Dr Blackall’s Drive – a walk above the River Dart in the Dart Gorge
Spitchwick is a popular area in Dartmoor National Park. You will see that Spitchwick Manor is nearby and was once owned by Dr Blackall. He created a carriage drive along the northern edge of the Dart Gorge so that his family and guests could enjoy the stunning views.
This walk is a linear walk. You can turn it into a much longer walk but it can be quite demanding. There are plenty of other routes as well but this walk is a good introduction to the area. It follows the Two Moors Way through a section of the National Park. The views in both directions are stunning, with many beautiful colours to be seen throughout the year, especially in the Autumn time.
Start from New Bridge car park. Follow the north bank of the River Dart under New Bridge into Spitchwick. The Two Moors Way runs through here, across a small road and climbs through woodland to Leigh Tor.
From this point, cross another small road and follow a wide, grassy track up to Dr Blackall’s Drive. The view to South Devon and back wards to Buckland-in-the-Moor is absolutely stunning. The good, easy and flat drive takes you around a spur of land where the Dart Gorge opens up below you. It’s a memorable sight. Take note of Bench Tor across the valley and Mel Tor and Sharp Tor are beyond. If you look towards the distance, you can see Combestone Tor below Dartmoor’s high south plateau.
Walk along Dr Blackall’s Drive to Mel Tor and then Sharp Tor. From Sharp Tor, you can look back down the Dart Gorge in the direction from which you came. You can’t miss it! Dr Blackall’s Drive is clearly visible. If you stop at this point it is a great place to have a picnic.
When you’ve finished your picnic, and had enough of the view, head back onto Dr Blackall’s Drive. When you get to the Leigh Tor area, you can descend directly to the car park at New Bridge.
Alternatively, if you don’t want to walk in from New Bridge, there are plenty of small, grassy parking areas you can stop at further up the road from New Bridge as it leads to Poundsgate.
I hope you find these walks helpful. I would love to hear what you think. Tell me what you think by posting your comments below. Why don’t you Share this with your friends and family by clicking the Facebook icon or following us on Twitter?
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.