This walk from along the Teign River and Drogo Weir might just be the most beautiful walk on Dartmoor I’ve come across yet, especially for fans of wild swimming and for dog walkers!
On the North East edge of Dartmoor, this walk winds along the River Teign and is full of beauty spots, landmarks and viewpoints to explore. It’s an absolute must if you’re visiting Dartmoor, or looking for a walking holiday in the UK and wondering where to add to your list.
How to get there: Parking at Castle Drogo or Fingle Bridge
The best place to start this beautiful walk is from the famous Castle Drogo; the last castle to be built in England (between 1910 and 1930). It’s a National Trust property, so the car park here is free for members, and it’s just a 10 minute drive off the A30.
This proximity makes it a great choice for stopping off on your way to or from Devon and Cornwall.
Once there, you can follow the steps on the National Trust website where they have a full trail explanation. This will give you the circular route around the gorge from Castle Drogo to Fingle bridge and back, but be sure to walk up the green route to spot ‘9’ to visit Drogo Weir (the Salmon leap waterfalls) and Drewe’s Pool. I’ve embedded a Google Map pin below so you can see the exact location:
You can walk along either side of the river to get from here to Fingle bridge and back on your walk.
The walking route: Woodlands, waterfalls and wild swimming
This walk is great for dogs, but has some steep parts so good footwear is recommended, and not ideal for pushchairs or wheelchairs. Total circuit is around 6.6km (2 hrs 30 mins).
Castle Drogo itself is fascinating to look around, but the real magic starts when you get down into the gorge. The River Teign is a glittering gem cutting through the lush woodlands. Walk over the picturesque Iron Bridge along to Drewe’s Pool (perfect for fishing and wild swimming) and see the amazing Drogo Weir waterfalls; 3 Victorian stone plunge pools / salmon leaps that you can properly bathe in! The water here is between 1 and 1.5m deep, but the pools are quite slippery getting in (and if it’s been raining the current is pretty strong!) so be careful with young children.
The walk continues along the river to Fingle Bridge, a stunning stone bridge that oozes an old fairy story vibe.
Where to eat along this walk
There are a few spots to stop for a snack or some lunch along this walk – which of course is the best part of any countryside hike like this!
- Mill End Hotel
This luxury hotel can be found just off the westerly edge of this walk if you carry on through the fields around Whiddon Park House. It serves lunches and delicious cream teas for walkers, and is dog friendly too!
- NT Castle Drogo cafe
The National Trust cafe at Castle Drogo serves lunch options too, and although dogs aren’t allowed inside the cafe, they are allowed in the outdoor seating.
- Fingle Bridge Inn
Fill up with a pub lunch and bring the pooches too!
Where to stay: Luxury hotel right on the walk!
As mentioned above, Mill End Hotel is a luxury country hotel situated right at the edge of this beautiful Dartmoor walk (and an easy 10 minute drive off the A30) making it the perfect place to settle in for your River Teign adventure.
The hotel is dog friendly, and is also host to a 2 AA Rosette awarded restaurant, with the most delicious menus. We stayed in this beautiful old water mill hotel during our visit and had a wonderful time – and the dogs loved it too.
When will you plan your next walk on Dartmoor?
*I am personally affiliated with Mill End Hotel, but all opinions are my own. It’s the most stunning location!