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Hamish walked this circular route walk starting in the lower car park near the toilets, police and fire stations. The car park is situated on the east side of the River Barle (grid reference SS 9127 2794) the access road is next to the river bridge. A compass may be useful on Court Down.
Go up steps by ticket machine in right hand side of lower car park. TURN RIGHT then LEFT over stone footbridge into upper car park. Keep to the RIGHT of the Heritage Centre to reach town centre. TURN LEFT, pass Copper Kettle Olde Tea Shoppe to reach cross roads. Go ahead into Bank Square (no through road) towards church.
Take metalled footpath to right hand side of church (pass scoop bin) and follow it uphill past church and a terrace of houses. TURN LEFT uphill as path emerges onto a lane, then pass old school buildings. Continue uphill as lane bears right and becomes a 'road used as a public path' (RUPP). This is a steady climb - if you need a breather look over a wooden gate on left hand side as lane levels to get views back over Dulverton.
Continue on the RUPP as it descends a little, then is more level with views into valley on right hand side (RHS). Follow RUPP as it bears left uphill in front of white gates to drive (on RHS) - marked 'Private no hunt or unauthorised vehicles'. There are views into Barle valley on left hand side (LHS). At top of hill CONTINUE AHEAD on RUPP to Broford when bridleway to Northcombe leaves to RHS.
By a clump of large pine trees there is a convenient bench (SS 9122 2953) your height is approx 870 feet above sea level. Also here is a finger post pointing left to Marsh Bridge. If you don't want to climb the remaining height to the Trig point turn left here (the route will go this way later from the * * below).
For the full walk go through 5 bar metal gate then TURN RIGHT on footpath marked Court Down close to hedge/wall. Continue uphill keeping near to hedge/wall - but not adjacent to it (as there is a boggy section coming up). Follow wall most of the way uphill - but not quite to the top. As hedge/wall changes direction left, go through small wooden gate with post and rail fence either side. Carry on uphill to Trig point, approx. 1015 feet (316 metres) height. There are good views even on a moderately clear day of Dunkerly Beacon to north and Dartmoor to south. Distance walked about 1.5 miles.
Return through small gate used on way up (heading more or less west), the gate is engraved ENP on the downhill side. TURN SLIGHTLY RIGHT (335 degrees) and cross the down aiming more or less for a white house in the middle distance. TURN LEFT as you reach a clear track, follow this back down to the 5 bar metal gate, clump of pine trees and sign to Marsh Bridge.
TURN RIGHT downhill * * towards Marsh Bridge (marked as Loosehall Lane on map). Keep right and downhill at a fork (the left hand track goes uphill towards a gate).
CROSS ROAD (B3223) with care onto metalled lane towards a pack horse bridge. Cross the bridge then over a more substantial road bridge over the River Barle (SS 9073 2900). Continue ahead passed Marsh Bridge Cottage (following a footpath marker to Dulverton). As the road bears hard right at Kennel Farm CONTINUE AHEAD through a kissing gate beside a 5 bar wooden gate marked as a footpath to Dulverton.
Go ahead across yard then through 5 bar wooden gate towards wood. Continue ahead on main path and over a stream (ford), then through post and rail barrier (DO NOT take the woodland trail signposted on the RHS). Note occasional yellow arrows or squares painted on trees to indicate main footpath.
Path climbs above river for a short distance with a bench at the top of the climb. Continue back down to the riverside. Path bends RIGHT away from river by an old ford. Path climbs away from river in wood before reaching a house (Horner Cottage). Continue ahead to reach metalled lane (don't go right on path to Beech Tree). TURN LEFT on lane then LEFT again at junction. Go over bridge then LEFT to follow car park sign back to car.
Copyright Dogpeople Limited 2005.