Tarka Bridge

This bridge spans the River Taw in Skaigh Woods/Belstone Cleave and is named so after Henry Williamson’s creation Tarka the Otter which is carved into the bridge. This bridge also sits on the Tarka Trail which runs from Eggesford down to Belstone Cleave and on to Okehampton and beyond. There are a number of passages from the book written along the bridge for those that know their literature. The bridge itself is easier to find from the path on the southern bank of the river as the path leads right to the bridge. On the northern bank paths you will need to drop down from the higher path down a slanted path which head back and down to the lower path. However the lower path is around 40 metres from the bridge and no obvious link path goes to it. So be aware on your map reading or GPS, you are looking for an S bend in the river and on the OS maps the paths don’t seem to link but the bridge crosses the river at this point. Its a nice little wooden bridge and if you are looking for a nice little walk out of Belstone then walking from Belstone Cleave Bridge to this one and back along the other bank is a nice way to spend an hour.

 

Tarka Bridge from the north side, there is a main track/path about 30 metres to my left here, not easy to see a path down to the bridge especially in the summer when the leaves are out

Tarka inscriptions

The path here on the southern side is more obvious and easy to follow