Walking in Exmoor & North Devon

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Terrain: Relatively level along the river banks with one moderate hill half way climbing onto the moor.
Refreshment: Tarr Farm Inn at Tarr Steps and The Royal Oak at Withypool.
Map: Explorer OL 9

River barle

Path along the banks of the Barle

View looking back over the Barle Valley from Withypool

Bridge over the Barle at Withypool

View back over Withypool from Withypool Hill

  Tarr Steps to Withypool - Approx 8 miles

The Route- Park at the car park at Tarr Steps and walk down to the Steps and river Barle. At the bottom just past the Inn take the path to the left sign posted circular walk.

The path closely follows the banks of the River Barle. Continue up stream keeping to the righthand side of the river, way marked to Withypool, skirting through the bottom of Tarr woods with the picturesque river to your left.

Various paths fork off but continue on the route signposted “footpath to Withypool” The path eventually emerges from the woodland and crosses a large meadow field, with a newish plantation on your right. Head for a gap in the hedge half way up the hill in front of you, this leads through to a wicket gate.

The route continues through a small spinney before descending down again through more water meadows to continue skirting along the banks of the Barle. You eventually head up again into some more woods ascending with views over Withypool to your left. On reaching a style onto a small road you turn left down the hill and walk into the village.

Pass the Royal Oak pub on your right which serves a wide variety of snacks and meals and is a handy place to stop on route. It is where General Eisenhower stayed while visiting Exmoor.

Continue on through the village and cross the river via the road bridge. Follow the road out of the village after only a few yards you reach a junction. Here keep left in the direction of Hawkridge following the road steeply up the hill past some houses.

The route climbs up leaving Withypool behind you. Keep following the lane for about 2 miles before dropping down into a valley with Westwater Farm at the bottom. Just past the farm cross a small bridge and turn left onto a path marked “public bridleway Tarr Steps”.

The path then crosses several fields before reaching a junction at Parsonage farm. Here keep left on the path to Tarr Steps heading towards a gate at the top of the field. Continue around the edge of the fields before descending down to turn right towards some woods. Here the path follows a well worn track through the trees returning to go back across the river again over Tarr Steps.



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