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Dartington River walk in Autumn

Dartington River walk in Autumn

I don’t know about you but to me, this is the most beautiful time of year.

Now we are in November, the leaves are falling and turning in to these stunning gold and brown colours we all associate with this season. 

We are still getting some sunny days but without the overpowering heat, where we can dress in warm comfy jumpers and head outdoors to enjoy some fresh air and the autumnal colours.

You may have visited us but aren’t aware that just across the road is Totnes playing fields where you can access the footpath down to the River Dart. This is a wonderful walk that follows the river all the way along to Dartington Estate. This is a very pretty stroll for any season, but it really is picturesque now.

For me, naturally my walk starts with popping into Wild Thyme to get a takeaway coffee and possibly a cake.. (if I’m doing the full 2-mile route, I know I’ve earnt it!) 

The path from Totnes to Dartington Cider Press has been designed to be accessible for everyone, including wheelchairs and those with sight loss. The path that follows along the river all the way to Dartington Estate does include fields where the ground can be uneven and muddy so, weather dependant, wellies might be needed, and you will need to decide which route will be most appropriate for you.

On the first leg of your walk, you will wind along the footpath which take you past Totnes Weir – this is a very popular wild swimming spot! Some of the locals swim here every day, whatever the weather!

You then reach the old gatehouse to the estate which follows on to Queens Marsh. The marsh is always full of wildlife! There is a spotting hut where you can sit quietly and watch the animals go about their business.

Here I go straight on and head for the fields but for those who opt for the flat more accessible route, you can take a left to head towards the Cider Press. The gate for the fields is roughly 200 yards up the road to your right.

If you are bringing your dog along, this is a great opportunity for them to have a good run but, please be mindful that there are often cows grazing in these fields, so if your dog is not good with livestock please keep them on the lead. 

You can continue to follow the peaceful paths along the rivers edge, there are plenty of places you stop to sit and enjoy the tranquil setting. The Totnes to Buckfastleigh Steam Railway runs on the opposite site of the river so, get your timing right and you may see it come past!

From here you can either continue all the way to the end of the fields, where you will reach the ancient woods and loop back up to the Estate, or there is options to follows paths up to your left, which takes you up the Estate a little quicker.

You will spot many impressive trees as you go, with their golden leaves making the perfect scene for an autumnal photo!

If you have some time to spare, I suggest visiting Dartington Gardens. These Grade || Listed gardens really are stunning. They are home to some of the oldest trees in the region! You can find more information on what’s on offer there using the link below;

Once you have enjoyed all that Dartington Estate has to offer, you can follow the route back to Totnes.

I hope you finish the walk full of positive energy and have enjoyed the beautiful autumnal scenery.

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