With 880 acres of verdant forests, abundant wildlife and clear rivers, the Dartington estate offers the perfect backdrop to walks of all lengths and difficulties.
Some useful resources
Exploring the Gardens
The main Gardens sit at the heart of the estate, a couple of minutes stroll from the main car park. It’s easy to spend as little or as much time as you like in them, but to explore them fully takes roughly 1-2 hours. You can find out more about the Gardens here.
Please note that dogs are not allowed in the Gardens with the exception of recognised guide or help dogs. Dartington has large permissive areas where your dog can roam freely – find out more here.
Walking to the Shops
It takes about 45 minutes to walk from the main car park to The Shops at Dartington, which are located on the southernmost tip of the estate. The quickest route is along the lower drive and through Buckham Park Copse (clearly signposted; see map for details).
The Shops are significantly downhill from the core estate, and may present a challenge for the less mobile or those with pushchairs – particularly on the way back! Car parking tickets are transferable at Dartington, so if you get a ticket at either the Shops carpark or the main carpark, you can use it elsewhere on the estate.
Longer walks around the estate
The Dartington estate has an abundance of public footpaths – a walk around the entire estate would be around 8 miles. Our estate map clearly marks the footpaths with yellow lines – download it here or pick one up from the Visitor Centre.
For a superb 4.5-mile walk, park at the main car park and follow the Upper Drive to point 19 on the map next to Schumacher College. You’ll see a public footpath signposted to your right which you can follow into North Wood. From there any right-hand path will take you through the woods to the River Dart. You can then follow the river’s edge to the bottom of the Lower Drive and follow it back up to the carpark.
Note for dog-walkers: due to our wildlife protection work and livestock on the estate, some paths require your dog to be on a lead. We have several large areas where your dog can roam freely – find out more here. We are grateful for your help in preserving the estate and preventing the spread of disease.
Deep Time Walk
Get a deep time perspective of the Dartington estate by taking a 4.6km walk through earth history. With each metre walked representing 1 million years, the walking audio guide takes you on a journey from the formation of the Earth 4.6bn years ago through to the present day.
Written by Dr. Stephan Harding from Schumacher College and local playwright Peter Oswald, as you walk through time the dramatised audio narrative combines scientific evidence with poetry to tell the story of Earth’s formation, providing a unique and educational perspective of deep time. Sensitively designed and engineered by a team of experts using appropriate technology, the experience encourages you to focus away from the digital screen and connect with the natural world around you. Find out more (links to new website) ⇒
Geocaching is a real-world, outdoor treasure hunting game using GPS-enabled mobile phones. There are a number of ‘hidden treasures’ across the Dartington estate to hunt – great fun for families. Head to Dartington’s page on the Geocaching website to get started.
Further information about walks in the area
To find out more about walks in the South Hams and surrounding area, try the following: