This is a short but very scenic woodland-and-river walk in classic Devon countryside on the fringes of Dartmoor, with the option of a visit to Castle Drogo, a bonkers Lutyens-designed vanity project in a dramatic position high above the gorge.
metres / Distance
SX7429690106 Park at Fingle Bridge on the dead end road from Drewsteignton, where there's a handy pub, the Anglers Rest. On the north side of the bridge, turn left to join the Fisherman's Path. This follows the river upstream along the base of the steep sided gorge, an idyllic walk in unspoilt woodland with the clear rushing river giving plenty of excuses to stop. Below Sharp Tor the path climbs briefly before making a steep descent on slippery stone steps, with a handrail for assistance. After about 2km pass an impressive weir and electricity powerhouse (which provides hydro power to the castle), and shortly afterwards reach a wooden footbridge. Don't cross this but instead turn right, signposted for the castle.
SX7216489597 Passing a house, the track climbs north up a small side valley to reach a junction after about 500m, just before joining a road. Here turn right into the grounds of the castle, following the so-called Hunters Path uphill along the wooded slope overlooking the gorge you've just walked down. The path makes a bend above Hunters Tor, which is a viewpoint worth the half minute detour.
SX7215689811 Continue east along the Hunters Path; you soon pass a left hand turnoff which climbs to the castle garden and entrance. If you're not visiting then carry on traversing the slope overlooking the gorge, where the broken crag of Sharp Tor provides a magnificent view over the gorge. Beyond this the path carries on east through oak woods. Pass another left hand turn signed for Drewsteignton, and a few hundred metres further on the Hunters Path starts a long steep descent through the woods to join the road just north of Fingle Bridge.
Start/Finish: Road near the Angler's Rest pub, SX742902
Nearest town: Moretonhampstead
Terrain: The lower path through the gorge is rocky underfoot in places, with one section of steep stone steps that the less confident will want to take slowly. The upper path is easy underfoot except for the final steep descent.