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Sampford Courtenay to Okehampton

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Sampford Courtenay to Okehampton
Author: clairesharpuk, Published: 01 Jul 2012 Walk rating : Rating:star1 Sampford Courtenay to Okehampton Walking Guidestar1 Sampford Courtenay to Okehampton Walking Guidestar1 Sampford Courtenay to Okehampton Walking Guidestar1 Sampford Courtenay to Okehampton Walking Guidestar0 Sampford Courtenay to Okehampton Walking Guide
Devon, Dartmoor
Walk Type: Hills, valleys and dales
Sampford Courtenay to Okehampton
Length: 8 miles,  Difficulty: boot Sampford Courtenay to Okehampton Walking Guide boot Sampford Courtenay to Okehampton Walking Guide boot Sampford Courtenay to Okehampton Walking Guide boot Sampford Courtenay to Okehampton Walking Guide
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An 8 mile linear walk from Sampford Courtenay to Okehampton with a train journey on the Dartmoor Railway in the opposite direction. It is easiest to begin with the seven minute train journey from Okehampton Station to Sampford Courtenay (limited timetables apply so check before you plan your walk at www.dartmoor-railway.co.uk). The return walking route gives a lovely mix of scenery. The first 3 miles follow a quiet lane through Devon countryside to reach the beautiful village of Belstone. The route then continues heading high into Dartmoor passing by Belstone Tor and crossing the East Okement River before returning through farmland to reach Okehampton.

The walk follows a mixture of quiet tarmac lanes (there are no pavements so take care of traffic), rocky tracks through Dartmoor (wear sturdy boots to protect your ankles!) and grass paths through hills and valleys (which will be muddy after wet weather). The paths across Dartmoor are quite exposed so make sure you are well prepared for the walk with clothing, drinks and food. There are no stiles, just a few gates and you will be sharing many of the paths with sheep so take care with dogs. There are many climbs and descents throughout. Toilets and refreshments are available at Okehampton Station. Approximate time 4 hours (excluding the train journey).

If you are travelling by car, the easiest place to park is the free car park at Okehampton Station on Station Road, Okehampton, EX20 1EJ. From here take the train for just one stop from Okehampton to Sampford Courtenay. Trains (steam and diesel) are limited to weekends and Bank Holidays plus some weekdays in the summer so check the timetable before you travel at www.dartmoor-railway.co.uk.

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Walk Sections

Sampford Courtenay to Crossways
Sampford Courtenay to Crossways

Start point: 50.7702 lat, -3.9483 long
End point: 50.7407 lat, -3.9523 long

Begin by travelling by train on the Dartmoor Railway from Okehampton Station to Sampford Courtenay Station - very limited timetables apply so check before you plan your walk.

Leave the platform at Sampford Courtenay Station and turn right onto the road. Cross over the railway bridge (take care as there are no pavements). Immediately after the bridge, take the first right, a lane signed to Belstone. Follow this quiet tarmac lane as it climbs steadily and after a while you will have your first views of Dartmoor ahead.

About 1.5 miles into the walk, go straight ahead on the Church Hill Cross crossroads. Go past the Beer turning to the left and continue until you reach the next major junction in the lane - Crossways.

Crossways to Belstone View Point
Crossways to Belstone View Point

Start point: 50.7407 lat, -3.9523 long
End point: 50.7247 lat, -3.9568 long

Continue on the main lane here, bending to the left and signed to Belstone. Follow the lane as it crosses the A30 and then a few yards later go straight ahead at the crossroads, again signed for Belstone. On the left you'll see the plaque on a marker stone, signalling the entrance to Dartmoor National Park.

Follow the lane as it continues to climb steadily and on the left you will pass Belstone Cricket Club. Soon afterwards pass through the gate alongside the cattlegrid to enter Belstone village. (Note sheep roam free here so take care with dogs).

Go ahead on the lane passing the village hall on the right and follow the main road as it winds through the village centre. On the left you'll pass a set of old wooden stocks, keep right at the fork straight afterwards still on the main lane. A few paces further up the hill you'll reach the telegraph office on the right. Turn left here, passing to the left of The Tors village inn. As you emerge from between the buildings you'll be rewarded with the stunning views over Dartmoor ahead.

