Tarka Trail



Photo by Nilfanion (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0], via Wikimedia Commons


Location: Hatherleigh
OS map: 113 Hatherleigh, North Tawton & Lapford
Length: 6.5 km /4 miles
Length of Tarka Trail section: 1.5 km/1 mile
Time: 2 hours
Sat nav postcode: EX20 3JN


  • Hatherleigh Monument
  • Views of Hatherleigh moor and Dartmoor


Hatherleigh stands at the meeting point of the Rivers Lew and Torridge and was founded by monks over a thousand years ago. It has remained an important market town ever since with a market being held every Tuesday.

The town has managed to keep its original charm and is full of independent shops and artists selling their wares making a refreshing change from chain stores.

Hatherleigh is well worth exploring before or after your walk.

The walk starts at the George pub that dates from 1450, though it was much rebuilt after a fire in 2008. Despite this, like much of Hatherleigh, it has managed to keep its original character.

On the walk you will pass the William Morris monument. This obelisk was erected to commemorate William Morris who was a commanding officer in the Crimean War and was injured in the Charge of the Light Brigade in 1854.

The Route

Walking conditions vary from tarmac country lanes to open fields.

From the George head along Market Street, turn left onto Oakfield Road and then right onto Sanctuary Lane where the Tarka Trail begins.

Follow this lane until you see a bridleway sign on your right. Halfway up this path there is a brick viewing platform called Belvedere Castle with stairs leading to the top from where there are superb panoramic views across a patchwork of woods and farmland to Dartmoor.

When you reach the end of the lane turn left and keep on the left hand side of the road until you reach the William Morris monument.

From the monument, cross the road and rejoin the Tarka Trail across Hatherleigh Moor. Follow the Tarka Trail until it reaches the road and then stay on the moor by following the footpath. Eventually this will bring you to a small lane which will take you all the way back to the start of the walk in the centre of Hatherleigh.

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