How you split the route is, of course, entirely up to you. If seeking to complete the route in one go most people tend to walk from south to north, finishing at Lynmouth on the Exmoor coast.
The following listing breaks the walk down into manageable one-day sections for most people and links key settlements where you will be able to find accommodation.
To view an interactive version of the map, click here.
WEMBURY TO YEALMPTON
APPROX 7 MILES
South Devon provides a gentle introduction to the Coast to Coast walk. On leaving the coast the walker can enjoy a pleasant exploration of the rolling fields and wooded valleys of the South Hams. The section from Wembury to Ivybridge follows easy and well-signed footpaths and bridlepaths.
YEALMPTON TO IVYBRIDGE
APPROX 9 MILES
The way crosses the Yealm and later the Erme, where it turns north through beautiful riverside meadows as the path passes close to Ermington, famed for its crooked church spire. Here the first glimpse of the southern slopes of Dartmoor – Western Beacon, rising high above the town of Ivybridge – will give walkers an idea of what lies in store.
IVYBRIDGE TO HOLNE
APPROX 15 MILES
The first section of the official Two Moors Way, and the most testing on the whole route. The old Redlake Railway is followed for 6 miles north, through barren and lonely moorland. The route then traverses open country, crossing the River Avon via a 19th-century clapper bridge and passing Huntingdon Warren, where rabbits were farmed from the mid 13th century to the 1950s. The pretty village of Holne comes as welcome relief!
HOLNE TO HAMELDOWN
APPROX 7 MILES
(for Widecombe in the moor + 1.5 miles)
A picturesque part of the route, dropping through woodland to cross the Dart at New Bridge (ice cream van at holiday times!). Dr Blackall’s Drive is followed high above the Dart Valley, before dropping again to follow the West Webburn river towards the high Hameldown ridge. Here, a detour can be made to Widecombe-in-the-Moor for refreshment and accommodation.
HAMELDOWN TO CHAGFORD
APPROX 9.5 MILES
(from Widecombe in the Moor + 1.5 miles)
Keep an eye out for Dartmoor ponies and Highland cattle on this stretch. Grimspound, Dartmoor’s best-preserved Bronze Age settlement, is skirted before the trans-moor road is crossed by Bennett’s Cross, a 13th-century boundary marker. On Hurston Ridge will be found one of the longest and best-preserved stone rows on Dartmoor. Field paths and woodland tracks pass ancient farmsteads on the way to Chagford Bridge. The small town, a mile away, provides refreshment and accommodation.
CHAGFORD TO DREWSTEIGNTON
APPROX 4 MILES
A very easy stretch, initially following the River Teign on its way to the spectacular Teign Gorge below Castle Drogo. The route then climbs along the top of the gorge, with wonderful views: a fitting goodbye to the Dartmoor section of the route. A detour may be made to NT Castle Drogo’s café (check opening times).
DREWSTEIGNTON TO MORCHARD BISHOP
APPROX 16 MILES
The next three sections introduce the walker to remote and little-walked Mid Devon: 30 miles of fields and woodland separating the two moors. Facilities are very limited, but the walker can enjoy total immersion in the Devon countryside, and exposure to a wide range of unspoiled flora and fauna. Before reaching Morchard Bishop the Tarka Line railway is met at Morchard Road.
MORCHARD BISHOP TO WITHERIDGE
APPROX 8 MILES
From the midway village of Morchard Bishop – good pub and excellent village shop, and home to one of the four Two Moors Way marker stones – the way continues through quiet woodland and fields all the way to Witheridge. It’s a very quiet stretch, encountering only farmsteads and the hamlet of Washford Pyne, home to St Peter’s Church. The old coaching town of Witheridge once had four pubs and regular fairs and markets, but now has only one pub and two shops.
WITHERIDGE TO KNOWSTONE
APPROX 8 MILES
On leaving Witheridge the path crosses Bradford Moor, unimproved pasture rich with wild flowers. Quiet lanes are followed for a few miles towards the two Knowstone moors (SSSIs), now intersected by the North Devon link road, under which the Two Moors Way passes. The only hamlet on this section is at the end: tiny Knowstone with its 15th-century church and pub.
KNOWSTONE TO HAWKRIDGE
APPROX 8 MILES
At last Exmoor is reached – Peter Randall Page’s sculpture is met at Badlake Moor Cross, facing its twin on the route 30 miles away near Drewsteignton. The route becomes more taxing as Exmoor’s southern slopes are reached, with good views south towards Dartmoor. Once again there are no facilities on this section.
HAWKRIDGE TO WITHYPOOL
APPROX 6 MILES
Despite being the Devon Coast to Coast walk here the Two Moors Way enters Somerset! From the ridgetop settlement of Hawkridge the trail descends to cross the medieval clapper bridge across the Barle: the famous Tarr Steps. An easy riverside path then leads the walker all the way to the pretty village of Withypool, once the headquarters of Exmoor’s Royal Forest: for several centuries the twice-yearly Royal Court was held just upstream at Landacre Bridge. Facilities here include a pub, café and village shop.
WITHYPOOL TO SIMONSBATH
APPROX 7 MILES
A delightful section of the route following the Barle river valley. The trail passes through moorland and rough farmland, mainly staying above the river, with great views down to the idyllic Landacre Bridge and occasionally dropping down to walk beside the water. The scenery gets more and more dramatic as you approach Cow Castle, an Iron Age hillfort, before passing the remains of the Wheal Eliza iron ore mine and following the river to the small moorland village of Simonsbath.
SIMONSBATH TO LYNMOUTH
APPROX 12 MILES
The final section of the route crosses Exmoor’s remotest and wildest country: the Chains, source of the great River Exe. This second-longest stage crosses the boundary of the Royal Forest (and back into Devon) by the Hoaroak, then passes historic Hoar Oak Cottage, built on the site of a medieval farmstead. The final stretch enjoys wonderful views across the steep-sided wooded valley of the East Lyn River as it tumbles towards the sea at Lynmouth and the end of the walk.