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Bovey Tracey and the Parke Estate

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Bovey Tracey and the Parke Estate
Author: clairesharpuk, Published: 08 Jul 2012 Walk rating : Rating:star1 iFootpath - walking guides and directions for the UKstar1 iFootpath - walking guides and directions for the UKstar1 iFootpath - walking guides and directions for the UKstar1 iFootpath - walking guides and directions for the UKstar1 iFootpath - walking guides and directions for the UK
Devon, Dartmoor
Walk Type: Woodland
Bovey Tracey and the Parke Estate
Length: 4 miles,  Difficulty: boot iFootpath - walking guides and directions for the UK boot iFootpath - walking guides and directions for the UK
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A 4 mile circular trail from Bovey Tracey on the edge of Dartmoor, passing through the Parke Estate. The outward leg runs through a beautiful section of wild woodland alongside a picturesque section of the River Bovey and then climbs to return through fields and wild meadows and a short section of the disused railway. The area is very popular with dog walkers and there are plenty of opportunities for a paddle on a hot day.

The walk follows woodland, riverside and meadow paths all of which can be quite muddy after periods of wet weather. The walk is relatively flat but has one steady long climb half way through. There are several kissing gates and two stiles, both of which have adjacent dog gates. There are public toilets both in the car park at the start and also within the Parke Estate, on the return leg. Approximate time 2 hours.

The walk starts from the Tourist Information Centre in Bovey Tracey and its adjacent pay and display car park on Station Road (B3344). Approximate post code TQ13 9AW.

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Walk Sections

Bovey Tracey to Parke Estate
Bovey Tracey to Parke Estate

Start point: 50.5911 lat, -3.6767 long
End point: 50.5946 lat, -3.6816 long

Leave the Station Road car park back to the road. Turn right for a few paces and then cross over the road via the zebra crossing. Turn right along the pavement, signed to Town Centre Shops. Just before the bridge over the river ahead, turn left onto the raised walkway running with the river on the right.

Continue on this tarmac path into Mill Marsh Park. Keep to the right of the children’s play area heading on the path through the trees. Follow the path as it swings left with a fenced sports field to the left. Pass through the kissing gate ahead, cross over the busy road with care and pass through the gate opposite to enter the Parke Estate.

Parke Estate to Weir
Parke Estate to Weir

Start point: 50.5946 lat, -3.6816 long
End point: 50.5986 lat, -3.6943 long

The Parke Estate is managed by the National Trust and is a 200 acre area of historic landscape including parkland, woodland glades, flower rich meadows and an old railway line. Major William Hole left the Parke Estate to the National Trust in 1974. The Georgian manor house is leased to the Dartmoor National Park Authority and is their headquarters.

Swing right to follow the stone path with the river running down to the right. Follow the path over the river and then turn immediately left down some steps and through a kissing gate. Continue straight on along the narrow meadow path with the river running directly to the left.

Cross over the stile at the end of the meadow and follow the path across the tree roots swinging left through the woodland edge. Take care here as there is a fairly steep drop down to the river on the left. Very soon follow the path down some wooden steps and across a narrow wooden footbridge across a stream.

Continue straight ahead at the crossroads in the path. Soon after you enter the next area of woodland, turn left along the raised boardwalk and then keep right on the footpath with the river immediately on your left.

Pass by some open fields on the right and then go over another wooden footbridge across a stream. A little distance further you will come to the weir on the river on the left.

Weir to Railway Bridge
Weir to Railway Bridge

Start point: 50.5986 lat, -3.6943 long
End point: 50.6049 lat, -3.6982 long

Swing right to continue following the path alongside the river. Eventually a pair of kissing gates ahead will lead you out of the National Trust estate. Veer slightly right and follow the mud path as it swings round left and then right to continue alongside the river once again.

On the left you will see stone steps up to a footbridge – do NOT take this. Instead continue ahead with the river on the left. A little later follow the path as it swings sharp right heading away from the river. Follow the path up the short steep slope to reach a junction. Take the second path on the left and follow this stone track downhill to pass out through a gate to reach a tarmac lane.

Railway Bridge to Meadows
Railway Bridge to Meadows

Start point: 50.6049 lat, -3.6982 long
End point: 50.5979 lat, -3.6977 long

Turn left signed for Lustleigh and Manaton and pass between the old railway bridge stone pillars. Continue straight ahead to cross over the river via Wilford Bridge. Follow the lane as it swings gradually left and then right, climbing up hill.

Pass by a pair of old gate house properties on the right. Continue on the lane heading more steeply uphill. Before the lane bends sharp right, turn left over a wooden stile to re-enter the Parke Estate on a narrow woodland path.

Keep right on the highest woodland path to reach a kissing gate into a meadow ahead.

Meadows to Parking Area
Meadows to Parking Area

Start point: 50.5979 lat, -3.6977 long
End point: 50.5942 lat, -3.6896 long

Pass through the centre of this long meadow and go through a wide wooden gate in the middle of the far boundary fence. Pass through the short section of woodland and out through another wooden gate.

Continue through the centre of this meadow over the brow of the hill to meet a gate at the bottom. Go ahead into an enclosed path with fenced pastures on the right. Pass through the gate at the end to reach the parking area for the Park Estate.

Parking Area to Disused Railway
Parking Area to Disused Railway

Start point: 50.5942 lat, -3.6896 long
End point: 50.5976 lat, -3.6864 long

Turn left immediately in front of the parking area and follow the stone track winding downhill. Turn right, signed Riverside Walks, down the steps in the complex of stone buildings. Keep left past the toilets and leave the courtyard out through the gate into a woodland area.

Keep left along the path and pass through a white gate ahead. Turn right onto the wide stone track heading downhill. Continue straight ahead at the crossroads. Follow the path over the river bridge and then go straight on at the next crossroads, passing over the track you walked earlier. Follow the path swinging left and uphill to reach a T-junction with the old disused railway line.

Disused Railway to End
Disused Railway to End

Start point: 50.5976 lat, -3.6864 long
End point: 50.5916 lat, -3.6764 long

Turn right onto the disused railway track.

This section of track formed part of the South Devon Railway, which was closed to passengers in 1959. Other tracks in the estate are part of the historic Haytor Quarry Tramway which once carried blocks of granite from Dartmoor to Newton Abbot to construct the old London Bridge.

After a little distance you will pass the steps on the right that you used at the beginning of the walk. Go straight ahead to retrace your steps back to the car park. To do this, follow the path to its end and then cross the road via the pair of gates, follow the path swinging left through the park to reach the village road. Turn right and then left over the zebra crossing to reach the car park.

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


1 responses to "Bovey Tracey and the Parke Estate"

Great walk, muddy in places but very enjoyable. There's quite a steep incline after waypoint 3 - greater than 1 in 5 according to the OS map - but it's only a few hundred yards from the beginning to the stile.
In hot weather, taking a bottle of water is recommended or, at waypoint 5, the Parke Estate has a cafe.

By BjornBP on 2014-02-25 07:31:16

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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