Gary – carfreewalks.org

I ran the route in stages over the last 18 months, accompanied by a few friends along the way. The whole venture was ‘car free’, using public transport to get in and out at the beginning and end of each section.

Organising the logistics and weighing up all the options as always was part of the fun. A few miles were added on a couple of occasions to get back to regular bus routes. Access to Widecombe became easier with the expansion of the Haytor Hoppa timetable for summer 2021 (very much hoping this becomes a regular thing going forward). The middle stages were easily accessed to and from Exeter and aided by the discovery of the ‘Devon Explorer Ticket’ which allows travel on most services in the county and earns you change from a tenner (price correct Dec 2021). The only section that needed a different approach was Witheridge to Lynmouth which necessitated a very pleasant stay at the Royal Oak in Withypool.

The highlights of the route were undoubtedly the moorland stretches – Dartmoor both bleak and beautiful, Exmoor more colourful and with the odd surprise. Day 7, Withypool to Lynmouth was the standout of them all – the weather certainly helped, but the whole section right up to the final drop to the sea was just wonderful. The ‘cherry on the cake’ was an open-top bus ride towards home at the end.

Doing the route over an extended period of time meant I experienced all weathers. A brief snow shower one day on Dartmoor, near dehydration when I next returned. A dip in the river one sunny day in September followed by a drizzling slither in the darkness when the clocks had changed. It all added to the memories.

You can read more detail about the route on my Blog, along with tips for using public transport at carfreewalks.org. It’s all very possible and might just add a bit to your adventure!

Start point: Wembury
Finish point: Lynmouth
Distance travelled: 117 miles
Started: 12/09/2020
Walking time: 7 days