Jan and Simon Lewis with Jack the dog

This was our first point-to-point walking trip with the dog and so we made sure to book accommodation a few weeks in advance. While this tied us down to a fixed mileage each day the peace of mind was well worth it. We wanted to stay in pubs so that we could get a meal and a pint each night and although this meant straying far from the route on a couple of nights it was also a good decision. This is how we did it:
Drove to Ivybridge and stayed at The Sportsman. They kindly agreed to let us leave the car there for the duration and didn’t charge for this. I can recommend the curry and also the quality of the karaoke!
Day 1 walked to The Tradesmans Arms at Scoriton. Wonderfully rural location and very comfortable newly decorated room. The landlord told us he is happy to pick up people from Ivybridge or Widecombe. He also told us that the most common navigational error on our route is at Huntingdon Cross. This is where we had taken the most obvious path (towards the reservoir) and had to back track after 50 yards or so. No big deal, but good to know. He also told us that when people bring a dog they sometimes post dog food ahead to where they will be staying. We hadn’t thought of this, but with hindsight it would have been a better option than carrying Jack’s diminishing food supplies with us.
Day 2 we had to go off the route in a major way as I couldn’t find anyone near Widecombe that would accommodate a dog. We crossed Dartmoor to Postbridge and stayed at the East Dart Inn. A popular walkers pub where we met some great people and shared walking-in-the-rain stories. They also had a drying room which meant our wet boots were lovely and toasty by the morning.
Day 3 back on the route to Chagford. Stayed at the Ring O’ Bells and loved the lively atmosphere. Another great meal and great value for money.
Day 4 to Coleford and the fantastic New Inn. This was my favourite. Thatched, characterful and friendly. Huge room with a bath. Jack had his tiny canine mind blown away by the talking parrot. A thing so unnatural to him he was unable to fathom it.
Day 5 to Witheridge and the Mitre Inn which wins my award for the best coffee.
Day 6 we cheated. Having faced rain showers every day we couldn’t face the forecast of relentless stair rods so we caught the bus to Tiverton and had a rest day. Transported by taxi to our B+B accommodation at West Bowden Farm near Knowstone. This was another positive experience as the landlady had lit the fire to help us dry our things so when we got there the large room was warm and dry. Apparently it is possible to order an evening meal, but we walked to the Masons Arms which was only 15 minutes away.
Day 7 to the Royal Oak at Withypool. This was a non-rainy Saturday and the place was packed. Very efficient landlady had already reserved a table for us. Possibly the best bed. 
Day 8 a short one to Simonsbath where we stayed in the Exmoor Forest Inn. This was probably the most expensive but we’d been there before and wanted to stay again. Great food, organically farmed meat from the estate. Also possibly the best bed (see above).
Day 9 into Lynmouth and an ice cream on the sea front. Signed the book. Celebrated with a pint or two and then caught the cliff railway up to Lynton where we stayed at the traditional family run North Cliff Hotel.
We returned to Ivybridge via a bus to Barnstaple and then two trains. With the £2 bus fares currently in operation and the train tickets costing £10 each this was a very cost effective option for us.
We both carried 20l backpacks with only the essentials, a good supply of waterproofs and things for the dog.
We enjoyed every day of the route. It has a real feel of beginning, middle and end stages. Each stage has a lot to recommend it. The wilds of Dartmoor with the horizontal rain squalls that sent my poncho flying round my head, the peace and remote feeling of the agricultural middle section where Jack discovered things to roll in that took a lot of riverside scrubbing to remove. But for me the highlight was the beautiful stunning views of the Exmoor days.

Start point: Ivybridge
Finish point: Lynmouth
Distance travelled: 107 miles (ish)
Started: 09/07/2023
Walking time: 9 days