Located in Devon, the iconic Dart Valley Trail takes you from Dittisham to Dartmouth, offering lovely views of the Dart River and some nice bits of woodland, as well as a wonderful finish at the stunning Dartmouth Quay where you can catch a ferry all the way back. This is a great walk to try and even despite some of the steep paths ahead, it’s still suitable for beginners and can be taken at a leisurely pace to suit all abilities.
For families, couples or walking groups that want a nice mix of exploring on foot and on water, we think this walk is absolutely perfect! Here is everything you need to know about the route:
The Route at a Glance
Length: 9 to 10 mile circular
Difficulty: Moderate with steep ascents and descents
Views: River, estuary and coastal
Terrain: Pavements, roads, rocky paths, woodland and grass
Starting point: Dittisham
Detailed Walking Guide
From Dittisham, take the ferry over to Greenway Quay (£2 each way). From there, you will want to head along Greenway Drive, taking the path right until you reach a gate at the bottom of a field. Go through the gate and walk up the field before reaching another gate. From there, you will be able to see Greenway Estate. The historic building and grounds not only offers walkers some of the most spectacular views of the valley and the river, but it’s also the famed former home of mystery author Agatha Christie.
Spend some time enjoying the beautiful surroundings of the estate and bring your camera to take pictures. To move on, find the path that lines the edge of the field and turn right to find a stile. Go over the stile and follow the permissive footpath into the forest. You will need to go uphill through the woodlands, following signs for the Dart Valley Trail.
Take the ascending footpath towards the road, where you will see a sign for Greenway Ferry and Maypool. Cross over the road and turn left towards the footpath (still following signs for the Dart Valley Trail). Throughout the forest, the trail will be signposted so you should be able to easily find your way. Eventually, the path will take you out of the woods and you will come across some public toilets. Take the nearby unmarked path that descends towards Kingswear and a few hundred yards later, you will reach the railway crossing.
From the crossing, turn left (again an unmarked path) and venture downhill, continuing on the route running parallel to the railway. Keep an eye out as you might even be lucky enough to spot a steam train!
Following the path alongside the railway lines, you will eventually reach the beautiful boatyard at Kingswear. Stick to the marked paths through the boatyard and then turn left to get to the signposted steps up towards Kingswear Village Stores. From the ferry port, catch a ride over to Dartmouth Quay (£1.50 each way) and from there you can catch a boat back to Dittisham. If you have a bit of extra time to kill, we recommend stopping off at the fabulous Dartmouth Castle which dates all the way back to the 1380’s.