very interesting, but if you wanted to walk and look around the Castle I would get there early to make a long day of it. There’s a good Cafe there too.)
Pen sketch of the bridge ~ A5
It was a lovely sunny spring morning for us. We followed the ‘Two Moors Way‘ path south-west from the Castle. All the paths around the Castle Drogo are well signposted and navigation was not a problem. We walked out to the lofty Hunters Tor with stunning views up and down the Teign Valley – a beautiful spot speckled with small oak trees clinging to the valley side.
From here you have to head north before turning back south down to the footbridge over the River Teign. Here paths seem to go off in all directions, but we crossed the river and followed the track through the woods on its southern bank.
Through the Woods
It is a beautiful valley to walk along, strolling through the woods with the sound of the river never far away. Today as it was early spring with a lower sun, this southern shore was in shadow and slightly chilly and we could see walkers on the other bank walking in the sunshine. The track became a lot busier as we approached Fingle Bridge, which is a bit of a Honey Pot, with lots of people relaxing around the pub. We had already stopped for a packed lunch so just had a quick look round before carrying on, crossing the bridge and starting westwards along the northern bank of the Teign.
At Fingle Bridge you could also walk up the road a little way and follow the path higher up back along the top of the valley. Which looked equally pleasant and one for another day for us. However today we wanted to stay down in the woods close to the river. This path was more narrow with lots of little ups & downs through the trees and we now had the sun with us – Hurrah!
Back at the footbridge, we retraced our steps back up to Castle Drogo. We weren’t cold now having climbed up the steep valley path back to the top. A very pleasant stroll along the bewitching Teign Valley.
© Copyright Nick Watton.
All Rights Reserved.