The Exe Valley Way – Stage 8 from Brushford to Hawkridge
This stage of the walk is a circular route heading towards the village of Hawkridge. For a large part you’ll be travelling alongside the River Barle, an important tributary of the Exe, so why not bring a picnic with you for a pleasant stop along the way?
From the centre of Brushford by the parish hall, go downhill to the main Dulverton road. Take the lane opposite which is signposted Dunster and Minehead. Where the lane bends right, take the footpath on the left and head across the field. Cross the track at the end and continue alongside the River Barle.
Continue on this path for the duration of three fields. At this point turn right to an old barn and go through the gate just beyond to another path. Follow this until it widens and becomes a lane (Millham Lane then Chapel Street), leading into Dulverton’s main street.
Once in Dulverton turn left and cross the bridge over the River Barle. Immediately after the bridge, take the lane on the right. Continue uphill between Rose Cottage and Berry House, and on to the track that is signposted for Hawkridge. Keep on this track for 1.6km (1 mile), bearing right at the end towards the farm buildings. Go through the yard to a lane and turn right, continuing for 230m (250 yards).
Just before you reach the bridge turn left along the track. Keep on this for 2.5km (1.5 miles), then when the track forks take the right side to a thinner path which goes downhill to the edge of the river. Keep close to the river, cross a stream and then join another track. Continue ahead on this track to reach Castle Bridge across Dane’s Brook.
Cross over the bridge before taking the track climbing diagonally to the left, heading to the open land of Hawkridge Ridge and into Hawkridge itself. At Hawkridge bear left (past the church) to the old cross road junction, which is where the Exe Valley Way joins the Two Moors Way. Turn right towards Tarr Steps.
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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.