Dartmoor National Park is here for everyone to enjoy and explore, no matter what your level of ability, needs or background.
Miles Without Stiles are stile-free routes, meaning that they are suitable for those with limited mobility. These routes are suitable for a wide range of users including those in all-terrain powered mobility scooters and families with younger children.
All routes are graded as suitable for some, for many or for all and have been checked by the Recreation and Access Team, working with Dartmoor Wheelchair Access Group.
Do you have a suggestion for a Miles Without Stiles route? Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org with your ideas.
Miles Without Stiles Routes
Miles Without Stiles: For All
Category Level 1
A gentle gradient route with a wide, tarmac surface and located in a sheltered valley setting.
Start point: Shipley Bridge car park. Ordnance Survey Map Explorer OL28. Grid Ref: SX 681 629
Character: River, trees, valley and open moorland hillsides
Getting there: The car park and toilets are found just off the road bend near the bridge on the western side of river, approx. 1km north of Didworthy, 3 miles north west of South Brent.
Route description: This pleasant route follows the river upstream from Shipley Bridge car park towards the Avon Dam. Initially the route passes a series of small waterfalls lined with trees and then enters into a more open moorland environment.
Interest: The River Avon begins its life at Avon Head Mires, near Ryder’s Hill the highest part of the southern moor, and flows all the way to the coast at Bigbury on Sea; a journey of around 25 miles. Avon is the Celtic word for ‘river’. The dam was built in 1957 to supply drinking water to the growing towns in South Devon. The area also has an industrial heritage of quarrying for naphtha and china clay. Look out for dippers and grey wagtails down along the river and buzzards and ravens further up the valley.
Facilities: Accessible public toilet located next to public car park at Shipley Bridge
Miles Without Stiles: For Most
Category Level 2-3
Gravel surface, some inclines, granite cross drains and a small clapper bridge.
Distance: 8 km / 5 miles there and back. A shorter route to South Hessary Tor and back is 3km / 1.75 miles.
Start point: Princetown car park at the National Park Visitor Centre. Ordnance Survey Map Explorer OL28 Grid Ref: SX 589 734
Getting there: B3212 from Yelverton or Moretonhampstead and B3357 from Tavistock or Ashburton (via Dartmeet).
Route Description: This route takes you to Nun’s Cross and back via South Hessary Tor along a gravel path surface with some inclines, granite cross drains and clapper bridge. The route is within a moorland environment with extensive views. Can be very exposed in poor weather. Follow the public bridleway south from behind The Plume of Feathers pub.
Interest: The open, windswept upland moors are characterised by large expanses of grass and heather, peat blanket bogs and valley mires. These provide habitats for wildlife such as skylark, meadow pipit, common lizards and fox moth caterpillars. The open moorland results from a long history of human management and its diversity is maintained by cattle, pony and sheep grazing. On clear days in the distance you can see Plymouth Sound. This area provided inspiration for Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's Hound of the Baskervilles.
Once you have absorbed the landscapes, head back down the bridleway and into Princetown for refreshments.
An alternative route back is to branch off the bridleway (just under 1 km south of Nun’s Cross) to Peat Cot car park (at grid reference SX 602598) and return to Princetown via the surfaced road through Tor Royal.
Facilities: Accessible toiles are located within the National Park Visitor Centre and car park. Princetown has a selection of pubs & cafés.
Please note: Due to the open nature and altitude of this route it is very exposed and can be cold and windy.