Okehampton Deer Park Circuit 4.5 Miles

If you are staying at Bowerland Cottage Holidays, and want to go walking with your dog, Okehampton Deer Park Circuit is an easy walk with lots of great views.

okehampton-deer-circuit

image credit: visitdartmoor.co.uk

  • Park up at Okehampton Station and walk across the road towards the cycle track.
  • Turn left onto track and follow path and just before the railway bridge, take a right and go onto the road.
  • Turn left and walk up the hill and over the A30 Okehampton bypass.
  • Immediately after the bypass take the footpath down the lane to the right and follow this round to a fork seeing the youth hostel on the left, but you take the right through a gate into a wooded area.
  • Continue on this footpath straight ahead.

Stop at this point and look to the left and you will see open moorland with several remains of a medieval Dartmoor Longhouse from the 12th Century. The main track leads to a cottage on your left. Keep to the wet grassy path ahead and through the gate at the top.

There are some earthworks up on the left which is believed to be the location of a medieval Deer Park hunting lodge.  If you look closely you can see the remains of a door arch and a small arched window.  The site is believed to have been used at some point in history as a leper hospital, probably because of its remoteness from the town.

  • Return to the path alongside the fence at the bottom.
  • Continue to the next fence ahead and cross the stile on the right over the stone wall.

The 1700 acre park south of the castle was created in the 1300s by the Earl of Devon, Hugh Courtenay. Henry VII returned it to agriculture in 1538.

  • Cross this stile and follow the footpath downhill close to the low wall.
  • Continue to the bottom and follow the path left through the gate, alongside the fence.
  • Cross the stream and go through the gate on the right.
  • Follow the track over the railway and when you reach the bottom, go through the underpass on the right.

Additionally, there are 2 ways in which you can finish your walk. I recommend this route if you have your dog with you. The alternative requires dogs to be on leads.

okehampton deer park circuit - okehampton-castle

image credit: dreamstime

  • Keep to the track as it becomes more distinct and at the end go ahead on the surfaced road (West Devon Way).
  • Leave the road on a footpath that descends through the woods on the left. It is signposted to the Castle, Okehampton and West Devon Way.
  • Cross the grassy area at the bottom to the footbridge. Okehampton Castle is on the left.
  • Continuing the circuit, keep alongside the West Okement River on the footpath signposted to Okehampton.
  • Go pass Castle Ham Lodge and keep on the Castle Road ahead.
  • At the junction at the end of this road take a right back to Station Road.
  • Turn left at the Memorial Stone and walk back towards Okehampton Railway Station.
  • Finally,  have a well-earned cup of tea in the Station Cafe if it’s open!

Let us know how you enjoyed the walk and any others you love in Devon. Post your comments below. Why not share this with your friends and family by clicking the Facebook icon or following us on Twitter?

carole-langman
About the Author: Carole Langman works behind the scenes at Bowerland Cottage Holidays and Devon Dogs as the Business Manager. Her office is always a hive of activity, and with the vast amounts of work Carole has, we never really know how she gets through it all! To unwind, she loves gardening, hikes around Bowerland, travelling and writing.
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