West Devon Way Day 1 – Okehampton to Lydford

The West Devon Way is a 37 mile path that links Okehampton to Plymouth. It roughly follows the route 27 cycle route and at many times it follows it. It also links many other trails together including the Tarka Trail, the Two Castles Way, Devonshire Heartland Way and the South West Coastal Path. Its a good route and was perfect for me as my first multi day walk, it also fitted in that I could stay in B&Bs along the way to save carrying a tent, added bonus!! This is a good walk also as it can be split into 8 separate parts being linked by public transport. In my case, I just needed to get two buses, one from Plymouth to Tavistock and then a second up to Okehampton. Which put me at the start point for 11.15am, perfect for a 5 hour walk back to Lydford and the pub. I had looked at the 8 separate sections and also worked out that my own ability would give me at least 11 or 12 miles a day, so I started looking for good spots to stay taking about 10 miles of walking a day. The decision to start with was whether to stop in Lydford or Mavy Tavy, The Castle pub in Lydford swung the first stop off. This is only 9.5 miles of walking but considering I’d be on a bus for 90 minutes to get there that day, I figured that was ok.

Day 2 however was a beast, Tavistock was too near and Yelverton meant 16 miles. Horrabridge would have been perfect but all B&Bs were booked. Yelverton it was because it meant that day 3 was a manageable 11.5 miles into Plymouth and Hooe Lake and the finish. So below is Day 1, the weather for June had been good all the way through, not a drop of the wet stuff and in fact the week before had seen temperatures of over 30 degrees, I didn’t want it that hot, instead I got the only 3 days of wet weather in the whole of bleedin June!!! Day one had misty drizzle, low cloud, some dry sections and then more mizzle. As this was going to be the only part that touched Dartmoor’s tors this was a bit disappointing. The walk itself would be a cracker on a dry day, across a golf course, into woodland, under a viaduct, tors, a fantastic byway path that was tree lined and then Lydford to finish. It was as good as I hoped it would be, and being diabetic this was a step into the unknown for me, doing distance day after day and managing it (Wine gums helped!!)

Start – Okehampton
Route – Okehampton golf course – A30 Bridge – West Okement BridgeMeldon ViaductMeldon PoolMeldon Pool BridgeMeldon ReservoirSouth DownSourton Tor East Tor – Lake Viaduct – Bearslake Inn – Fernworthy Down – Lydford – Castle Inn
Distance –  9.5 miles    Start time – 11.30am     Time taken –  5hrs  Highest Point – Sourton Tor 440metres
Weather – Drizzle, lots of it, low cloud, some bits of dry on the way into Lydford

© Crown copyright 2017 Ordnance Survey FL 2017 SF

The centre of Okehampton, bit of building work going on. My start point is to my right

The start point is the Museum of Dartmoor Life, through those gates

The start of the path shares the Two Castles Way for a bit

The first major landmark is the Okehampton golf course, a clear path takes you through the centre of it

Crossing the A30 and heading to the top north western corner of Dartmoor

First thing to do is cross the West Okement river here

Then under the magnificent Meldon viaduct

I stopped here at Meldon Pool for a break, very tranquil

This cormorant dived into the pool as I neared

Next up was Meldon Reservoir and Dam. Homerton Hill in the mist behind with Longstone Hill up to the left

Looking back to South Down as I head up to my high point of the day, Sourton Tor

Low cloud and drizzle meant I didn’t linger on Sourton Tor

East Tor comes into view down to the left as the cloud lifts a bit

East Tor and West Dartmoor. If you don’t fancy this part of the West Devon Way there is a second route down there near the trees

Lake Viaduct my next target. Beyond that is the Bearslake Inn, where I cross the A386

Sourton Tor to the left and Corn Ridge to the right as I walk the byway towards Lydford

All along this brilliant treelined byway you get glimpses through gates and gaps to Dartmoor to the east and farm fields to the east. Here you have Sourton Tor far left and Great Nodden to the right, Corn Ridge in the middle

At the end of the byway you reach Fernworthy Down, at this point the drizzle started again

Lydford war memorial greets me, its now a short walk to my stop for the night

The brilliant castle in Lydford

And next to it is the Castle Inn. A decent place to stay, good beer and good food. Now to rest up for the long day day to Yelverton.


4 thoughts on “West Devon Way Day 1 – Okehampton to Lydford

  1. Looks like a great mix of terrain. I’m not a fan of the concrete walk tho, it seems to take twice and long to walk on concrete than it does on hills! Congratz on your first day of your 3 days. Any blisters or sore feet? I’m quite worried about getting these during the WHW in October….

    Liked by 1 person

    • Take compeed blister plasters. And most importantly if you feel something on your feet, stop and check (especially if they are wet). I didn’t get any but having change of socks each day helps


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