Okehampton Stepping Stones and Wild Flowers – Circular walk of 3 miles
This is a moderate, circular walk of 3 miles and follows the East Okement River through Ball Hill Woods, before climbing to East Hill revealing splendid views of the high tors of Dartmoor. The route includes woodland tracks, paved surfaces, and uneven moorland crossings. The route can be wet and muddy.
The walk starts in Simmons Park, Okehampton –a plaque marks the start– and is situated in the car park. Simmons Park itself is a pleasant location for a stroll:
- Follow the path on the right hand side of the river until your reach the third footbridge. Cross this and follow the wall keeping it to your left. Once you have passed the stone barn, continue through the wooden gateway
- After the stone barn, continue through the wooden gateway until you reach the leat where you turn right and go through the gate signposted to Fatherford.
- Follow the signs to Fatherford through the woods until you reach a railway viaduct. Go under the viaduct and cross the river by the footbridge. Turn left and walk under the A30
- When you have emerged from under the bypass, follow the footpath straight ahead up the valley. This is a beautiful river valley, full of wild flowers. You will reach a footbridge and need to turn right just before this bridge and follow the path uphill beside the stream – you will need to cross a stile.
- Continue along the edge of the field until the path sign leads you to the top of East Hill. From here there are superb views of Dartmoor to the south and over Okehampton to Exmoor to the north.
- Keeping Okehampton to your right, and the town’s army camp straight ahead, walk down the hill until you reach the tarmac road (beware – this road is not immediately visible from the hill). When you reach here, turn right and cross a cattle grid. This lane meets another road, where you turn right walking downhill until you come to a hairpin bend.
- When you are on the bend there are two gates. Take the left one with the stile and go through and walk across the field. At the bottom, turn right and take the foot bridge over the dual carriageway. Once you are over the bridge, turn left and continue to a gate which you go through and walk down the hill, under a bridge and past the Okehampton Station.
- At the far side of this bridge, turn left and continue to a gate. Go through the gate, and down the hill, under a bridge and past Okehampton Station.
- Approximately 100m past the station, on the right hand side is a narrow path. Follow this path to some steps which take you back into Simmons Park.
I hope you thoroughly enjoy this walk, please let me know how you get on. 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 follow 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.