Belstone View Point to Stone Track Junction
Belstone View Point to Stone Track Junction

Start point: 50.7247 lat, -3.9568 long
End point: 50.7122 lat, -3.9743 long

Retrace your steps back to the telegraph office, and then turn left and left again up the narrow lane with a 'no through road' sign. Follow this lane heading steeply uphill until you reach the wide metal gate marking the entrance to Dartmoor. Pass through the gate and, as you do so, turn back to look at the gate post. You'll see an otter paw print here, which marks the fact that you are now following part of the Tarka Trail.

Continue on the stone track ahead, heading into the moorland. Follow the stone path climbing steadily with the stone wall to your right. Enjoy the views to the right over the valley and the contrasting scenery over the moors to the left. As the wall swings away to the right, keep ahead following the main stone track as it begins to descend. You will soon be able to enjoy the view of the East Okement River flowing in the valley bottom over to the right.

Follow the rocky track heading gradually downhill for some distance, passing Belstone Tor over to the left and Scarey Tor to the right, until you reach an obvious junction of several stone paths coming together.

Stone Track Junction to Lower Halstock Farm
Stone Track Junction to Lower Halstock Farm

Start point: 50.7122 lat, -3.9743 long
End point: 50.7255 lat, -3.9822 long

Swing right here and follow the track as it crosses several stone bridges to cross the river at the base of the valley. Immediately after crossing the bridges keep right on the grass and stone track heading uphill with the river now to your right.

Continue on the track passing fenced sheep fields on the right. As the track bends left to pass the corner of a stone wall, fork right immediately afterwards (signed as Bridleway and Footpath to Okement Valley). Follow this path running downhill with the stone wall to the right.

Pass in front of an old barn on the right via two metal vehicle gates. Follow the stone track heading downhill and continue as it swings left passing some farm outbuildings. Ahead you'll see a wooden signpost.

Lower Halstock Farm to Bridle Path
Lower Halstock Farm to Bridle Path

Start point: 50.7255 lat, -3.9822 long
End point: 50.7284 lat, -3.9937 long

Keep left here, signed as the bridleway, and following the track passing through the centre of the stone farm buildings of Lower Halstock Farm. Follow the narrow tarmac lane as it dips to cross a bridge over Moor Brook and then climbs to continue with the sheep and horse pastures each side.

Continue climbing on the tarmac lane for some distance and at the brow of the hill you'll be rewarded with magnificent views of the Devon landscape ahead. Pass through a gate alongside the cattle grid and then continue downhill with views over Okehampton over to the right.

At the T-junction turn right and follow the wider road heading steeply downhill. After just a short distance, as the road swings hard left, go straight ahead through the right-hand of the two gates in front of you, signed as a Bridle Path to Father Ford.

Bridle Path to Okehampton Station
Bridle Path to Okehampton Station

Start point: 50.7284 lat, -3.9937 long
End point: 50.7323 lat, -3.9967 long

Follow the bridle path heading steeply downhill with the line of beech trees to the left. You will pass a couple of stiles on the left. Continue ahead until you reach a wide wooden gate on the left, with a path coming in from the right. Turn left here, through the gate, signed as a public bridleway for Dartmoor National Park.

Follow the fairly obvious grass path heading diagonally left through the hillside pasture of grass, bracken and gorse. Continue on this path as it descends downhill and then runs alongside a black metal fence. A few paces later turn right through a gap in the fence and go through a kissing gate to reach the footbridge over the A30.

At the far side of the bridge go through the kissing gate and then turn immediately right and follow the permissive path to Okehampton as it swings left and heads steeply downhill. At the bottom of the slope turn left and continue along the level path with the valley sloping down to the right. At the end, pass through a gate to reach a T-junction with a tarmac lane. Turn right heading downhill and after just a short distance turn right into Okehampton Station and visitor centre. Cross over the rail line using the footbridge to return to the car park.

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network Sampford Courtenay to Okehampton Walking Guide Original GPX source file

Text and images for this walk are Copyright © 2012 by the author clairesharpuk and may not be reproduced without permission.


The information in this guide has been provided in good faith and is intended only as a guide, not a statement of fact. You are advised to check the accuracy of the information provided and should not use this guide for navigational directions nor should you rely on the accuracy of the weather forecast. You are advised to take appropriate clothing, footwear, equipment and navigational materials with you according to the current and possible weather and nature of the terrain. Always follow the country code and follow any additional warnings or instructions that may be available. Some walks may be very strenuous and you are advised to seek medical advice if you have any doubts as to your capability to complete the walk.

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